How to turn your hotel into a great place to work
When your business is making guests feel at home, it pays to take care of the caretakers.
Three hospitality companies were recently included on a coveted list of twenty-five of the world’s best multinational workplaces.
Great Place to Work Institute, a San Francisco-based research, training and consulting firm ranks such employers from over forty-five countries annually.
“We’ve been doing this for thirty-years in over fifty-seven countries,” says Cessi Riva Mosquera, global public relations and communications director for the organization.
To be considered, “an organization must have at least 5,000 employees, with at least forty percent of their workers working outside of their home country’s headquarters,” says Mosquera. To survey organizations, a “culture audit” assessment tool is completed by employers, and employees provide feedback.
Interestingly, Great Place to Work found that within the hotel industry specifically, “Management is transparent and communicative—seven times more than the market, or companies not on the list,” reports Mosquera. Specifically, Mosquera’s team found that such employers avoid playing favorites, involve people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment, and keep employees informed about important issues and changes.
As for maintaining a fair environment, hotel companies were found to provide such atmosphere three times more than the market, says Mosquera.
“People avoid politicking and backstabbing as ways to get done and when unfairly treated, employees believe they will be given a fair shake if they appeal,” she says.
Outstanding Best Practices related to autonomy and care stood out at Hyatt, which earned the sixteenth spot on this year’s list, says Mosquera.
“Hyatt knows how important communication, relationships and creating a welcoming environment—for colleagues and guests are to success. The company supports these important aspects in several ways,” says Mosquera. “Hyattalks, is a program that gathers colleagues together with leadership in small group discussions to share knowledge and insights, and raise issues or ideas for improvement. These sessions are held about six times a year and brings together a diverse group of colleagues from across departments and levels within the organization.” Colleagues are also encouraged to grow and develop new skills to further their careers, says Mosquera.
Hilton earned the ninth listing spot—up from sixteenth last year, in part, according to Mosquera, because the company keeps people informed and allows colleagues to have a voice on what’s going on.
“This helps to keep its culture alive and to thrive as a business,” she says.
“Hilton’s internal communication practices help cross boundaries and build connections. Case in point—Lobby Buzz, Hilton’s new social engagement app connects team members across departments, properties and geographies. More than 2300 team members downloaded the app during its initial release, resulting in more than 8300 news and social posts shared and 3.5 million social media impressions,” says Mosquera.
AccorHotels secured the nineteenth spot on Great Place to Work’s list this year. Employing 190,000 people in 95 countries globally, “The company manifesto highlights the care of millions of clients, as well as their characteristic and empowering cultural diversity, and very special corporate values such as guest passion, spirit of conquest and sustainable performance,” says Mosquera.
Even with such a wide geographical reach, “All employees are supported and encouraged to learn and develop. This is facilitated through their internal communications programs, which help employees around the world connect and find opportunities to progress,” says Mosquera.
There are other initiatives like AccorHotels TV, found at each hotel, with a news summary format about the company and business throughout the world.
“Also, ‘10mins at 10 o’clock,’ is a forum where staff and managers share news or present questions to be addressed, or direct feedback between employees and their managers,” says Mosquera.
Best Practices for becoming a “Great Place to Work”:
Employee recognition. Each June, Hyatt hosts “Celebrating Our People,” week-long event to recognize the company’s associates. Activities include themed lunches, dinners and pen-pal programs with sister Hyatts.
Freebies. After one year of service, active full-time Hyatt employees can book complimentary room nights (up to 12 annually) at any Hyatt in the world. Associates traveling to any U.S. Hyatt receive fifty-percent off of food and beverage purchases at such outlets and a twenty-percent discount on spa services.
Tuition reimbursement. There’s no restriction on the type of education supported. Such learning need not relate to a hospitality career.
Unique incentives. Hourly employees at Hyatt receive performance compensation incentives. For example, a front desk employee who assists a guest with moving to an upgraded room, or? floor receives a percentage of the upgraded premium. Housekeeping stewards receive cash bonuses for each additional room cleaned beyond their shift’s allotment.
Career pathing. Hilton has a tool on their website that enables Team Members to view job-specific career maps to help them navigate their career at the organization. Between March and May of 2016, it had over 1,600 visits.
Fully-paid GED. Studies show that GED completion leads to higher lifetime earnings than for those with a high school diploma. Hilton supports US Team Members who want to pursue this degree by paying the full cost of the program.
Bonus for talent management. All corporate Hilton VPs and higher in the US and abroad are offered an additional ten percent bonus tied to their leadership effectiveness in areas such as succession planning, recruiting and developing talent through coaching, and hiring diverse talent.