Empowering Employees to Create a Unique, Memorable and Personal Experience for Every Guest

  • September 26, 2023

The third of the 12 Ritz-Carlton Service Values is, “I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests.”  As with every element of the Credo Card, this one may be a short phrase, but it is packed with meaning. 

  • “I am empowered…” Consistent with the other Service Values, Service Value 3 is also written in the first person to express ownership; however, let’s take a closer look at the wording, “I am empowered…” So who is empowering employees?  Empowerment doesn’t materialize on its own.  It requires leadership buy-in, encouragement and support.  The first part of this Service Value is a nod to the responsibility leaders have in this effort.  When a Lady or Gentleman joins The Ritz-Carlton, it is very possible they have never held a role in which they are empowered.  Even if they have, it is likely not the level of empowerment that is present at The Ritz-Carlton.  It’s up to our leaders to instill a sense of empowerment in every employee from day one. 
  • Unique.  One of the things that Ritz-Carlton guests have come to expect is that no two hotel stays are the same.  Ladies and Gentlemen strive to create a unique experience each time.  Guests look forward to every stay with anticipation and excitement, ready to see what thoughtful touches the Ladies and Gentlemen will have in store for them. 
  • Memorable.  The phrase “Let us stay with you” permeates much of Ritz-Carlton marketing and branding materials, but it’s not just a tagline.  The experiences Ladies and Gentlemen create for our guests are unforgettable.
  • Personal.  An experience can be both unique and memorable, but if it isn’t also personalized, the effect is not as powerful as it could be.  Ensuring that each experience a guest has is also personal, Ritz-Carlton Ladies and Gentlemen demonstrate genuine care and deliver on the promises outlined in our Credo.

Empowerment in Action

Here’s a quick and very simple example of empowerment in action at The Ritz-Carlton.

A guest was checking in to The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. and mentioned a specific coffee she enjoyed from Starbucks.  One of our Ritz-Carlton Ladies overheard the comment, stopped what she was doing, and discretely left the hotel.  She walked to the closest Starbucks, purchased the guest’s beloved cappuccino with caramel, and immediately delivered it to the guest’s room.  The guest was blown away by the thoughtful gesture and by the fact that she had only mentioned the coffee minutes earlier.

This would not have been accomplished without empowerment.  The employee was empowered to stop what she was doing for a few minutes.  She was also empowered to purchase the coffee.  She clearly had the trust of her leadership to make these decisions, and her actions resulted in a wonderful moment of connection with this new guest, who ended up writing a lovely letter about the experience and continues to be a brand advocate to this day.

There are countless other stories of empowerment within the Ritz-Carlton brand.  They are a source of pride and inspiration for our Ladies and Gentlemen. 

The Bottom Line:

Empowerment plays a key role in creating memorable moments that truly do last a lifetime.  Many of these moments, to have maximum effect, must be designed and executed quickly.  This level of seamless service would not be possible if a Lady or Gentleman were required to check with a manager every step of the way. 

The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center models Service Value 3 by ensuring every client, whether you are attending a virtual or in-person workshop or inviting one of our keynote speakers to your organization, enjoys a unique, memorable and personalized experience.