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ALH Group - Training and Development

William Blue College of Hospitality Management

Jasmine Allen

on 11 August 2013

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Transcript of ALH Group - Training and Development

One key area of SHRM is the
training and development
of an organisation's workforce.
ALH Group: Background
ALH Group face challenges...
Various types of Human Resource practices are utilised by ALH Group that form part of the organisation's Strategic Human Resource Management (Strategic HRM).
Strategic Human Resource Management: Defined
'What are ALH Group's organisational objectives?'
“ALH Group strives to be the country's most responsible operator of leisure, alcohol and gaming facilities by optimising our safety, social, ethical, economical and environmental impacts.”
Training & Development
References 1/2
Strategic Human Resource Management Study
Strategic Human Resource Management (Strategic HRM) is characterised by the conscious effort of an organisation to match their workforce to their mission, culture and organisational objectives; in order to achieve a competitive edge over competition within the market.

“How a company manages its workforce may be the single most important factor in sustained competitive success” .

“Human resource management is a matching process, integrating the organisation’s strategy and goals with the correct approach to managing the firm’s human capital”.
This is clearly demonstrated in this figure of Strategic Human Resource Management by Samson and Daft (2009 p.439)
Admit it, you're curious now....
In fact, Strategic HRM views an organsation's workforce as an asset, rather than an expense that needs to be controlled. This culture is adopted company-wide.
This presentation is best viewed in full screen. Push the button now to get the full experience
Nickson, D. 2013. Human Resource Management for the Hospitality and Tourism Industries, 2nd ed, Routledge, New York, NY
Samson, D. & Daft, R.L. 2009. Management, 3rd ed, Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne Victoria
Let's first look at their Mission Statement.
ALH Group's organisational objectives have a very strong focus on their responsibility to their customers, staff and society as a whole.
Is it any wonder?
In an industry where such activities as alcohol consumption and gambling are included as a way of entertainment, it is important to ALH Group to deliver these activities with the upmost care and integrity; and in doing so distinguish themselves within the market.
According to ALH Group, a key business strategy they implement, is to build on their "existing commitment to be Australia's most responsible operator of hotels".

This is achieved by focusing on three areas, one of which is

Providing these activites can be perceived as unethical, but ALH Group want to "help people enjoy themselves, responsibly."
"We have a clear commitment to be Australia’s most responsible hotel and gaming operator – proudly going above and beyond what’s required by legislation…"
Bruce Mathieson Jnr,
(Responsible Hotels and Gaming 2012)
The question is...
Does ALH Group's implemented staff training and development truly support their organisational goals?
Is it therefore Strategic Human Resource Management?
Does it distinguish them against the market competition?
Take a look....
staff education and training.
(Responsible Hotels and Gaming 2012)
(Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group 2012b)
(Samson and Daft 2009 p.439)
(Baron and Kreps 1999, cited by Samson and Daft 2009 p.439)
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group. 2012b. Responsible Service, Available: http://www.alhgroup.com.au/responsible_service.html (accessed 9 July 2013)
Responsible Hotels and Gaming. 2012. ALH Group, Available: http://www.alhgroup.com.au/documents/ALH_Responsible_Hotels_and_Gaming.pdf (accessed 9 July 2013)
ALH Group’s training and development is definitely strategic HRM, clearly focused on achieving their organisational objectives and mirrored by their mission statement.
On every level, (National, State and Venue) ALH Group train their staff not only about the required legislation, but also about the ethical responsibility the staff of ALH Group need to uphold.
Legislation does not require them to work with 'Gambler's Help' to build annual training sessions.
Additionally, mandatory training events ensure that staff are equipped with up-to-date knowledge and can work as a team in applying it on-the -job, which is important in the fast-paced world of the Hospitality Industry
A CSR strategy must work for them...
In 2012 ALH Group was awarded the

