Article: #11 Crowne Plaza Today: Crowne of Camaraderie

Employee Engagement

#11 Crowne Plaza Today: Crowne of Camaraderie

Flexibility in working hours to inculcate a healthy social life is a key differentiating factor

We always strive to develop excellent working relationships and share our experiences to find new ways to delivergreat service


One of IHG's core beliefs is to give employees room to be themselves, as a happy employee ultimately results in a happy customer


With long work hours, working on New Year and other holidays and weekend, the hospitality industry prides itself on service to the customer. Some of these hotels though pride themselves on being the best places to work as well. Ranked #11 in the Great Place to Work® Institute’s Study, The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) owned Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon, values the diverse workforce it already has, and those who join with equal success. With a focus on employee engagement and involvement through various training programs, recognition of key talent is key part of its DNA along with customized growth prospects.

IHG recently launched the “Celebrate Service Week” in partnership with its Owners’ Association, the IAHI. This initiative was a designed week-long ‘Thank You’ marathon from 26 until 30th July 2010 across their 4,400 hotels globally, to give back to their people who worked tirelessly every day for their guests. The week was dedicated to celebrating the 330,000 people, from accountants to chefs and housekeeping to HR, who work across its hotels and offices. This is the largest recognition initiative in the hospitality industry. Says Shaun Langdon, IHG’s Regional General Manager for India, “IHG has always been recognized as one of the best companies to work for and it is our people who set us apart from our competitors. The Celebrate Service Week was an opportunity to thank our people and recognize them as the driving force for our success. At IHG, we always strive to develop excellent working relationships and share our experiences to find new ways to deliver great service.” Crowne Plaza Today Gurgaon, captured the experiences of the employees during the week as the hotel chose four lucky winners daily, who were treated with beauty treatments, and a luxurious limousine pick-up. Other lucky staff members also won a complimentary night stay at the hotel.

Besides thanking the existing employees, the company also has a well defined induction program for new recruits even before they join, which is based on four ideas of ‘Affirming’, ‘Beginning’, ‘Connecting’ and ‘Integrating’. At the beginning of the year, every employee sets goals known as KPOs (Key Performance Objectives). In accordance to this, Personal Development plans, which are a set of actions to be completed to achieve certain objectives, are frozen for employees depending on strength and areas to improve. The hotel major has undertaken various initiatives to enhance employee engagement like Performance Management, the idea which stems from the promise of ‘room to grow’, that provides enough space for employees to grow. The Cross Training policy helps the employees to understand the business and inter-departmental co-ordination required for smoother operations. IHG also has a collaboration with Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration which is a tie-up with e-Cornell for providing e-training modules for supervisor and/or Managerial and Executive Staff. Some of the new programs which the hotel has added to its existing collection include Overseas Exposure for Chefs and Future Skills where post the Employee Survey results, the hotel starts the process of understanding Individual and departmental needs of skills related to their work environment which they might require in the future.

Apart from training, development and employee engagement programs, IHG also makes sure that the performance of its employees does not dip considering that the hotel industry has long working hours and it is imperative to maintain employee morale and performance. Says Saikat Chatterjee, Manager Human Resources, South East & South West Asia, IHG, “Hospitality industry does require at times, to work long hours but, we try and make sure that our employees get enough flexibility in their work hours to have a healthy social life as well. We give them the option of working in a shift of their choice as much as possible.” Another key factor is communication and IHG makes sure that it is open at all levels. One of IHG’s core beliefs is to give employees room to be themselves, as a happy employee ultimately results in a happy customer.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture, #BestPractices

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