I just sat through a two hour meeting at the Pebble beach Corporation (PBC) dealing with employee (I will be a temporary one) requirements during the mid-June US Golf Open.
The meeting focused on guest satisfaction and the employee's responsibilities in giving the best to every guest. During the tournament our peninsular hamlet of less than 50,000 will be host to over 250,000 people for a week--joining the fray is as easy as leaving town, so I did the former. And I have unfettered access when not working to watch some golf!
Sounds simple but it's not: being a good-will employee is common sense but obviously needs reinforcing.
Most Marriott associates have the skill set to make a guest feel welcome, but alas many do not. As posters on this site have noted, the actions or inaction of a few can color an entire stay.
Most of the lecture today was common sense advice--smiling, avoiding controversial or inappropriate discussions, etc. Sadly, this needs reinforcing over and over and there will be (based on past experience) a few who forget the rules.
I hope Marriott follows the lead of PBC and gives every associate a reminder of the need to serve the guest, and serve them well with a smile.
I took the liberty of changing the title slightly. The employees we come into contact with on a daily (hourly) basis while staying at a Marriott property are truly the Heart and Soul of the corporation. Who of us hasn't had a bad day turn on a smile at check in? A warm "welcome back", an action beyond the call of duty, or even simply doing the job well, Marriott employees almost always exceed my expectations. Ongoing Corporate training is a necessary tool to acheive the desired behavior, so is empowerment to get the job done. Oftentimes I find that the employee is willing to help but is not empowered with the authority to go above and beyond to provide satisfaction. My point, I feel that the front line employees are the company's greatest asset. By and large, they do the company proud!
Oh, and am I the most jealous person alive. Pebble Beach is on my Bucket List. Walking that course and taking in the wonderful sights...... heaven.
Dear Shoeman, I like that new title thanks.
One of the things that I have noticed in the nearly quarter century that I've lived at the edge (of the Pacific Ocean that is) is the change that had taken place at "Pebble" since the new ownership arrived several years back.
While it is a high-end place (rooms in the Ritz range, golf 500 dollars per round plus caddy, merchandise in the "are they kidding" price points), the place has become not just a haven for the uber rich but a good citizen within the community as well. Employee and corporate contributions to the local economy and to local charities are in the 100s of millions of dollars. PBC routinely hosts charitable events for local groups, etc.
I appreciate the philosophy of service I heard today over and over and the zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use by staff on duty. In many ways this mirrors Marriott's associate policy, but PBC seems to go one step beyond, making sure every employee, permanent and temporary, makes every guest feel not only welcome but that their expectations have been exceeded.
USGA rules prevent me from having a camera or cell or taking photos but I will post links to local sites where folks can view the course and the Open.