at the International Gaming Awards.
Socially Responsibile Operator of the Year
But there is always room for improvement...
(Responsible Hotels and Gaming 2012)
(Source: ALH Group 2012a)
Time to have your say!
1. Do you believe ALH Group utilises Strategic HRM when managing their training and development?
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group. 2012a. ALH Group Homepage, Available: www.alhgroup.com.au (accessed 9 July 2013)
Part of that strategy involves developing an effective workforce through practices such as training, development and appraisal.
ALH Group practices both on-the-job and off-the-job training, which is facilitated on a National, State and Venue level
(Miles, Email Communication, July 1, 2013).
Training methods that are frequently used by organisations to develop employees into an effective workforce include orientation, classroom, self-directed and computer-based training all of which ALH Group applies in the following ways...
Training on a State Level consists of
Responsible service of Alcohol
Responsible service of Gambling
Various Gaming Training Programs such as Gaming Nominee Training in Queensland, Basic Gaming in South Australia, Keno and Gaming Machines in Tasmania
Armed Robbery
Fire Safety
Various Licenses and training programs such as:
Training on a National Level consists of:
Advanced Responsible Gambling
Anti-Money laundering
Food Safety Supervisor
First Aid
Customer Service
ALH Management Program consisting of two courses, one on Management and one on Leadership
Training on a Venue Level consists of:
Training and meetings conducted by venue managers using tools provided by Head Office
ALH Group has "worked with Gambler’s Help to design a comprehensive full day annual training session" for their management and key staff. " A key focus for this training day is how to approach and interact with customers and how to ensure compliance with the self-exclusion program." Upon investigation of all state's self-exclusion programs, ALH Group decided to launch "a national 'best practice' checklist for all ALH front-line gaming staff." These training initiatives are mandatory annual events.
Baker, K. Huyton, J. 2001. Hospitality Management An Introduction, Hospitality Press Pty Ltd, Victoria
Gardner, M. 1993. Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in the public sector, Macmillan Education Australia Pty Ltd, South Melbourne.
Van Der Wagen, L. 1999. Hospitality Careers Third Edition, Hospitality Press Pty Ltd, Victoria
Allen, J. O'Toole, W. Harris, R. McDonnell, I. 2011. Festival & Special Event Management, John Wiley & Sons Australia, Milton Queensland.
But where does

fit within Strategic Human Resource Management?
training and development
2. Do you think Corporate Social Responsibility is involved in their strategy?
Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy Involvement
(Responsible Hotels and Gaming 2012)
(Miles, Email Communication, July 1, 2013)
First Step in Victoria
RMLV in Queensland
Approved Managers in Queensland
Gaming Licence in Queensland
New Gaming Licence in South Australia, Responsible Person in South Australia
Course in Management of Licensed Premises in Western Australia
Gaming Licence in Tasmania
(Miles, Email Communication, July 1, 2013)
(Miles, Email Communication, July 1, 2013)
When organisations take a CSR approach, they "make choices and take actions that will contribute to the welfare and interests of society as well as the organisation" (Szwajkowski, 1986; Davis et al., 1979 as cited in Samson, D. Daft, L. R. 2001, p.183). What “organizations are trying to do, in people management terms, is convey to employees that they work for a good organization and are right to stay, and to prospective recruits, that they are a good employer to join. Commercial organizations are similarly encouraging customers to buy their services because they are socially responsible.” (Reilly & Williams 2006, p.78)
"It may also be argued that the maintenance of a reputation for being an ethical and socially responsible employer is important in sustaining a good corporate reputation’ (Nickson, D. 2013, p.197). Human Resource departments are increasingly using CSR to support their organisations brand (Reilly & Williams 2006 p.78).
Why is Corporate Social Responsibility so important within the Services industry?
"The hospitality industry is one of the major providers of alcohol to members of the community" (Baker, K. Huyton, J. 2001, p.256)
The foundation of ALH Group’s integrated organisational strategy begins with induction training provided at a venue level. Training new recruits after hire, instructing them on standard operating procedures and specifics of their jobs are important to ensuring employees are provided with the tools required to perform their role
The application of Training and Development practices are vital to the success of ALH Group and form part of their Strategic HRM by aiming to make available the tools needed to perform various roles, addressing potential skills gaps, meeting legislative requirements, adhering to corporate social responsibility and reducing high labour turnover rates.
Meeting legislative requirements is vitally important in the Hospitality Industry and covers a broad scope of areas. Given that ALH Groups primary business is that of hotels and pubs it is paramount that the organisation conducts training on the responsible service of alcohol and gaming, obtains various licences and adheres to strict regulations that are enforced on a venue, state and national level.

