By Steve Moran

I confess to being more of a Hilton Garden Inn than a Ritz-Carlton person. I see hotels primarily as a place to get some sleep and a shower in the pursuit of other things. But I have had the opportunity to stay in a Ritz-Carlton property a few times. And it is always an outstanding experience.

A little over a year ago Denise Boudreau-Scott held an amazing exclusive leadership retreat at one of the two Ritz-Carlton properties in Naples, Florida. She was doing a deep dive into how to create amazing cultures and amazing experiences for senior living team members. The learning experience she put together included a tour of the kitchen, and an amazing demonstration of what their daily stand-up meeting looks like for housekeeping. It is something that makes that team feel as important as the front of the house — because they are.

The capstone though was a two-plus-hour conversation with Ed Staros, one of the founders of the Ritz.

Culture and Experience

Since the beginning of the Ritz-Carlton chain, they were single-minded in focusing on creating a great experience for guests who would be willing to spend a bit more money for that experience. The only way for that to happen was to also make working for the Ritz a great experience.

Many books have been written about Ritz-Carlton and how they do business. Additionally, they are frequently referenced in leadership and marketing books and articles. But ultimately, everything you need to know about them is printed on the Credo Card that every employee carries with them. And by the way, if you are in a Ritz-Carlton, ask any employee to show you theirs. No ask them to give you theirs, they will. Take a look:

Ritz Carlton

“I Am Ritz-Carlton”

Crucial to all they do is this idea that employees are not just employees — they are Ritz-Carlton. What would it be like in your community if every one of your team members said and believed they were your brand?

A harder question might be this: How many team members do you have working for you that by saying they are your brand, would embarrass you?

The most remarkable part of the Ritz culture is that with very rare exceptions, team members are proud to be Ritz-Carlton. Is that true for your organization?