Engagement Leads To Motivation

4 11 2011

I came across an old BusinessWeek article from February 2008, which shared some management strategies of former Ritz-Carlton President Simon Cooper. Cooper saw the way to improve customer service and increase employee satisfaction was by engaging his staff. This upscale hotelier designed

his staff meetings to engage his employees. Encouraging engagement in the employees is to create and support an environment where people find value and meaning in their work. Intrinsic rewards come to an employee when they feel a sense of importance and meaningfulness in at work. When people feel that they are a part of something special, they are more highly motivated and committed to the success of the organization and all its members.

BusinessWeek  highlighted 5 of Cooper’s practices, which hold value in any organization as a way to increase engagement:

Share “Wow Stories”

The Ritz-Carlton employees gather for a staff meeting each day, where they come together and share their “wow stories.” These are true stories of employees going above and beyond the conventional customer service expectations. According to Cooper, these talks accomplish two goals. It reinforces the customer service level the hotel leadership is encouraging. It also gives the employees recognition in front of their peers for their good work. Public recognition is a powerful motivator.

Demonstrate Passion

An essential characteristic of a leader is to show passion. Since moods are contagious, having a smile on and demonstrating passion for their jobs, leaders are able to have an uplifting effect on others. Cooper treats each of his employees with the utmost respect and enthusiasm. When a high level manager greets his team with personal attention, it shows respect. In return, the team returns their respect through commitment to hard work.

Sell the Benefit

Each day, the staff meetings at Ritz-Carlton reinforce one of their 12 service values all employees are expected to embody on the job. The leadership team demonstrates and illustrates to the employees how their service directly impacts the customer experience. It is important to use staff meetings to make the connection for the team.

Ask for Feedback

Employees are encouraged to speak during the staff meetings. The supervisors create an open atmosphere where the team members are to bring up topics of concern, areas for improvement, and praise accomplishments. It is important when the supervisors show interest and take action when their employees call for it. It is essential that the employees know their supervisor listens to their concerns and know they will follow up on it.

Praise Effectively

Effective feedback happens when you seek to help them improve on a given task, rather than focusing on what they have done wrong. Supervisors can use the staff meetings to constructively provide them with feedback. Praise is essential to encouraging employees to continue hard work.

Motivation can and should take place in every part of an organization. A successful organization is one that is always pushing to move forward. It is clear that Cooper, at Ritz-Carlton, could not motivate each of his employees. It is each of the manager’s responsibility to reinforce the brand and its values through all interactions with their teams.

Are your team members engaged? Are they inspired to follow your vision? Five-star service does not begin with them. It begins with you.



International Management: Managing in a Diverse and Dynamic Global Environment




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