The inclusion of both mandated and implemented training is important to addressing potential skills gaps in the workforce. ALH Group attends to this trend by implementing for example ‘comprehensive full day annual training sessions for management and key staff that focuses on how to approach and interact with customers and how to ensure compliance with the self-exclusion program-banning an individual from gambling’ (Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group 2012b).
Corporate Social Responsibility
Address potential skills gaps in the workforce
Begin by Inducting
New Recruits!
Legislative Requirements
This is what you could expect from studying a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate course
Reducing Labour Turnover Rates
5. Do you think ALH Group has an obligation to protect their staff with regards to alcohol consumption and time spent gambling?
Application of Corporate Social Responsibility is important to ALH Group because of the nature of the industry they operate in. Providing a safe, friendly environment, promoting responsible behaviour and supporting local communities in various ways, including working with charities to raise money, pertains to key elements of an integrated corporate social responsibility practice.
Armstrong (2008 p.126) defines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as the way an organisation conducts their business "in an ethical way, taking account of the social, environmental and economic impact of how they operate and going beyond compliance."
Organisations have started to recognise "the crucial role of employees in achieving responsible business practices." (Armstrong 2011 p.185) Additionally, organisations are utilising internal communication methods and "training to raise awareness and understanding of why it is relevant to employees and valuable for the business” and its corporate brand (Armstrong 2011 p.185)
Is ALH Group using a Corporate Social Responsibility strategy?
Additionally, "the gambling and gaming sector is important within the tourism and hospitality industry. " (Baker, K. Huyton, J. 2001, p.262)
Fast Fact: ‘Australians are the greatest gamblers in the world. Australia has 25% of the world’s poker machines and Australians gamble ten times as much per head as does the next-highest gambling nation’ (Baker, K. Huyton, J. 2001, p.263)
Educate employees on generational issues boosting understanding, respect and productivity
Age discrimination claims are reduced through employment practices based on fairness and equal opportunity for all generations
Recruitment messages geared to each generation will attract talent across the age spectrum
Workers age 55-64 make up the fastest growing group in the labour force, while the 35-54 age group is growing much more slowly therefore targeted recruitment of mature workers gives employers a competitive advantage in acquiring the right talent
Employee engagement, managers who know what motivates employees of different generations are more effective of keeping them engaged
Retention, all generations want their contributions to be recognised. Rewards and recognition should reflect each group preferences and priorities
Customer service, appealing to different generations can open potential new markets and lead to new products and services
(AARP 2007)

It is the view of many that alcohol and drug misuse is particularly common in the tourism and hospitality sector.
Other factors that create an environment which arguably encourages alcohol and drug abuse include:
•Long working hours
•Sociability of the workplace
•Availability of alcohol in the workplace, and often the expectation that employees will drink as part of their employment
•Stress, such as employees having to sustain emotional labour so that even during stress-inducing encounters with customers, employees are expected to be positive, friendly, cheerful and happy (Nickson, D. 2013, p.254)
(Responsible Hotels and Gaming 2012)
(rsacoursetrams 2011)
An interesting challenge that presents itself to the contemporary human resource manager is the concept of intergenerational workforces. By definition this means that ‘four generations are currently in the workforce, all of which have different sets of values, expectations and work styles in the workplace’ (Mayhew 2013). The multigenerational work teams currently present within the services industry is resulting in ‘more than 60 percent of employers experiencing intergenerational conflict ‘(Mayhew 2013).
1974 - First entered the hotel industry under the Bruce Mathieson Group
(Solely owner/operated by Bruce Mathieson and family)

Mid 90s - ALH is established as a business unit of CUB (Carlton United Breweries) and acquires companies
including Ballarat Brewing Co (1997) and Palmgold (1998).

2000 - Bruce Mathieson Group is successful in operating 35 pubs in Victoria.
- Chance meeting between Bruce Mathieson and Woolworths' CEO Roger Corbett is the start of a
joint venture in Queensland known as MGW hotels.
- Woolworths enters retail market.
- MGW's portfolio reaches 30 hotels in less than 4 years of being established.
- Joint Venture vehicle used is known as Bruandwo Pty Ltd.

2003 - ALH Group operates 131 hotels and 109 detached bottleshops in Queensland.
- Fosters Group floats ALH Group on the Australian Stock Market in November.

