Article: #5 Marriott Hotels: A Customer's Delight

Employee Engagement

#5 Marriott Hotels: A Customer's Delight

On May 20, 1927 when aviator Charles Augustus Lindbergh began his historic transatlantic solo flight, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott set up their nine-stool A&W root beer stand in Washington D.C. What began on a historic note has today developed into one of the vanguards of the hospitality industry. For 58 years, J. Willard Marriott steered the reins of Marriott - adding locations, perfecting procedures, and expanding into new enterprises; Marriott literally breathed, ate, lived, and dreamed about his business. For more than eight decades, ‘People First’ has been and remains the guiding principle behind Marriott’s culture and success. As Marriott continues to launch innovative new brands, expand in emerging markets and chart a new level of growth story, thereby solidifying its position as a world class hospitality company, the enduring belief that its employees (who are referred to as ‘associates’ as a symbol of respect) are its greatest assets, remains as true as it were 80 years ago. As a matter of fact, J. Willard Marriott held the belief that it was the ever growing ranks of associates who were the secret of the company’s success. His constant advice to his managers, "Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers," voices the deeply held belief that remains the keystone of the company's culture.
 

As a matter of fact, J. Willard Marriott held the belief that it was the ever growing ranks of associates who were the secret of the company's success

 

Ever since its inception, Marriott has valued diversity and inclusion of all associates. This legacy is now a fundamental operating principle and business imperative

 

On May 20, 1927 when aviator Charles Augustus Lindbergh began his historic transatlantic solo flight, J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott set up their nine-stool A&W root beer stand in Washington D.C. What began on a historic note has today developed into one of the vanguards of the hospitality industry. For 58 years, J. Willard Marriott steered the reins of Marriott - adding locations, perfecting procedures, and expanding into new enterprises; Marriott literally breathed, ate, lived, and dreamed about his business. For more than eight decades, ‘People First’ has been and remains the guiding principle behind Marriott’s culture and success. As Marriott continues to launch innovative new brands, expand in emerging markets and chart a new level of growth story, thereby solidifying its position as a world class hospitality company, the enduring belief that its employees (who are referred to as ‘associates’ as a symbol of respect) are its greatest assets, remains as true as it were 80 years ago. As a matter of fact, J. Willard Marriott held the belief that it was the ever growing ranks of associates who were the secret of the company’s success. His constant advice to his managers, "Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers," voices the deeply held belief that remains the keystone of the company's culture.

The unshakeable conviction at Marriott is that people are the most important asset and hence ample emphasis is laid on supporting associate growth and personal development. The organization has a reputation for employing caring and dependable associates who are ethical and trustworthy and is known for providing a conducive environment - a home-like atmosphere and friendly workplace relationships. Gurmeet Singh, Area Director of Human Resource, India, Maldives, Marriott Int'l Inc., reasons “great associate friendly work culture, associate empowerment, and ample opportunities to develop and grow within the company” as to why Marriott is the employer of choice. He further adds that it is the ample amount of training and good growth opportunities that help the associates to be engaged and committed to their jobs. The performance reward system at Marriott recognizes the important contributions of both hourly and management associates. The company's ‘Awards of Excellence’ program is one of the ways Marriott celebrates its associates by honoring the finest associates for their outstanding service. It is presented each year to a select few from Marriott International’s brands and businesses who demonstrate Marriott’s ideals (achievement, character, dedication, effort, and perseverance) through outstanding service, leading by example and enhancing the lives of their co-workers, customers and neighbours with their commitment to service excellence.

Marriott’s investment in training and communication is exceptional. In fact, once selected, the candidates are put through a two-day induction period, with a 60 and 90 day follow up session as well as cross training sessions before joining their respective departments. Besides, there are programs like ‘VOYAGE’ (a graduate training program aimed at training and retaining good talent) and ‘SAIL’ (undergraduate training program). Initiatives such as ‘Fresh Eyes’- a forum wherein HR heads invite the new associates to share their experience of their first 30 days, and ‘Get On Board’- a formal guidance session with regards to duties, position, etc., for fresh managers (including associates who have been promoted), are appreciated by the associates. In fact the company allocates at least $750 per manager per year on training and development. Further, the global platform for growth ensures every associate gets a chance to move into roles in offices across the globe. Every year, 100 associates or more are sent overseas for special tasks, jobs or as a result of a transfer. There are many employees who began their career with Marriott are today in varied roles across Marriott facilities across the world.

Ever since its inception, Marriott has valued diversity and inclusion of all associates. This legacy is now a fundamental operating principle and business imperative. As Marriott grows and expands globally, it continues to broaden its initiative about global diversity and inclusion, reaching across cultural borders and embracing the unique gifts and talents of the communities where it operates.

While these initiatives may sound simple, it reiterates Marriott’s philosophy of ‘People First’ and as a matter of fact, these have contributed to the high retention rate at Marriott. The Marriott experience (pride in the Marriott name, accomplishments, and the legacy of the brand) attract talent from across the globe and the people policies in place further make it a great workplace.
 

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture, #BestPractices

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