Starwood Hotels are Heavenly for Guests and Employees
Does your workplace culture inspire employees to do their best work? Even though we are still in tough economic times do you still provide resources for your employees to develop relationships with customers so they are inspired to return? Do your customers and employees champion your products and services?
Nancy London, the Vice President and global brand leader for Starwood Hotels, which include Westin, Sheraton, and St. Regis, answered yes to all three questions.
She shared some of her organization’s recipes for satisfied employees and happy guests.
1- “On associate name tags, rather than including their place of birth, they state one of their passions, such as: running or cooking. This gives them a reason to speak with other people about their interests. Associates like that we get to know them better, ask questions that have some meaning, and make it easier for guests to engage them. Relationships are an important part of an outstanding guest experience.”
2- “We broadened out effort to approach service that empowers front line employees to make decisions and solve problems for guests. Employees at every level are trained and become part of our service culture so they are not “just doing a job,” but it has some meaning. They feel included and are inspired to tell their friends and family about our organization.”
3- “We ask our employees for ideas, solutions to problems and frequent guest concerns. We hear from people in housekeeping, massage therapists, and bellmen, and implement ideas that increase our success.”
Creating a culture where people are listened to and invested in success has resulted in huge rewards and innovation for Starwood Hotels.
A man in operations had overheard guests say that the showers were too confining. Later on, when he was in the shower, the idea came to him that a curved shower rod would extend people’s ability to move and stretch while showering. Thus, the Heavenly Bath was born, and now curved shower rods are sold in countless department stores.
London told me that she has received dozens of stories from customers about their hotel stay, commending employees and raving about their “heavenly beds,” which I personally have experienced.
Nancy let me know that the hotels have “hot rates,” so that employees and their families can stay at hotels and receive that ultimate guest experience and pass it on when they return to work.
Speaking with Nancy London about Starwood confirmed what my belief that treating your employees like honored guests equals outstanding customer service, which equals business success.