Hilton CEO Talks Employee Engagement

As I showed in the previous post, only 10% of large firms are very good at Employee Engagement. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Here’s what Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s CEO, had to say about how he engages Hilton’s 500,000 employees:

I want every team member involved in our enterprise, which is over half a million team members serving our guests, [to have] a common vision, mission, values and key strategic priorities so that [they all] understand why we exist… When you are communicating with that large group of people there are challenges. But if you are disciplined about it and if you really focus on multiple forms of communications and you are consistent about how you communicate, you can get that kind of alignment.

My take: As with all of the customer experience competencies, Employee Engagement takes discipline to develop. Nassetta seems to understand this. He not only recognizes how important aligned employees are for Hilton’s business, but he also seems willing to spend his time to make it happen.

The bottom line: What are you doing to engage employees?

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA.org), and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin

5 thoughts on “Hilton CEO Talks Employee Engagement”

  1. Recently my organization launched an employee survey that truly solicited honest feedback, with the hope of 100%. To do this the Executive and Senior management really engaged with all colleagues in fun and inventive ways. (An example of this was in challenging each other to get their teams to reach 100% sooner and/or before the deadline — and the “loser” having to perform something like washing the other’s car.) We were informed throughout the “race” where each team was in a humorous manner that made reading the results truly enjoyable — 100% participation by Friday’s deadline.

    My company definitely is on the right track in engaging employees, and I’m glad I’m along for the ride!

  2. I am directly focused on Employee Engagement in my role within my department. We have created a roadmap for the program and regularly hold events, meetings, and other activities that support our goal of becoming the “job of choice” within IT. I have a committee of 33 employees that were nominated to be leaders of this program and promote our goal through their eyes. Like Shawn Fisher, we are about to launch an employee climate survey to baseline our engagement level. I like the idea of having a competition for this survey in order to reach 100% response rate…so I’m going to piggy back off Shawn and see what we can do in line with that. Great idea! In our next fisacal, we are holding an Employee Appreciation Week along side National Customer Appreciation Week…really looking forward to that! It is definitely a tough role to be in…I’m always looking for help and ideas to meet our goal. I’m fortunate to have the full support of our VP and I partner with our HR department.

  3. I agree 100% with this and would add that engaged employees do not happen overnight contrary to the beliefs of many senior executives. I have been working on an employee engagement programme within Prudential UK & Europe for 3 years now. Culture and employee engagment need to be woven into a company’s 5/10 year strategic plans, need to be consistent and communication communication communication is key.

  4. The CBI recently stated that employee engagement is the number one issue for business. Agree that it’s important to articulate an clear vision, values etc. Only by finding a way to treat individuals as just that (individual), will organisations sustainably engage their people. Number one of this year’s Harvard Business Review ‘List of Breakthrough Ideas’ was, that in contrast to the beliefs of most leaders, the key driver of employees is progress. On days when workers have the sense they’re making headway in their jobs, or when they receive support that helps them overcome obstacles, their emotions are are most positive and their drive to succeed is at its peak. On days when they feel they are spinning their wheels or encountering roadblocks to meaningful accomplishment, their moods and motivation are lowest. A really good employee driven web-enabled talent management system will help facilitate the required communication and feedback process.

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