What Bill Marriott’s Parting Words Mean to Your Company

Bill Marriott stepped down recently as CEO of Marriott International. In the flood of news coverage, the focus has been on three things:

  1. His business history

  2. His successor

  3. The future of the company and the industry

In general, the news coverage is missing the core ingredient to his success. Can you discover that ingredient in this video?

Hint: It’s in the very first sentence.

Watch video>

“Take good care of your employee and they’ll take good care of the customer.”

It’s no wonder that Marriott International was recently named one of the 50 best places to work.

What is your hotel company doing to take good care of employees?

Creating An Employee-Centric Culture

Marriott International has tremendous resources at its disposal. It hires the best HR staff available. It can put time, effort and resources into grand HR projects.

For example, in 2011, Marriott implemented a new flexible work schedule system at the property level. This was on the heels of two highly proactive health and wellness initiatives, “TakeCare” and “Choose Health Every Day,” rolled out in 2010 for corporate employees.

Working Mother Magazine has the best summary. Here’s a snippet.

Every hotel was assigned a wellness coordinator, and employees were given access to free health coaching, walking groups, weight-loss initiatives and discounts on their insurance premiums. Workers who made serious attempts to get more sleep, exercise more and eat better won prizes.

Programs of this nature offer a clear competitive advantage.


Imagine that your management company’s last “General Manager of the Year” is approached by one of your competitors and extended an offer.

Your award-winning GM will have several questions:

First question: “How much do you pay?”

Second question: “Do you offer good health benefits?”

Third question: “What supplemental insurance do you offer?”

Fourth question: “Do you offer a 401(k) program?”

More questions: “Do you offer leadership programs, day care for my kids, tuition reimbursements…”

To attract the best hotel associates and encourage them to stay, your hotel management company should be in a position to answer these questions in the affirmative.

Because this much is certain: Marriott International is.

Matt Lucas, CHAE is Director of Hospitality at Alternative Employer Solutions, a hospitality industry HR outsourcing consultant. To find out how hotel owners and operators control costs and reduce risk by outsourcing HR functions, download his free report at hotelpeo.com. Matt can be reached directly at mlucas@aes-peo.com.

Photo Credit: Top photo from UggBoy♥UggGirl [ PHOTO // WORLD // TRAVEL ]‘s Flicker stream.

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  1. A wellness coordinator… wouldn’t this be an amazing offering for a hotel? Would this be an in-house position or an outside affiliation?

    1. Esther –

      I’ve seen it done both ways. A company of size can bring such talent in-house. Contractors are also an option. I’ve seen Wellness contractors hired for VP-level positions.

      The key is having somebody putting together the program and its objectives, and then managing it on an ongoing basis. This is where having a third party company handle HR comes in handy. That way, management can assign their HR administrator to serve as a liaison rather than charging him/her with the daunting task of setting up and running the whole program.


      1. Interesting. Thank you Matt… Many of us could really use support like this as we get stuck behind our desks for way too many hours at a time… even here in the Rocky Mountains where lack of exercise shouldn’t be a problem 🙂

        1. Do you work for a management company or directly for the hotel? You might check into third party HR services targeted to the hotel industry in Canada. I work with these providers but they’re all stateside.

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