The "Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co." case study describes the launch of a brand new hotel, concentrating on the initial mixture of leadership, quality processes, and values of self-respect and dignity, which are required to produce award-winning service.
Sandra J. Sucher; Stacy McManus
Harvard Business Review (601163-PDF-ENG)
March 20, 2001
Case questions answered:
Case study questions answered in the first solution:
- Evaluate the effectiveness of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.’s training and development system. To what extent does the system create the leadership, values, and culture of the Ritz? What specific aspects of the training program help new recruits understand what it is to be a Ritz employee?
- How do you balance quality standards against the need to empower employees to customize their responses to specific situations? Give specific examples as they relate to the Ritz.
- Do you think this training approach would work in other service industries? Why or why not?
Case study questions answered in the second solution:
- Why is it important for Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. to insist that employees not think of themselves as servants, but rather as ladies and gentlemen?
- In what ways does Ritz-Carlton engage in relationship marketing?
- Is quality at Ritz-Carlton cost-effective? Even if it costs $2,000 an incident?
- Should Ritz-Carlton attempt to move toward the president’s goal of 100 percent customer satisfaction? Why or why not?
- How could the Ritz-Carltons’ credo and principles of customer service be applied to (a) haircare salons, (b) banks?
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Case answers for Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.
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1. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.’s training and development system. To what extent does the system create the leadership, values, and culture of the Ritz? What specific aspects of the training program help new recruits understand what it is to be a Ritz employee?
The effectiveness of Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.’s training development system can be analyzed using Kirkpatrick’s and Philips frameworks. Starting with evaluating reactions, Ritz’s training system uses an event, “Day 21”, where employees have the chance to discuss their training experience, whether it has lived up to expectations, and give a general feedback. Some may argue that 21 days might not be enough for an employee to benefit from the training system and provide good feedback properly. For instance, based on the working experience I have undertaken so far, I believe that at least a month is needed to understand the general working environment, especially in big organizations.
Despite this, the 7 Day Countdown training is appealing, as it builds motivation by extraordinarily welcoming employees. The learning process is articulated by high ranking executives, such as McBride and Schulze, inciting higher confidence in the process. Gold Standards and Service Philosophy are conveyed with conviction by illustrating them with real-life examples and brochures such as the “Paper Palm”. Schulze, himself, observed training progress and helped struggling employees, a notable way to show new recruits the way work is done at Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. The company’s motto, “We are Ladies and Gentlemen, Serving Ladies and Gentlemen,” influences orientation, which is delivered in a respectful manner, building on the culture of the Hotel.
Testimonials from employees provide even stronger evidence of the general consensus that talent is respected. Also, by having hands-on mock trials, enables employees to use the knowledge acquired during the training through trial and error. On the contrary, measurement of pre-training performance is absent, which doesn’t allow post-training evaluation to identify if employees had overcome difficulties such as previous work experience interference. Even though the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. has earned well-known awards for its performance and quality, it…