Etiquette & Engagement: Receptive

Imagine if every person acted like a lady or gentleman…..

Etiquette Tip: Ladies and Gentlemen are receptive when listening to others.

Good ideas can come from unexpected sources. You may have colleagues who seem too new to the business to offer any meaningful acumen or colleagues who have decades of experience but are not actively engaged. However, when you create a culture that fosters innovation and improvement, employees are more likely to share business-changing insights. A culture of innovation cultivates fresh ideas from your staff by demonstrating to employees that their perceptions are valued and wanted. In other words—employees will be listened to when they contribute their thought leadership to your organization. At The Ritz-Carlton, our strategic planning process is one example of our collaborative approach to business. All of our employees—known as our Ladies and Gentlemen—participate in the strategic planning process and provide feedback that shapes the direction and strategic vision of our organization. Receptive leaders and co-workers—who are willing to hear others’ ideas—not only stimulate organizational development, but also increase employee engagement.

The motto of The Ritz-Carlton is “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” This motto sets a tone of goodwill and grace for all.

Dear Ritz-Carlton: Leaders by example?

Dear Ritz-Carlton: How does the culture translate into management? For example, how are management and supervision different? How do you model the culture? How are employees “coached” or disciplined differently?

The above question is from an attendee at the “Symposium: Your Journey to Service Excellence” in April. The following answer is from Jeff Hargett, Senior Corporate Director, Culture Transformation at The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center:

Photo of Jeff Hargett

The most important way that a leader can show support of the culture is to be a role model. There is not a Ritz-Carlton leader who is unwilling to “get their hands dirty” by jumping in the trenches alongside any of our employees, the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton. We look at Leadership in two ways: Leader by Title or Leader by Example. Leaders who rely on their title to give them power live in an “us vs. them” state—US the Leaders vs. THEM the workers. That view doesn’t gain loyalty or commitment from their direct reports. Leaders by Example should be everyone on your payroll. A tenured employee can be the “leader” for a new employee even when they have the same position and title. As for coaching, it involves collaboration between the leader and employee to find the best way to correct a problem or reach a goal. Discipline, although sometimes necessary, is more negative and typically leads to punishment. It should only be used when coaching doesn’t achieve the goal.  

Join us for a one-day Symposium, “Your Journey to Service Excellence.” The day includes a keynote speaker, a Q&A session with The Ritz-Carlton executive panel, an optional networking reception and presentations about legendary service, employee engagement and a customer-centric culture.

Inspired Thinking: Secret of Winning

“Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.” — Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and author

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center:

At the intersection of opportunity and preparedness is success. Those who work hard enough (and smart enough) will eventually get there. As leaders, we need to equip our team with all the tools necessary to rise to any occasion. Investing in training and showing genuine interest in each of your colleagues’ development will ensure that your workforce has the ability to give that extra push when the time comes. In our case, that extra effort is often the difference between reactionary service that yields satisfied customers and the anticipatory service that engages the customer and bonds them to your brand. This translates to the difference between the revenue of a customer who appears once and awhile and indulges a moderate amount versus a customer who comes frequently, for longer periods of time, urges others to join and utilizes all of what you have to offer. In order to move our customers to that level of full engagement, The Ritz-Carlton facilitates constant training and sharing of best practices for both individuals and teams according to their goals. By engaging employees in this personal way, we produce Ladies and Gentlemen who will go the extra mile not because they have to, but because they want to. Following up with self-audits and teachable moments, our leaders inspire and push our Ladies and Gentlemen to win over our guests every day!