Best of the best: Hotel chain's award-winning people strategies

HRD looks at what one international hotel chain - which has won an avalanche of workplace accolades already this year – does to foster a strong workforce.

Best of the best: Hotel chain's award-winning people strategies
Taking good care of employees is the key to an award-winning workplace, an APAC CHRO of a large international hotel chain believes.

US-based company Marriott International’s APAC operation has already won a number of workplace awards so far this year - including being named 2015 China Top Employer by Top Employers Institute, one of the Best Workplaces in Asia by Great Place to Work and the two Regional Best Employer Awards by Aon Hewitt for Marriott International and The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific respectively.

Marriott International APAC CHRO, Regan Taikitsadaporn, said the company is dedicated to its workers’ – or what the company calls “associates” – professional development and personal wellbeing.

"Making associates our focal point is not only good for customers but also makes good business sense and we will continue enhancing our suite of talent programs so as to attract, develop and retain the best calibre of associates.”

All staff complete an average of 34 hours training a year, with managers completing approximately 78 hours of professional development.

APAC workers attend a daily pre-shift meeting to discuss the company or service values, followed by a brief 15 minute training session to reinforce a skill or area of knowledge.

Marriot also has a Voyage Program for university graduates to fast track into supervisory or entry management positions, and as well as programs with a leadership and management focus.

As of December 2014, 64% of management positions in the APAC region were filled internally, which the company attributes to strong career progression paths.

"Right from the time of our founder, J Willard Marriott, our motto has been, 'Take care of our associates and they'll take care of our customers',” APAC Marriott International president and managing director Simon Cooper said.

Gender diversity in leadership roles is also encouraged.

The company held a “Women in Leadership” Asia Pacific conference last year, with more than 75 Marriott female executives from across APAC meeting in Shanghai to network, share insights and learn about growth and development opportunities in the region.

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