When we hear the word well-being, we likely think of health and wellness. And although that is an important part, well-being encompasses so much more. Marriott International, the largest hotel chain in the world, is also consistently named as one of the best places to work and an organization with the happiest employees. There are a number of factors that contribute to Marriott’s success, but a large part can be placed on the company’s emphasis on well-being. According to David Rodriguez the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer of Marriott International, when employees feel good about their situations, they are more inspired to give back to others. Marriott succeeds on many levels, both with its customer service and with its community involvement, because employees feel a sense of well-being that they want to share with others.
Focusing on well-being is a sustainable way to do business because it helps employees feel valued and builds goodwill both inside and outside the organization. Well-being is often overlooked at many companies, but its goal really comes back to people–when employees are taken care of and have the tools to take care of themselves, they can focus more energy on contributing to the company’s culture, reputation, and bottom line. This is especially important in the service industry, where most employees come face to face with customers every day and spend their days catering to customer needs, but the principles apply to every business that wants to create a culture of happy and sustainable employees.
Marriott strives to have effective programs and initiatives for its employees around the world, but these programs aren’t what drives the culture. Instead, the idea of well-being takes on a holistic approach that is based on three core principles. These principles can be applied to companies across industry lines.
1. Employees should feel good about themselves. The first step in complete well-being is feeling good about your self, your life, and your situation. This goes far beyond just maintaining good health, though that does play a large role. Employees should feel good about their financial situation and be in control of their money. They should feel good about their career path and be able to develop their skills to work their way into bigger and better jobs. They should feel confident and happy in their current life situation.
2. Employees should feel good about the environment. At Marriott, it all comes down to feeling welcome and respected. Every employee who walks in the door should feel like they can be themselves at work and not have to worry about changing themselves to fit in. When employees are focused on office politics and what they need to do to find their niche, they aren’t focused on more important things, and it can take away from their personal and professional happiness. When people feel comfortable at work and included, they can put the extra energy into building their careers, taking care of customers, or helping the business–all of which contribute to overall well-being.
3. Employees should feel good about the company. When you work for a company you are proud of, it makes a huge difference in the mood of each employee and the overall morale of the organization. Employees want to feel proud of who they are affiliated with, especially when it comes to its mission and role in society. When employees feel good about the company, they feel a sense of ownership and work harder for the success of the company. Building this sense of pride comes from being transparent and honest and for doing good things for employees and for the community.
Corporate culture plays a huge role in the employee experience, and taking the time to focus on employee well-being and making sure they feel good about themselves and their situation can pay off huge rewards for organizations.
Learn more about Marriott & the business impact of employee health and well-being here.
My new book, The Employee Experience Advantage (Wiley, 2017) analyzes over 250 global organizations to understand how to create a place where people genuinely want to show up to work. Subscribe to the newsletter here or become a member of the new Facebook Community The Future If… and join the discussion.
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