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April 7, 2013

by peterzihuazhang

I have been reading the book “the new gold standard of Ritz-Carlton Hotel” these days. Ritz-Carlton have many insights and best practices of offering the best customer service. Among the golden standards, the one that is most striking and memorable to me is how they select and treat their employees.

Basic level employees, whom Ritz-Carlton call “our ladies and gentlemen”, are the most important people to a hotel because they are the ones who serve customers directly. However, they are usually the ones who receive the lowest compensation within the company. This is a typical dilemma for any companies in the service industry. Ritz-Carlton are well-known for their excellence in customer service. It can not be achieved without the devotion of every single “ladies and gentlemen”. However, the compensation for employees is of the same level as its competitors in the industry. Ritz-Carlton does have a golden standard for how they select and treat employees. 

Ritz-Carlton has a lot of patience in selection process. All of the employees have to go through numerous rounds of carefully designed interviews (a general manager has to go through 14 interviews). Not only departmental managers but also certified front-line employees become the interviewers. This process not only selects the people with right talent and passion, but also makes them proud to be selected. 

Ritz-Carlton imprints culture into raw talents. Every highest level managers will welcome the new hires in the orientation, which will take place for two days with a thorough discussion of company’s credo, motto, and service values. No one is allowed the skip the orientation even for newly hired general managers. Training is delivered largely through relationship. Every general manager treats their employees the same way the want the employees to treat the customers. 

Ritz-Carlton maintains a engaged workforce by allowing them to express opinions early. According to a research, employees who left a company after a year typically made the decisions within six months of employment. Thus, Ritz-Carlton established something called “Day 21” when all new hires finish their first training and gather together to express the positives and negatives they encounter so far. Then, the managers collect all these issues and take them to the guidance team to get them addressed. 

These three rules are only a small part of Ritz-Carlton’s ways of creating the best service in the world. The key of these golden standards is to really pay great attention to the front-line employees because they are the ones the finally deliver the services.  


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