Hotel Culture: Driving Top Performance

June 1, 2015 Carolyn Murphy

One of the most interesting parts of my position at Revinate is meeting with our clients and speaking at their events. This is where I talk to hoteliers and discover what elements of a hotel’s culture and operations drive top performance.

What I have observed in participating at such events is, sometimes we get lost in the numbers. Review ratings, sentiment scores, and other metrics are crucial to a hotel’s success, but they’re not everything. I’ve noticed that the top numeric performers also have a particular trait: A strong, warm hotel culture that extends throughout the organization.

For example, when I recently I went to meet with a client, there was a telling moment in which four of us stepped into an elevator. When the doors opened, I waited to step out as a courtesy to my clients. However, none of my clients moved a muscle either. It was almost battle of wills. It turns out, they wouldn’t move because they all worked in hotels. A sense of courtesy and service was deeply ingrained in their everyday actions. Suffice to say, their hotels all have high review and sentiment rankings.

In addition to having a service culture that extends throughout the organization, another element of successful hotels that I have witnessed is a feeling of family. When I attend conferences, many of the general managers greet each other as if they were long lost family. At these events they collaborate, share stories, and welcome new team members with open arms.

Here’s another example: Last year I presented at an event in Hawaii. At the event, the general managers referred to the team as “Ohana,” which is Hawaiian for family. Keep in mind, these GMs came from a variety of backgrounds. But in this environment, they are all Ohana. There was an exceptional warmth at the event and with the team. And, you see this warmth on all levels of the organization, from the corporate office to the properties.

In general, we see that successful hotels take creating a warm, caring culture very seriously. And, it’s not just about delivering to the guests. In the best hotels, this culture of service, warmth, and family is deeply ingrained in the organization and continuously delivered throughout, both to guests and amongst colleagues.

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