A thoughtful orientation has to follow a good hiring process. All STARS receive a full two-day orientation by Richard, focusing on corporate culture, goals, and the like. Each person then receives a personalized two-week orientation, after which he or she is fully capable of independently carrying out all the responsibilities of the assigned job. Ninety days later, an orientation reunion is held, at which each STAR has a chance to provide feedback to the company on the quality of the work experience and the environment, and on the orientation process itself.
There are more substantive human resource approaches at work, too. A bonus system provides, based on meeting guest satisfaction goals, offer all hourly STARS the chance for a monthly cash payout. Even when a staff member has poor performance, the first step in the progressive discipline process is counseling, to see what might be done to help a person regain his or her footing and begin to excel again. There are also clear moral and ethical standards, the "Red Rules," that make it clear that things like serving alcohol to a minor or hiring an illegal immigrant, will result in termination. (Even there, the first step by the supervisor is suspension: The actual termination process can only be carried out by the trained and designated HR professional.)
As part of the commitment to staff to provide the support and resources necessary to provide flawless service, there are also regular STARS satisfaction surveys. The last one had only one question. Staff were asked to give an answer from 1 to 5 on the following statement: "I am completely satisfied with my job." Later, in section meetings, staff are queried, "What makes this a great place?" and "What would make it a better place?" Is there any doubt why this is the only hotel consistently listed in the top 25 companies for working families by the local newspaper?
But a really fine organization depends on strong leaders who understand that their role is not to micromanage, but to coach. As noted above, at the Gaylord Palms, leaders also look for opportunities to create fun. They are expected to model the mutual respect that is a corporate standard. I close this post with another video of Richard explaining some of these aspects of the corporate culture -- and with the question for my colleagues in the hospital world, "What aspects of what we learned from Richard might be applied in our environment, one dedicated to high service to patients and families, and one dependent on the human capital in the organization to deliver that service?"
If you cannot see the video, click here.