Hilton Makes Customers Happier by Rewarding its Own Top Performers

It may sound counterintuitive but rewarding employees is one of the first steps to increasing customer satisfaction. This is particularly true in people-centric industries like hospitality. Case in point is Hilton Worldwide.

As a leading global hospitality company, Hilton depends on its almost 300,000 employees to deliver a top-notch guest experience to millions of customers. With over 4,000 hotels and timeshare properties in 90 countries and territories, the company needed a single, consolidated view of its workforce. The overarching objective was to establish a consistent global platform for talent management. After exploring a number of SaaS solutions, Hilton selected SuccessFactors for its flexibility and simplicity.

Making the direct connection between performance and pay

With SuccessFactors, Hilton’s Human Resources (HR) staff sends out online performance management forms, and then uses dashboards to monitor completion and send reminders to managers. They load the ratings from SuccessFactors into PeopleSoft to set employees’ pay increases. “By automating and enhancing our performance management process, SuccessFactors is helping us demonstrate to our global workforce that Hilton is truly a pay-for-performance organization,” says David Mallett, Senior Director of Workforce Analytics, Metrics & Support at Hilton Worldwide.

SuccessFactors provides integrated information that supports decision-making across the company. With easy access to an intuitive dashboard that displays standard HR metrics, executives have the information they need to make tangible improvements. At the same time, HR directors can easily see the distribution of merit increases at each Hilton property, enabling them to guide managers in how to motivate better performance while staying within the compensation budget.

Mallet sums it up this way. “Thanks to SuccessFactors, we finally have a clear connection between our employee performance ratings and the types of Merit increases they warrant. That’s helping us deliver a better guest experience worldwide.”

Employee enablement is the business outcome

Now that Hilton is live on SuccessFactors, the company has a highly accessible platform that makes it much easier to perform critical HR functions such as performance management, compensation planning, and succession planning. After rolling out its dramatically enhanced performance management process to 65,000 employees around the world, Hilton reported a 95 percent participation rate and a 37 percent increase in employee satisfaction with the process.

Giving everyone fast access to the right information is what drives results. Industry analyst Christa Degnan Manning Senior Vice President of Research at HfS Research says that, “Everyone talks business outcomes. But in HR technology the business outcome is enabling the workforce. That comes from better integration and simpler user experiences to focus people back on human activities and let the software do all the automation, administration and analytics that software is good for.”

The business case for HR technology

Hilton’s experience reflects larger market trends. According to the Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey conducted by Bersin by Deloitte, the HR technology marketplace is one of the fastest-growing business segments. The market for integrated talent management systems will reach nearly $5 billion in 2014, and the market for human resources management systems (HRMS) is now over $12 billion.

But finding and deploying the right HR technology isn’t necessarily a clear-cut proposition. The same survey found that almost 50 percent of surveyed executives in over 90 countries rate HR technology as one of the top global trends having urgent importance. However, only 15 percent of those same executives said that their company is ready to address the HR technology challenge. What’s more, hospitality companies are among the industries facing qualified talent shortages. They need more than ever to attract and retain people able to sell to, communicate with, and serve customers. Technology can provide both employees and managers with the tools they require for success–provided the entire company is prepared to meet the challenge.

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Photo: Shutterstock

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