Human Resource Management - Best Practices at Marriott International

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB064
Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 1997-2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Marriott International
Industry : Hospitality
Countries : USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"That guest's room may be our product, but our associate's caring attitude is our value. We can't measure it with statistics, and we can't manufacture it. We can deliver that value only if we can attract, retain and inspire the best people - with what we call 'The Spirit to Serve.'''1

- JW Marriott Jr., CEO, Marriott International.

"The comments from our customers is not about how nice the building is but about how nice the people are, how good the service is, how hospitable the employees are. That is what makes the difference, because people from the top all the way down to the organization really care."2

- JW Marriott Jr., CEO, Marriott International.

The Spirit to Serve

Once, when a customer checked in at an Anaheim Marriott hotel, she was in a very disturbed state of mind. It was on her way to the hotel that she learnt of her sister's death. The worst part was that she had to wait the whole night at the hotel to board a flight the next morning.

As she checked into the hotel, Charles, who was looking after room service, asked her why she was upset. On hearing her reply, he assured her of any help she might need through the night. Soon after, Charles returned with a pot of coffee and a piece of apple pie, at his own expense. He also handed her a sympathy card, signed by seven of his colleagues.

By pooling some money contributed by his colleagues, he brought some flowers and gave them to her, saying, "We just wanted you to know you're not among strangers here."3

Narrating this incident to JW Marriott Jr., the CEO of Marriott International Inc4 (Bill Marriott), the customer wrote, "Mr. Marriott, I'll never meet you. And I don't need to meet you because I met Charles. I know what you stand for.

I know what your values are. I want to assure you that as long as I live; I will stay at your hotels and tell my friends to stay at your hotels.

That night I realized that you care more about me as a person than you do about the few dollars I spent at your hotel."5

Human Resource Management - Best Practices at Marriott International - Next Page>>

1] Marriott, Jr., J.W, Our Competitive Strength, Vital Speeches of the Day, January 1, 2001.

2] Mary Zachariah, Employees cornerstone of Marriott culture, Business Times (Malaysia), September 08, 2000.

3] Marriott, Jr., J.W, Our Competitive Strength, Vital Speeches of the Day, January 1, 2001.

4] Marriott International is a leading lodging company with more than 2,800 lodging properties in the US and 69 other countries in the world. Marriott operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, Towneplace Suites, Fairfield Inn, Springhill Suites, Ramada International and Bulgari brand names. It develops and operates vacation ownership resorts under the Marriott Vacation Club International, Horizons, The Ritz-Carlton Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club brands; operates Marriott Executive Apartments; provides furnished corporate housing through its Marriott ExecuStay division; and operates conference centres. The company is headquartered in Washington DC, and has approximately 128,000 employees. In the fiscal year 2003, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $9 bn.

5] Terry McKenna, "Customer: service or care?" National Petroleum News, June 2002.


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