Winner in the Human Resource Management/Organisational Behaviour Category at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2019
Winner of the Fifth AESE Case Writing Competition - 2015 Organized by AESE Business School, Portugal
Winner of the 2015 oikos Global Case Writing Competition (Sustainable Finance track), organized by oikos International, Switzerland

Employee Training & Development at Ritz-Carlton: Fostering an Exceptional Customer Service Culture

Employee Training & Development at Ritz-Carlton: Fostering an Exceptional Customer Service Culture
Case Code: HROB165
Case Length: 15 Pages
Period: 2000-2013
Pub Date: 2014
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization: Ritz Carlton
Industry: Hospitality
Countries: US; Global
Themes: Training and Development, Organizational Culture, Organizational Behavior, Customer Service
Employee Training & Development at Ritz-Carlton: Fostering an Exceptional Customer Service Culture
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


A guest visited St. Thomas on a client incentive trip along with his girlfriend and checked in at the Ritz-Carlton. One day, during his stay at the hotel, he decided to rent standup paddle boards for a little fun on the beach. While paddling, he lost his balance and plunged into the water, losing his sunglasses in the process. Later that afternoon, a member of the hotel staff approached him and asked him if he had lost his sunglasses. When he said he had, the hotel staff handed over the missing sunglasses to him. Though the guest had not mentioned the sunglasses to anyone, one of the staff had overheard him talking about it. Some of the hotel staff indulged in a little snorkeling later in the day and recovered the glasses. Needless to say, the guest was delighted as it was way beyond his expectations. Such instances were a daily routine at the Ritz-Carlton hotels worldwide. The fulfillment of guests’ unexpressed wishes and needs formed a part of the Ritz-Carlton mystique.

Ritz-Carlton was often cited as an example of a service company that had successfully leveraged the potential of its human resources to achieve excellence. It was also ranked first in the 'Training Top 125 Winners' list published by Training magazine in February 2007. The recognition was given based on the comprehensive training program that all its employees were asked to undergo to achieve service excellence. Ritz-Carlton was known for its sophisticated and elegant ambience and the exemplary quality of its service. The company cultivated its reputation by training its employees to provide high quality service that conformed to precise specifications and standards. The company invested sizeable resources (10% of its total payroll expenses 3 ) in employee training and in developing the potential of its employees. It was one of the best employers in the US and had a voluntary attrition rate of 18% 4 , which was significantly lower than the industry standard. According to Mandy Holloway (Holloway), senior director of global learning at Ritz-Carlton, "We take training and learning very seriously. We focus on the design of learning, measured competency, and whether the skills learned are truly being delivered to the customer."

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