Creating Consistent Culture


Diana Oreck, Vice President of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, explains that it is not enough for everybody on your team to believe in your organizational vision, they also have to “own” it.

Diana says this is a key element of the future of organizational development, for any size business. She shares examples of the Ritz Carlton’s service values and the steps taken to encourage pride, passion, and 100 percent participation. It all begins by treating your employees like owners.

Regardless of the size of your business, you have to make sure that you are creating a vision, a mission, and a minimum level of service standards with your staff. And you want to make sure that everybody can buy into them, because it's a common language. It isn't enough for just a few to believe in it and own them. Everybody has to believe in it, because it becomes your company's true due north. That's the reason why we align back to this culture each and every day.

Let's talk about the motto, "Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen." We don't believe that respect and kindness can be treated like a light bulb that you turn on and off. The reason we practice respect and kindness on each other first every day is so that we never forget to turn the light bulb on with a guest. That they understand.

Now, we often come across difficult, demanding guests. We can't control how our guests behave, but we can always present ourselves like ladies and gentlemen. And the reason that our housekeepers are so invested is because they are part of these lineups. Their opinion is valued. Service Value Number 9 is, "I'm involved in the planning of the work that affects me." Nothing is just baked and given to the employees. It's very participative.

So can you imagine if you were coming from a war-torn nation or a very impoverished background and you're selected? We don't hire, we select. You're selected to work at Ritz-Carlton. What I can tell all business owners is do not underestimate the power of pride. Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, "Oh, I want to work for the lousiest company out there." Pride does an awful lot for employees.

So leaders must be storytellers. The other thing about leadership is this. I think everybody would agree that the very best leaders know how to inspire their employees to get out of bed, bring their passion to work, and volunteer their best every day. If you're treating your employees like owners, it's a whole different lens for them and it's very engaging.

Diana Oreck

Ms. Diana Oreck is a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) and an international advisor in corporate culture, branding, leadership, employee engagement and legendary service. She has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry ...

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