Challenges Faced by Ritz-Carlton in Changing Culture

Question

Making You say WoW

               When you hear the name of the Ritz- Carlton hotels, what words come to mind? Luxurious, elegant, formal, or maybe beyond my budget constraint? Formal, or maybe even stodgy ? Ritz-Carlton won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award 1992

            Ritz management is studying the possibility to expand in Paris and Cannes (France). To do so  management decided to assign an outside consulting firm to study the feasibility for such moves. The consulting firm has to study the internal process and culture of Ritz hotel. In a meeting they summarized the following:            

            “Three words that the company hopes to mind are exemplary customer service. Ritz Carlton is committing to treating its guests like royalty. It has one of the most distinctive corporate cultures in the lodging industry, and employees are referred to as “our ladies and gentlemen.” Its motto is printed on a card that employees carry with them: “We are Ladies and gentlemen of the Ritz have been trained in very precise standards and specifications for treating customers. These standards were established more than a century ago by founders Caesar Ritz and August Escoffier. . Employees at Ritz have been trained in very precise standards and specifications for treating customers. These standards where established more than a century ago by founders Ritz employees are continually schooled in company values. Every day at a 15 minute line up sessions at each hotel property, managers reinforce company values and review service techniques. These values are the basis of all employees training and rewards. Nothing comes to chance when it comes to provide excellent customer service. Potential hires are tested both for cultural fit and traits associated with in innate passion to serve. A company executive says, “ the smile has to come naturally”.

               Ritz employees are continually schooled in company lore and company values. Every day at 15-minute “lineup” sessions at each hotel property, managers reinforce company values and review service techniques. These values are the basis for all employees training and rewards. Nothing is left to chance when it comes to providing exemplary customer service. Potential recruits are tested both for cultural fit and for traits associated with an innate passion to serve. A company executive says, “The smile has to come naturally”. Although staff members are expected to be warm and caring, their behavior toward guests had been extremely detailed and scripted. That is why a new customer service philosophy implemented in mid-2006 was such a radical departure from what the Ritz had been doing.

              The company’s new approach is almost the opposite from what the company had been doing: do not tell employees how to make guests happy. Now they are expected to figure it out. Says Diana Oreck , vice president, “We moved away from that heavily prescriptive, scripted approach and toward managing to outcomes.” The outcome didn’t change, though. The goal is still a happy guest who’s wowed by the service received. However, under the new approach, staff member interactions with guests are more natural, relaxed, and authentic rather than sounding like they are recited lines from a manual.

Using information from case, describe the culture at the Ritz-Carlton. Identify and explain challenges you think the Ritz-Carlton faces in changing the culture.

Summary

This question belongs to management and discusses about culture at Ritz-Carlton Hotels. Also discusses about challenges faced by Ritz-Carlton Hotels.

Word count: 520

 

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