According to the hotels motto employees are considered as valuable and important as the customers they serve, "We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen" (McDonald, 2004). The company believes that their employees are its greatest assets and should be treated as such.
The hotel is very selective in hiring employees that they believe will be suitable for the job. They take in consideration the perspective employees personality and attitude rather than just hiring based on experience. This method allows the hotel to select employees that not only will provide excellent customer service but will also be happy with the job they are doing. According to a director of training at one the hotels locations, "If you want to achieve service excellence, you must select people who want to go with you" (Lampton, 2003). After they are hired, the hotel provides all employees with extensive training that prepares them to face any difficulties that they may encounter on the job. It is estimated that the Ritz-Carlton spends an average of $5000 training each new hire (McDonald, 2004).
The secret to Ritz-Carlton's high employee retention rate is not high wages or perks. In fact, wages and benefits are equivalent to any other luxury hotel. The key to company's high retention rate is creating an environment in which employees feel that they are valued members of a dedicated team and are treated with respect. Employee birthdays are celebrated along with employment anniversaries (McDonald, 2004). Hotel leaders have high expectations from each staff member but do not expect them to perform tasks that they themselves cannot accomplish. Obviously, these methods are proving to be very effective since the annual employee turnover rate in Ritz-Carlton hotels is 25% while other luxury hotels have a rate of 44% (Lampton, 2003).
Employees are involved in the process of change rather than having it forced upon them from hotel management. For example, at some hotel locations employees are videotaped performing everyday duties such as setting tables. Later, participating employees watch the videotape with management and discuss ways in which their service can be improved (Lampton, 2003). In addition, every employee has the power to spend up to $2,000 to resolve a guest's problem without having to ask management for approval. This hands on method results in a high employee satisfaction rate by giving employees more control over their profession and motivates them to do a better job by involving them directly in the change process (McDonald, 2004).
The hotel has an open door policy when it comes to accessibility. Dissatisfied employees can easily talk to hotel managers about any problems that they may encounter on the job and ask for guidance. On a routine basis, employees are involved in 15-minute daily talks in which they discuss the core values of the hotel such as excellent customer service. This method enforces enthusiasm among the employees because they have a chance to share their work experiences with each other. The Ritz-Carlton is one of very few large companies that focuses attention on core values on a daily basis (McDonald, 2004).
Although the hotel does an excellent job at making employees, feel valued and provides excellent training at times its methods can be a little