The Millenium Hilton
The Millenium Hilton is a major New York City hotel (55 stories, 568 rooms and suites) located in the Financial District across the street from Ground Zero. Business travelers and tourists frequent the hotel. Employees interact with a variety of hotel guests and tourists visiting the World Trade Center rebuild and the Memorial. Many employees have worked at the hotel since the opening in 1992. They experienced 9/11 and returned to work when the hotel reopened in 2003.
Beginning in 2010, Laura MacLeod worked with hourly employees in the Food and Beverage and Housekeeping departments. Using skills and methods of From The Inside Out Project®, Laura taught employees how to improve and refine communication, both among themselves and with management.
Three employee groups participated in the program: Restaurant Servers and Bussers, Bar Staff, and Housemen. All three union groups followed the 3-step program.
- Long history at the hotel in a repetitive job.
- Over time employee relationships had become strained.
- Lack of effective communication with management resulting in employees feeling their voices were not heard.
- Employees working different shifts were never able to sit down together to constructively discuss transitions and tasks.
In weekly sessions over 8 weeks, the program steps were applied to each union group. Management joined employees for the last two sessions. The following skills were taught: problem solving, conflict resolution, use of eye contact, and analyzing/utilizing body language. Follow-up sessions reinforced the learning.
When judging the success of the outcome for the three union groups, the results used Service and Loyalty Tracking (SALT) scores and anonymous surveys given to hourly employees and managers at the end of the program. The SALT scores are based on a survey sent to all hotel guests who are invited to share their comments and critiques of their visits.
- SALT scores improved, indicating a direct and immediately positive effect on hotel guests.
- Managers reported an improved attitude in employees, as well as enhanced communication. They stated that positive steps were made and that improvement would continue, “if we all work at it.” Overall, they felt more productive and effective work could now be accomplished.
- Employees reported a more optimistic attitude about their jobs, feeling more confident as they learned to find a voice. One employee stated that the sessions had “given me the tools to be happy in my workplace.” Others commented, “face to face meetings improved relationships.” As a group, employees felt more positive about coming to work each day.
- Group cohesion improved as employees honestly confronted workplace issues and differences among themselves and with management.
- The “walls came down” between employees and management.
All this translated to happier people exuding happiness to customers and guests.