How many organizations would consider the collective knowledge of their workforce among their important assets? Every day your workforce uses their intelligence to perform their duties and support your organization’s mission. Because your employees are busy, they rarely take the time to share their knowledge with their coworkers or industry counterparts. The result is a missed opportunity to share ideas, learn skills and help others grow as individuals and employees.
The Ritz-Carlton enables our Ladies and Gentlemen to share their knowledge through a platform that is referred to as Lions Share. The purpose of Lions Share is to communicate and improve upon best practices. Every employee has access to Lions Share’s repository of best practices and solutions used by other Ritz-Carlton properties around the world. Chances are if a property is encountering an issue, others have faced a similar situation. By sharing this knowledge, we can quickly resolve issues with positive business outcomes.
According to Ralph Sibanda, Area Manager, Performance Improvement for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C., “Lions Share is a great platform we have for recording and sharing our best practices from all our hotels. It’s the first place to stop if you are facing an operational challenge within your area, because it’s more than likely someone else had the same challenge and came up with a good idea to overcome it, or it will give you the beginnings of an idea to help you succeed.” He also believes in the accessibility of the program. He notes, “A great solution from one hotel may be input by a Front Desk agent, for example, and then benchmarked by an Area Vice President to share with other hotels.”
Lions Share offers more than great ideas to overcome challenges; it also holds best practices from other properties that enhances the guest experience, increases revenue and captures cost savings. One of the advantages in having Lions Share accessible to everyone is that the top performing submissions have been tested in various regions and have proven results.
Janet Souter, Vice President Quality for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, sees the future of the Lions Share as providing more social interaction between the Ladies and Gentlemen working around the world. The workforce would be able to share how they have refined or adapted the process to their property if they could “Like” or leave comments. Ms. Souter loves witnessing the evolution of ideas that come from the Lions Share. She has observed, “When I travel around to our properties, I ask our top performing hotels to tell me the secrets of their success, and it never fails. They have at least three or four initiatives they have put into place as a result of benchmarking other properties on Lions Share. The result of this is that they get a great idea from another property and then they continue to refine the process and make it their own and even better.”
Encouraging Employee Participation
In today’s competitive environment, the ability to collaborate as a team is critical for individual and organizational success. True innovation requires collaboration. When you are able to publish an idea or a process and gather feedback from different departments or even geographic locations—the idea takes on a life of its own. Growth is organic and through the evolution of testing and reporting, a good idea at one location becomes a great idea company-wide.
A collaborative culture not only improves organizational processes, it also encourages employees to look for ways to improve the organization. Employees take on a more active role when they see their ideas are valued and impact your organization.
The best way to create a culture of knowledge-sharing is to first practice it at every level. The more senior management uses it, the more effective it will become in changing the culture. Second, put in place the knowledge-sharing technology and train and educate people in its effective use. An innovative and collaborative culture cannot be launched overnight. However, with the right tools and guidance, you can create the opportunity to harness the talent and intelligence of your team into a usable format. How efficient would your organization be if your workforce had a place to share their knowledge? ∞
The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center offers advisory services, courses and presentations to organizations that wish to benchmark the award-winning business practices of The Ritz-Carlton. Your organization can learn about The Ritz-Carlton methodology for customer service, employee engagement and leadership development. We also guide organizations through a multi-step process in order to achieve sustainable culture transformation.