Brian Kleckner spends a lot of time outside in the extreme cold of winter and the sweltering heat of summer. He works six days a week from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.
He couldn’t be happier.
Brianna Garcia spends her days in an office 40 hours a week.
She couldn’t be happier.
Kleckner, a bell captain, and Garcia, an accounting clerk, have contrasting roles, yet share a common thought. They are two of many employees at Hotel Bethlehem who love their jobs and the atmosphere in which they spend so much of their waking hours.
“I love the consistency of my schedule, but I love the freeness” Kleckner said. “We’re inside. We’re outside. We drive people around. I enjoy being out and about and not stuck behind a desk.
“All we do is talk to people, and that’s probably the thing I like the most. I like the social aspect of what I do.”
Kleckner and Garcia’s colleagues apparently agree, as Hotel Bethlehem was named No. 5 among midsize employers in the annual Top Workplaces survey.
“I started with a lot of guest interaction and now I hardly have any,” Garcia said. “I do a lot of month closings now. Before, it was day-to-day processing. Before, it was checking guests in. I like it a lot more now.”
Kleckner and Garcia shared several other enjoyable aspects about their employer, which first opened during Prohibition in 1922. They enjoy how Hotel Bethlehem often promotes from within and has several rewards programs in place as a way to thank them for dedicated and quality service.
“Working here with consistent hours and having young kids makes you think twice about looking for a new job,” Kleckner said. “I’ve been here for [six years] and I’m comfortable here.”
Kleckner started as a traditional driver/doorman at Hotel Bethlehem before being promoted six months later.
In nearly four years, Garcia moved from front desk clerk to night auditor to accounting clerk.
Hotel Bethlehem, in addition to promoting from within, also rewards those employees who are stellar in their day-to-day duties.
There are employees of the month awards honored at luncheons, employees of the year recognized at a year-end banquet and regular raffles with prizes that don’t go unused. Those are anything from massages to two-night stays at regional resorts to entertainment tickets to area theaters.
“I have been employee of the month three times,” Kleckner said. “I’ve never been employee of the year, which is the goal.”
Garcia earned an employee of the month honor last year. It made her feel like she was doing something right and that she was being appreciated by her supervisors for the effort she was putting in.
“I think it definitely helps us stay motivated throughout the year,” she said. “For a private business, they really succeed in offering those things. It really makes me want to do better here. It’s a motivational boost.
“I tell family and friends about these types of things here, and they say how lucky I am, how they don’t have those types of [incentives].”
Kleckner, who supervises more than a dozen people, and Garcia, also enjoy the day-to-day interaction with their co-workers.
“I think the people we work with, a lot of them have been there for quite some time,” Garcia said. “You build really nice friendships with them. We have the lunches every month, and I think it’s great to recognize employees. We have a lot of handsome activities for employees and managers.”
Hotel Bethlehem has more than 14,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space in addition to 128 guest rooms. The Tap Room and 1741 on the Terrace are among the dining/drinking options.
Famous guests include Henry Ford, Bob Hope, Dalai Lama, Winston Churchill, Shirley Temple, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
It offers 24-hour-a-day room service, has a full-service business center and a fitness center.
Hotel Bethlehem stands where Moravian’s Golden Eagle Hotel was dating back to 1794, when George Washington was president. It was in business until 1919, with it being used as a convalescence home for soliders returning home from World War I until April 1919.
Kleckner, who has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, would love to take care of the famous and not-so-famous guests for years to come.
“If reality sets in and if something comes up,” he said, “I’d have to move on.. But, right now, I like it here.
“If I could work this job and do some work on the side doing what I like, that would be make me happy.”
Mandy Housenick is a freelance writer.