Marriott employees keep guests coming back

Waikiki UmbrellasSince it’s getting cold in most of the United States, I thought I might end the week with a few words about the Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel which has just been awarded the Marriott’s Customer Excellence Award for demonstrating exemplary guest services. It is classified as a luxury AAA 4 Diamond hotel on seven and one-half acres of waterfront property. It offers a private tanning beach, a full-sized pool, fitness center, concierge service, valet parking, personalized guest services, and a variety of dining options. If you’re planning a winter wedding or event, the ballrooms can accommodate 440 guests.

Marriott philosophy prides itself on having the right people in the right jobs. Earlier this year Working Mother Media named Marriott one of the best companies for hourly workers. How many of us really think about that, but in reality hourly workers most often interact with customers and clients. Doing things for hourly workers in the service business can have profound effects on employees in the face of this new economy.

Bill Marriott, chairman and chief executive of Marriott International states the simple idea of caring for people and giving them opportunities add up to the formula for success. With this commitment and culture, staff members feel valued. After all customer service depends on whether these hourly workers are well-trained, enjoy their work, and enjoy working with customers.

Marriott tells the story of an hourly employee, Christine Dowling Lopez, who seven years ago worked at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, DC as an executive assistant in banquets. Today, Ms. Lopez is the event supervisor in charge of her own team responsible for all meetings.

All full-time hourly associates of Marriott are given comprehensive health coverage, and even in this time of unknowns for many struggling families, employees who have had their hours reduced still maintain coverage.

So how has this paid off for Marriott? Guest reviews are a good place to start, and I “googled” some examples of guest comments on various Marriott hotels that would most likely reference hourly staff members:

  • “Although the Marriott suites are not fancy, they are always functional, but what I love the most about the hotels are the front staff members who always go the extra mile for me whenever I have a problem.”
  • “I love how the cleaning staff does their job. I should know because I dropped a shampoo cap under the sink.”
  • “I made a remark to the concierge one afternoon that the only thing missing with my stay was that Marriott didn’t put any chocolates on my pillow at night. Lo and behold, that night there were two chocolates on each of the pillows.”
  • “When my young daughter and I were led to our hotel room, my daughter wanted to ride the luggage cart, but I was nervous about it. Another employee, a young housekeeper, can right over and held my daughter’s hand securely as the bellman rolled the luggage cart down the hall. Now that’s customer service.”

And I also send my congratulations to Marriott for making a difference and creating a healthy work environment for many people who are so often overlooked and ignored.

photo credit: FrankBonilla.tv