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Hrm - Ritz Caltom Case Synopsis

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Assignment 2: Ritz-Carlton Case

Synopsis of the case:

This case deals with the opening of a new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington DC. Ritz-Carlton closed a deal for this hotel with Millennium Partners, a New York-based real estate development group.

Millennium Partners (represented in the case by Brian Collins, manager of hotels) works together with Ritz-Carlton, as well as with a direct competitor of Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, on multiple projects. The main reason for Millennium Partners to work together with hotel management firms is related to its core business, luxury apartments, for which they need height, light and views. To reach height, they need an economical solution for the bottom levels of their buildings: luxury hotels.

Ritz-Carlton (represented in the case by James McBride, general manager of the new Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington DC) is competing first of all on quality, using Service Quality Indicators and Total Quality Management. When opening a new hotel, Ritz-Carlton uses Performance Quality Indicators to identify the key pitfalls for both quality and financial performance, based on industry best practice.

The dilemma in the case is one for James McBride: Brian Collins is concerned the Ritz-Carlton opening process (Seven Day Countdown) might limit the ability to open at a maximum occupancy rate. How should McBride respond? Should he change the best-practice model of Ritz-Carlton, or could he convince Collins to stick to the Ritz-Carlton model?

Question 1: Describe and evaluate the organizational culture at Ritz-Carlton and relate this to Human Resource Management practices in general (and to socialization practices in particular)

We believe Ritz-Carlton has a good Human Resource practice in general, which is underpinned by an organizational culture dedicated to treating and developing employees as Ladies and Gentlemen, enabling each employee to treat their customers in the same regard.

Ritz-Carlton is in the high-end hotel services, with an organizational culture that puts a lot of emphasis on excellence of services. Ritz-Carlton places an important role on its staff in order to achieve its goals, reflected in the slogan of the hotel for its employees: 'We are Ladies and Gentlemen, serving Ladies and Gentlemen'. With this slogan, their employees can feel how important they are and can be proud of what they do. To deliver the message to employees that they are important and let them know that you treasure them is important to every company and in human resource practice in general. The company has a practice of 'Day 21' in which management meet new employees to see if management lives up to their expectations after the first 3 weeks on the job.

Ritz-Carlton has an encouraging development path for its employees in which they say that 'It's up to you how far you want to go'. They can take novices to the company and train them, get them promoted as long as they have the goal of personal development within Ritz-Carlton. One of the managers says that it is important that 'if they have the talent, and if they want to serve people, we can train them.', and 'if people fit into the culture'. Thus, in the end, it is important that people have the same goals and the urge to do an excellent job in servicing. The company also has several ways to give recognition to its staff, from department level to hotel level. These rewards are encouraging and are good at motivating staff from different levels and across levels. In Ritz-Carlton we can see that everyone is striving for excellent service and at the same time, achieving their personal, professional goals.

It is interesting that employees at Ritz-Carlton are trained to find mistakes and to correct them. There is no one who hides it, because it is not their culture as they say. This practice gives them a competitive advantage to achieve their goals in the sense that there are no mistakes for even keen customers to see. However, they never fine people for their mistakes. They have a strong belief in their people and communicate their conviction that employees are not there to make mistakes on purpose.

Question 2: Describe the hotel-opening process at Ritz-Carlton and evaluate this.

The hotel-opening process at Ritz-Carlton, named "The Seven Day Countdown", is based on converting new hired people to Ritz-Carlton employees in seven days by skills training and focusing them on the company culture and values. The first two days

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