Being Involved in the Planning of the Work that Affects Us

  • March 18, 2023

Several years ago, one of our hotels was undertaking a renovation of front desk area.  Initially, working together on the project were the typical expected players – the General Manager, the Director of Engineering, and an outside design firm. 

The employees who would be using the newly designed area enlivened Service Value 9, “I am involved in the planning of the work that affects me,” and asked for input along the way.  It was a wonderful idea, and the Director of Engineering built a full-scale model of the new design from some scrap wood.  Each front desk employee had the opportunity to try out the design and make notes about its functionality.  They even wrote their notes directly on the wood!  A number of their ideas were incorporated into the final design. 

What did this experiment achieve?  First, it resulted in a better, more usable finished product requiring no retrofitting or rework.  Second, because the employees felt brought along for the journey, they fully embraced the updated design.  They were fully involved in the planning of the work that affected them.

Here’s one last small, but notable detail of this story.  Did you notice the employees spoke up, reminded their leaders of Service Value 9, and asked to be involved?  The culture at The Ritz-Carlton is so powerful that the freedom to hold even our leaders accountable for enlivening the Service Values is not just tolerated, it is expected.  Everyone needs an occasional reminder.

What Being “Involved in the Planning of the Work that Affects Me” Means for Employees

Being involved in the planning of the work that affects you means you get to decide much of the HOW of your daily tasks.  This level of autonomy helps our Ladies and Gentlemen feel trusted by their leaders and helps develop them for future roles.  Having a voice in what you do and how you do it creates a sense of ownership of the job, which leads to a feeling of pride.  When we enliven Service Value 9, we also boost our creativity.  The final outcome is that the guest experience is enhanced, and our Ladies and Gentlemen can clearly see their direct contribution to that.

What It Means for Leaders and the Organization

Giving employees the freedom to plan their work benefits the organization and leadership as well.  At The Ritz-Carlton, Ladies and Gentlemen are experts in their field. They are intimately familiar with every aspect of the guest journey at their hotel.  The best ideas for process improvement and innovation come from them. 

Finally, when employees feel trusted to make decisions about how they complete their work, job satisfaction and engagement increase.  And when these factors increase, we typically see a decrease in turnover.

  • Have you ever felt micromanaged?  How did that affect your performance?
  • As a leader, how do you think giving your team freedom to decide the “how” of their jobs can impact your team dynamic?  Your organization?

To learn more about the iconic culture of The Ritz-Carlton and how its principles may be applied to your organization, we invite you to explore our Culture of Excellence offerings, available in many formats – both virtual and in-person.