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Best Workplaces in Retail and Hospitality: Team Members are the Heart of Hilton

 Best Workplaces in Retail and Hospitality: Team Members are the Heart of Hilton

Best Workplaces


Great Place to Work® is pleased to announce the 2020 list of Best Workplaces in Retail and Hospitality. To be eligible for this list, organizations must be Great Place to Work- Certified™ in the past year and work primarily in the Retail or Hospitality industry. We determined the BEST based the overall Trust Index score from their employees.

Click here to see the list

More than ever in today’s economy, an organization’s brand and customer loyalty rest in the hands of its Team Members. Building an experience where all Team Members thrive, regardless of role or background, is key to business success. Many organizations, however, struggle to create a workplace culture which is equally great for front-line, hourly staff as it is for executives.

With more than 420,000 Team Members worldwide, Hilton, one of the world’s largest hospitality chains, stands out by creating and delivering a people-first culture that correlates to its mission and vision, ensuring a values-driven, positive experience for all.

Hilton’s award-winning workplace culture has earned it more than 100 Great Place to Work rankings in the past four years, including the first and only hospitality company to achieve the #1 spot on the Best Workplace in the U.S. list, and the #2 World’s Best Workplace in 2019.

We asked Rachel Russell, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Hilton to shed some light on some of the challenges facing the hospitality industry, and how Hilton leverages its award-winning culture to attract and retain team members that create exceptional experiences for their guests.

What are the biggest challenges facing the hospitality industry in Canada?

“The hospitality sector is booming” says Rachel Russell, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Hilton. “At Hilton we opened more than a hotel a day globally in 2019 including 145 hotels in Canada. We have 68 hotels in the pipeline in Canada so we have a need to attract new Team Members with a love of hospitality.”

One of the biggest challenges for the hospitality industry in general is a lack of awareness about the diversity of career opportunities. “Many people think of roles they may have interacted with at a hotel such as front-desk, concierge or housekeeping but they may not realize all the additional job categories that keep a hotel running from sales and marketing, engineering, safety and security, human resources, culinary, as well as corporate roles such as data analytics, product innovation, design and brand development. There are meaningful and rewarding opportunities for Team Members regardless of their education levels and experience. Hospitality is a great industry to develop an enriching and rewarding career.”

How has your people strategy evolved over time to address these challenges?

“Our mission is to be the world’s most hospitable company and we truly believe that starts with our Team Members” says Russell. “We are relentlessly focused on creating a great workplace culture and environment for our Team Members. We truly believe this is what sets us apart from our sector and other industries.”

Russell adds that building a reputation as a great place to work has helped them achieve this mission. “Potential candidates hear about our ranking as the #2 workplace in the world or that we are a top workplace in their country or they might hear from their friends about what a great place Hilton is and they want to be a part of that.”

How do you ensure you are attracting and retaining the best talent to create an exceptional experience for Hilton guests?

“We are focused on making Hilton a great place to work for all, creating an environment where all of our Team Members can reach their potential no matter their position and whether they are hourly or salaried.” At Hilton, this means that room attendants, bell desk and chefs receive the same benefits and access to programs that corporate executives do.

This inclusive culture inspires Hilton’s robust program of benefits and partnerships and frames their Team Member Value Proposition, Thrive at Hilton. “In the past two years, we have launched new Team Member benefits like boosting our Team Member travel perks and invested in technology to create a seamless Team Member experience”. Examples include:

  • Thrive Sabbatical: This industry-leading program gives 10 Team Members each year the opportunity to take a month-long paid sabbatical and $5,000 to ‘Give a Dream or Live a Dream’. Team Members can enrich the lives of others through a volunteer activity or take the time to pursue their own personal goal or adventure.
  • Go Hilton: Hilton’s Travel Discount Program: Go Hilton enables Team Members and their families to experience Hilton hospitality first-hand at highly discounted rates. Not surprisingly it is one of their most popular perks for both the momentous, milestone travel moments such as a honeymoon or anniversary trip, to weekend trips for kid’s sports games. Nearly 80% of global Team Members take advantage of their travel discount program, with 12.4 million room nights consumed since the program launched in 2016.
Exceptional Employee Experience = Exceptional Guest Experience

Ensuring Team Members thrive in and outside of work is truly fundamental to Hilton’s success at 6,000 hotels around the world and 145 hotels in Canada. “At Hilton, we believe that when Team Members thrive, so do our guests and our overall business. We know that when we hire great people and give them a great working environment, they will deliver great service to our guests.”

To learn more about joining the Hilton team visit jobs.hilton.com.

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