The Power of Empowerment

John’s Perspective

Empowerment will make your organization more efficient and customer-focused.

Almost everyone familiar with The Ritz-Carlton knows a little bit about how we believe in using empowerment to support (and well, empower) our Ladies & Gentlemen. Each Lady & Gentleman at The Ritz-Carlton, at all levels, are empowered to spend up to $2000 per guest, per incident.

Empowerment is less expensive than you think.

Whenever one of my clients learns The Ritz-Carlton empowerment amount, their reaction is usually, “Well, that’s fantastic you can do that, but my organization can’t afford to do the same.” But the interesting thing about our empowerment is that while the full $2000 (or more, with the general manager’s permission) could be used, it rarely is. In fact, the average actual amount used on an incident is often much, much lower. The power of all our Ladies & Gentlemen knowing that we truly trust them with an amount that large, per incident, is that they are able to make decisions in the moment to quickly resolve a guest issue or to make an experience beautiful and memorable (or both). And our Ladies & Gentlemen know they can do this on their own, regardless of their level, without having to go through levels of leadership for approval.

The amount matters less than you showing you trust your employees.

The $2000 amount is worth a lot, both financially and symbolically. And the symbolic part is what’s truly important: it shows how much we trust our Ladies & Gentlemen. It’s how much we trust them to do the right thing, how much we trust them to resolve a guest issue well, and how much we trust them to always  think of creative and memorable ways to elevate the experience. There are ways you can create empowerment in your organization that aren’t necessarily a $2000 per incident policy, that will show you trust all your employees. And if you trust your employees to care for your clients, guests, and patients, they really will.

Learn about The Ritz-Carlton Empowerment Guidelines, including how these reduce problem resolution costs and create consistently exceptional service at our one-day Service Excellence Culture course at The New York EDITION on May 31