Always Moving Forward: Innovation at The Ritz-Carlton
March 20, 2023
The Ritz-Carlton has always been a brand that is not content with resting on its laurels. We take time to celebrate accolades, but we soon return our thoughts to the future and what we can do even better. Success is never final at The Ritz-Carlton. This idea is reflected in Service Value 5, “I continuously seek opportunities to innovate and improve The Ritz-Carlton experience.”
You won’t find a special team devoted to innovation at The Ritz-Carlton. Instead, innovating and improving the guest experience is everyone’s responsibility. Because our Ladies and Gentlemen are experts at their jobs and intimately familiar with the guest experience, they are our greatest source of innovative ideas.
The Relationship Between Empowerment and Innovation
As with so many aspects of our culture, empowerment plays a role with innovation as well. Here, our leadership:
- Trusts that Ladies and Gentlemen have the guests’ (and the company’s) interests in mind.
- Encourages innovation by creating space (and time) for it to naturally occur.
- Fosters a culture which considers breakdowns as critical opportunities to learn and grow, drastically shifting the lens in which our Ladies and Gentlemen approach service recovery. Innovation can often (and unexpectedly) result from instances where there are opportunities for improvement.
Without a culture of empowerment, employees will not feel like they have the freedom to innovate.
It’s Not Always About Technology
Innovation isn’t always about technology. In fact, a heightened emphasis on technology can actually detract from an experience. It is becoming increasingly important to travelers that hotels are adding to the guest experience without allowing technology to overshadow or overcomplicate it.
Innovation can range from the total transformation of a lobby space to rethinking how Ladies and Gentlemen execute a particular process to increase efficiency to something as simple as moving a table from one place to another in order to reshape the flow of guest traffic. It’s important to never underestimate the impact a small, innovative change can make.