6/17/2014 12:39 PM
Celebrate Service Week is one of my favorite annual events, and 2014 marks the fifth year that we’ve held this global celebration to appreciate the tremendous dedication and contributions of our people.
It’s truly a “family affair’—Celebrate Service was created as a collaboration between the Owners Association and IHG and continues as one of our most successful, ongoing joint efforts.
My appreciation for Celebrate Service, however, goes far beyond the event itself. Of course, it says a lot about the culture we are building together with IHG that we host this global, week-long “thank you note” to the 350,000-plus individuals who work at IHG hotels and corporate offices. That’s something a leader does.
But Celebrate Service Week, I believe, should be just the starting point, a reminder to us as owners of the fact that our people are our power. We know it in our bones—they are our most valuable asset, the lifeblood of our business. We don’t have to wait for this annual event, outstanding as it is, to let our employees know they are important and that we appreciate the great work they do as well as the role they play in the success of their hotel, their brand and IHG overall.
The idea behind Celebrate Service can and should be a model for how we relate to our employees year-round. And it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Our shared goal with IHG is to be the world’s No. 1 hotel company, and to do that we must have great brands delivered by great people. Being recognized for doing great work is motivating for anyone and increases the level of engagement of our employees. That translates directly to the experience they deliver to our guests, which in turn reinforces the brand proposition.
What does this mean for us as owners? It’s a huge opportunity—take advantage of it! No one understands better than we do what it takes for your front-line staff to deliver an exceptional service experience guest after guest, day after day. Let them know that. What’s more, a genuine “thank you” costs nothing.
Let’s take the spirit behind Celebrate Service into our everyday way of working, so that regularly recognizing and appreciating our people becomes an ongoing, natural part of how we do business. The result, I assert, will be a perpetually empowered workforce perfectly positioned to deliver Great Hotels Guests Love.