That is the Hyatt philosophy—one which the management of the Hyatt Regency Saipan deeply holds on to, especially during this pandemic. These days, they are operating with less than half the number of their employees pre-pandemic, at just 118, and at times, they get challenged, especially when there is not a lot of guests to serve.
People is their business and when they don’t have guests, like how it is now due to the pandemic, the morale goes down, according to Hyatt director for Human Resources Josephine Mesta. But, despite the situation, they remain optimistic. Hyatt Regency Saipan is still up, and is eagerly looking forward to the next 40 years.
“I’m excited for what’s going to happen for the next 40 years. It is going to be a nice change for the island as well as for the people working here, and also our guests to know that we still exist.”
Hyatt’s strong point is guest service. They take pride in having great and talented staff who love the work that they do, and who are well-accepted by the community. And, to provide the best hotel service possible, Hyatt Regency Saipan’s management takes the selection process for their employees seriously, with trainings provided for the lucky ones who get chosen.
“We take time in our selection process. It’s hard to just tell in 15-20 minutes what kind of people you are actually hiring. Through experience, we pretty much are good at detecting a person’s character, and then we work with that. They may not have the skill at all, but they have the character to serve. We work on those strengths and that’s how we build.”
Training is extremely important for the Hyatt Regency Saipan. With very little formal education or training support on hotel operations and management in the CNMI, initial trainings for employees at the Hyatt normally takes over a year—to ensure they provide a high level of service for their guests.
“We received a comment that the hardware is old but the software is excellent,” Mesta said, Hyatt’s building being the hardware, and their service, the software. “That is what we share with our staff. We really can’t do much about the structure of the building and the design of the building but we can make our guests have the experience.”
With talks envisioning the CNMI as a word-class, high-end tourist destination by 2031, Mesta stressed the need to advance the quality of people in the workforce.
“If we’re going to be a world-class destination, we need to have world-class workers. …We [need] to start with the attitude that we are going to serve people and we are going to provide quality services, and that’s through training and changing mindsets. Start from there,” she added.
And that exactly is what Hyatt Regency Saipan is doing for their employees through all these years—providing training, changing mindsets—and more.
“At Hyatt, we care for people so they can be their best. We provide that care,” Mesta said. “I know that we over extend ourselves sometimes but that’s how we feel. It’s like a one small family. Everything counts about an employee, not just at work, but also outside of work.
“I believe that’s the secret, how you take care of people. You take care of your staff, the staff will take care of your guests. So far, that has worked.”
‘At the Hyatt, we are family’
The best thing working here at Hyatt is my coworkers—they’re not only coworkers, they’re my family. Yes, it is stressful, busy, but having people like them working with me, I wake up excited to go to work. We’re all lucky that [the Hyatt lease] has been extended, people are looking forward to the new Hyatt renovations. Hopefully, by that time, everyone who got furloughed will come back, and if not, for sure, a lot of people would want to work at the Hyatt. I just love working here. I can’t imagine myself working for other companies.
—Antonette A. Sengebau, front desk team leader
It’s unfortunate that we have to experience the pandemic, but the best thing about being here is still serving the people. Any guests that walk in and out, I’m so glad that I get to encounter them and assist them in any way. This company is such a great company to work for. It’s a brand company. The company really takes care of not just the staff but anyone who walks in and out of the hotel.
—Vanessa Palacios, executive administrative assistant
The best thing about working here at Hyatt is the people around me because it’s more like a family than work. Everyone helps each other. I love it here. I don’t think I can see myself anywhere else. I grew and learned a lot from this company.
—Angel Mendoza, graphic artist
It’s good to work [at] Hyatt because we have full benefits, and we connect with each other. I’ve been working here for about 20 years, and that’s why I can tell the future, if they choose a job here, that Hyatt is good. I wish one of my family would work here. I wish my son would work here, or at Hyatt Philippines or anywhere. Hyatt is the best.
—Rommel Galang, engineering and maintenance
The best thing about working here in Hyatt Regency Saipan is the people. Working with my colleagues makes the job bearable, they make it easy and they add fun to it. I’ll be celebrating my five years next year, and I’m looking forward to it, but it feels like I’ve been just working here for months. That’s how fun it is here. All of my coworkers, I treat them as a family, and I’m excited to see them every day. I hope I’m still here working in the next 40 years. I hope I’ll be able to work here longer and I am excited to work for the new renovated Hyatt Regency Saipan.
—Jensen Fabella, food and beverage attendant