Sheraton Towers’ work-life strategy is an integral part of its overall business strategy that is largely based on its philosophy of developing a ‘Caring Culture’ within the organisation. This culture is built by according the same genuine care and concern for its staff as it would to its guests. By doing so, the hotel has enjoyed a lower than average monthly turnover rate in the highly competitive hospitality industry and benefitted from an engaged and committed workforce.
The essence of Sheraton Tower’s (Sheraton’s) work-life strategy is to make the workplace “a home away from home” not just for its guests but also for its associates. For this reason, it recognised the need to engage both its employees and their family members. This philosophy underlies many of Sheraton’s programmes and activities which are extended to the associates and their families.
Work-life strategy is part of the fabric of Sheraton’s culture and is so integral that its work-life philosophy is incorporated within its corporate mission statement, core values and culture statements. At the core of its work-life philosophy is the tenet of “Care”. Sheraton believes that to build a Caring Culture, the same care and respect accorded to guests must first and foremost be extended to its associates. The associates reciprocate by serving guests with the Sheraton difference, making ordinary service encounters extraordinary.
Sheraton takes a holistic and systematic approach in creating its work-life strategy. A comprehensive health and wellness framework was implemented to identify employee needs, implement programmes targeted at different groups of employees and track them to measure effectiveness.
The hotel organises annual complimentary health screenings for its associates and the screening report is analysed to identify worrying trends in the organisation. Intervention programmes, such as health talks and healthier food options provided at the cafeteria are thereafter implemented to address these trends.
Stemming from management’s belief in the importance for family members to be aware of the employee’s work environment, associates are also encouraged to involve and invite their family members in some of Sheraton’s health and wellness activities.
Sheraton’s work-life programmes and activities are regularly reviewed and refined, taking into account staff feedback and changing needs.
The senior management takes the lead in building a sustainable caring culture where Key Performance Indicators based on “Care for Associates” are built into the managers’ annual appraisal system. Quantitative indicators are also put in place, tracked and reported regularly at management meetings to support and measure the impact work-life programmes have on Sheraton’s bottom line.
Since implementing its work-life strategy, Sheraton has seen improvements in its performance and a rise in its Associate Satisfaction Index. With a management who is deeply committed to providing its associates with a caring environment for them to learn, develop and grow, Sheraton has proven to be a great workplace.