2004 - Bruandwo is successful in the takeover of ALH Group and is then delisted.

2005 - Bruandwo's name is changed to ALH Group and all previous acquisitions/operations are merged in.

2006 - ALH Group acquires Taverner Hotel Group (a total of 33 hotels) and is now owner/operator of 249
venues around Australia.
ALH Group History
Check out ALH Group's long history
(Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group 2012c) ( News Limited 2009)
(Forbes.com 2013)
InstrumentalsUK. 2012 [sound recording]. Available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhRbOmgGWbU
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group. 2012c. History, Available: www.alhgroup.com.au/history.html (accessed 10 July 2013).
References 2/2
Forbes.com. 2013. Australia's 40 Richest, Available: http://www.forbes.com/lists/2011/78/australia-billionaires-11_Bruce-Mathieson_9NBM.html (accessed 10 July 2013)
News Limited. 2009. Profile: Meet Bruce Mathieson, Available: http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2009/05/05/75895_gold-coast-news.html (accessed 10 July 2013)
rsacoursetrams. 2011. Responsible Service of Alcohol Demo, Available:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Iyl48QkT2 c (accessed 15 July 2013)
Presented By Jasmine Allen, Tracey Gilbert & Suzanne King
Redwood Training 2011
(Blunt 2008)
(Panasonic Australia Pty Ltd 2011)
(Bolton 2010)
4. How would you train your staff to handle the turbulent environment of alcohol consumption and gaming?
3. Do you believe that it is a responsibility of organisations in the industry to monitor and support their patrons?
(Hospitality Training Australia 2011)
Hospitality Training Australia. 2011. Homepage, Available: http://www.hosptrain.edu.au/ (accessed 15 July 2013)
Redwood Training, 2011. Responsible Service of Alcohol, Available: http://redwoodtraining.ie/resposible-service-of-alcohol.html (accessed 15 July 2013)
Blunt, C. 2008. Top Tips for Induction Training Programmes, Available: http://www.callcentrehelper.com/top-tips-for-induction-programmes-518.htm (accessed 15 July 2013)
(Gougeon Insurance Brokers 2013)
Gougeon Insurance Brokers. 2013. Homepage, Available: http://www.gougeoninsurance.com/4-easy-steps-to-effective-staff-training/ (accessed 15 July 2013)
Panasonic Australia Pty Ltd. 2011. Corporate Social Responsibility, Available: http://www.panasonic.com.au/About+Panasonic/Panasonic+global/Corporate+social+responsibility (accessed 15 July 2013)
Bolton, M.M. 2010. Morning Mimosa, Available: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2010/11/11/new_brunch_law_lets_communities_rule_on_bloody_marys_before_noon/ (accessed 14 July 2013)
Lets look at their
training and development
and see why it's so important to their success...
Why is this so important?
(Scarborough 2003 and Pfeffer 1995, cited by Samson and Daft 2009 p.439)
ALH Group: Training and Development
7. Do you believe that ALH Group genuinely stand by their CSR or do you believe that they are using it purely as a branding tool?
Armstrong, M. 2011. Armstrong’s Handbook of Strategic Human Resource Management, 5th ed, KoganPage, London, UK
Armstrong, M. 2008. Strategic Human Resource Management: A Guide to Action, 4th ed, KoganPage, London, UK
Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, 2013d. About, Available: http://www.alhgroup.com.au/about.html (accessed 16 July 2013).
We think so!
Reilly, P. & Williams, T. 2006. Strategic HR: Building the Capability to Deliver, Gower Publishing Limited, Hampshire, England
ALH Group was established from humble beginnings and has undergone much transformation and growth over its 39 years of inception. The pure tenacity of Bruce Mathieson and his determination to succeed within the industry whilst successfully gaining acquisitions along the journey has enabled the ALH Group to remain a forerunner in the industry today.
Australia Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH Group) is made up of electronic gaming, sports bars, bistros, restaurant, cafes, retail liquor, accommodation, nightclubs and gaming. ALH Group is 75% owned by Woolworths Limited and 25% owned by Bruce Mathieson Group. It employs about 14,000 people across Australia at more than 300 licenses venues and over 460 retail liquor outlets (Australia Leisure Hospitality Group 2013d)
(Responsible Hotels & Gaming 2012)
After employees have been recruited and developed the third key step is to maintain the workforce by providing ‘compensation, wage and salary systems, benefits, and occasional terminations’ (Samson, D. Daft, R. 2009, p.459).
When employees are unhappy with the work environment or remuneration package the organisation is at risk of losing that employee, along with valuable knowledge learned by the employee whilst on the job.

