Four Seasons: Impeccable. Deluxe. Personal. In Touch.
Those are words that loyal guests use on a regular basis to describe the Four Seasons. All hotels experience glitches. The water gets turned off, the fire alarm accidentally goes off at 2:00 am, light bulbs burn out, shower curtains fall down. At Four Seasons, they are crazy devoted to glitches. Employees report each and every one and they are rigorously monitored to make sure they are resolved in a timely manner. Ahhhh... sounds lovely.
Deborah Carlisle, Manager of Marketing Planning for 74 Four Seasons in 31 countries, has the best job. She sells experience. By listening to their loyal customers they are able to distinguish themselves among a very competitive market. Hotels are always in danger of becoming a commodity. Websites like Hotels.com perpetuate that. The Ritz Carlton, Hotel Intercontinental, and Four Seasons are all within $100 in their price range for a standard room. Word-of-mouth among the high end business traveler is especially valuable. And Four Seasons gets that.
Ricardo Acevedo, General Manager for the Miami Four Seasons knows the secret sauce in their culture is the people. Can you imagine that every position you have open in your company must go through a minimum of 5 interviews? Every job candidate from the maids to management eventually will be interviewed by Ricardo. He is the final test, and uses his intuition and sense of humor to see if they are Four Seasons material. "If I can't make them smile, they are probably not a good fit" explains Ricardo.
"I will not allow a manager to mistreat employees. If they do, they will be dismissed," Ricardo said emphatically.
Dignity can come in the form of a free meal, clean pressed uniforms that fit nicely and are fashionable, and an employee locker room complete with a hot shower. These are not just employee perks; in some countries these are luxuries that provide dignity and instill pride. It's nice to hear of a North American company that doesn't take advantage of the work pool in less developed nations.
Employees are asked to rank their feelings towards Four Seasons in an annual survey.
#1 - I am proud to work for Four Seasons
#2 - I have a feeling of loyalty towards Four Seasons
#3 - Our guests are very happy with the quality they receive.
Fred Reichheld was in the room during this presentation. Throughout the conference, he reminded just how simple and how hard it is to grow a business. You have to treat people so well, that they'll come back and bring their friends and family.
The Golden Rule is truly ingrained in the Four Seasons culture. Can you say the same of yours?
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