Four Points By Sheraton
“Being hands-on as a leader means making room for everyone on the team to contribute to the strategy and success of the business. Making this part of your culture leads to the genuine acts of kindness that clients notice and appreciate.” -Rolande Thibodeau
A $3.5 million transformation, this local hotel became the 26th Four Points by Sheraton property in Canada. A big investment, high hopes and high stakes! The big question: could the hotel culture and team deliver on it? (195 characters and spaces)
The owners were new to the hotel business. As investors, they were not involved in the day-to-day operations. They were facing a few challenges. Business had been slower than expected; their investment had yet to deliver. Also some employees had left and attracting and retaining experienced people was a problem.
The busy tourism season was just around the corner. What’s more, in less than 2 months, the region would be hosting a major international conference. The hotel business would be booming. Would they be ready to meet the demand? There was a lot at stake for everyone.
The owners had decided to hire a hotel management company (Management 2000) led by a highly experienced hands-on manager who knew the business, the people and the area. Having worked with NuFocus in the past at another hotel, the new manager called on us again to help. The approach would be similar to work we had done before. The situation demanded speed, high involvement and a strategic focus that extended to all the stakeholders: hotel guests, employees, suppliers, vendors, and community partners.
A Strategic Retreat with a Call to Action:
“Creating our Future Together”
We would invite broadly – operations, finance, maintenance, sales, housekeeping, food services, conference center, and reception – going beyond the hierarchy, silos and sectors to create the strategy for success together.
For most of the people, this was the first time that they had been invited to participate in the strategy of the organization; to define the initiatives, priorities and action plans.
A lot would get done in two days. Our goal was to accelerate and strengthen teamwork, to align purpose and short-term objectives and to drive a culture of high performance (service, quality and financial performance, growth). It was a tall order but using a host of high engagement strategic dialogue processes, everyone stepped into his or her leadership and each of these goals was achieved.
There were many poignant moments. For example, when colleagues realized what an amazing leader the head of housekeeping was – with her 35 years of service and how important her team was as a major point of contact to guests. What they also discovered is what a whiz she was at the computer. Today it’s not unusual for her to lend a hand when they run into computer problems at the front desk or when on-boarding a new hire.
Methodologies and Tools used:
- Strength based personal assessments – to leverage what each person is best at.
- World Café – aligning everyone to a shared vision.
- Open Space Technology – identifying specific strategies to deliver best quality, best service; prioritizing action steps to get there.
- Kanban Board – a way to execute and track initiatives and hold each other accountable.
- Customer satisfaction and occupancy rates consistently high
- Collaborative team approach part of the culture
- Dramatic and sustainable turnaround in financial results
- Partnerships with stakeholders continues
- Hotel complex earns the Top Guest Loyalty Score of the Year for the Four Points brand in North America
Our Case Studies are more about our clients than about us. If we have done our jobs well, the role we played in helping them institute organizational change or navigate complex business issues will be apparent in their pride and success.