Although ALH Group effectively train and develop employees, the organisation could benefit by integrating strategies to maintain the workforce, potentially helping to reduce the high turnover rates experienced, in what would seem a volatile, high-stress work environment. By not focusing just on tangible benefits such as pay and focusing on intangibles such as ‘work/life balance, a trust-based work climate, and a healthy corporate culture’ (Samson, D. Daft, R. 2009, p.443) the organisation provides a stimulating, happy work environment which motivates and empowers employees.
This is ever more prevalent where alcohol consumption is part of the working environment, as is the case for ALH Group. Younger generations often have different ideas of responsibility in such situations and workplace safety can be compromised if this conflict is not addressed through training.
According to a recent study three important trends make it crucial that organisations become successful at addressing intergenerational dynamics: ‘Competition for talent is escalating, more generations are working side-by-side and productivity and business results are linked to work environment’ (AARP 2007). The services industry consists of a broad range of age groups and each generation has attributes to contribute to the workforce however it is vital that ALH Group recognise the need to address intergenerational conflict in the following ways;
Despite the fact that ALH Group supplies their staff with training to help them identify potentially unacceptable situations, the environment they work in is volatile. Boyd (2005, p.1851) suggests that such training is actually conflict management, which “does nothing to remove the causes of customer violence (for example, the sale of alcohol), and instead manages only the symptoms”. As mentioned earlier, such a situation can lead to exposure to excessive alcohol consumption and a high level of workplace stress. Unproductive and unhappy conditions such as these can lead to high staff turnover.
(Read 2013)
It is important that ALH Group continue to protect, not only their patrons, but their staff as well. Occupational Health and Safety training should be provided and strict policies need to be in place to protect their staff from this environment. Stress relieving incentives such as extra holiday days or bonuses, as well as offering counselling as required, should be considered to retain staff.
Upon reflection it is recommended that ALH Group incorporate a comprehensive Occupational Health and Safety plan to the HR management strategy that focuses on providing tools to relieve the stresses that the hospitality work environment can infringe on staff.
It is also recommend that practices and policies are incorporated into the Human Resource Management Strategy that recognizes the diverse range of age groups currently working within this sector. By addressing intergenerational conflict the services industry can benefit from bridging the gap and bringing together older workers who have years of experience and expertise with younger workers who are highly educated, creative, energetic and can bring new ideas to the table. Empowering employees to work together in harmony further develops the workforce and ultimately reduces staff dissatisfaction and turnover rates within the hospitality industry.
We Recommend...
(Hospitality Institute of Australasia 2011)
6. What do you think about the place Occupational Health and Safety training has within ALH Group's Strategic HRM?
Miles, K. 2013. Email, 1 July, Kathy.Miles@alhgroup.com.au
Read, M. 2013. Hospitality and Tourism Jobs in Perth and WA, Available:http://westjobs.com.au/jobseeker/hospitality-tourism-jobs-perth-wa.html (accessed 21 July 2013)
Hospitality Institute of Australasia. 2011. Certificate III in Hospitality SIT30707, Available:http://www.hia.edu.au/online-qualifications-3/certificate-iii-in-hospitality-sit30707/ (accessed 21 July 2013)
AARP. 2007. Leading a Multigenerational Workforce, Available:http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/cs/misc/leading_a_multigenerational_workforce.pdf (accessed 21 July 2013).
Boyd, C. 2005. Human Resource Management and Occupational Health and Safety, Available:http://books.google.com.au/books?id=yRgpbpniXDoC&dq=OH%26S+hrm+alcohol&source=gbs_navlinks_s (accessed 20 July 2013)
Mayhew, R. 2013. Contemporary Issues Faced by Human Resource Managers Today, Available: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/contemporary-issues-faced-human-resource-managers-today-1875.html (accessed 21 July 2013)
Full transcript