Engaging employees in a strategic journey

Hyatt: Engaging employees in a strategic journey

Challenge:

Hyatt Hotels Corporation recently restructured its organization to be more agile and responsive to ever-evolving guest needs and to bring decision making and accountability closer to the guests. We were brought in to help Hyatt engage its employees in understanding and finding their roles in the strategic journey leading to “Guest Preference.”

Hotel general managers are the organization’s single largest stakeholder group beyond shareholders and absolutely central to reaching Hyatt’s base of 80,000 employees. Hyatt’s leaders thus decided to convene all 400 GMs for the first time in five years to launch the strategic journey around three key drivers of differentiation and preference: Brand, Innovation and Execution.

Actions:

  • Developed the Hyatt Hotels strategy story to set a context for recent changes and the journey forward.
  • Established the theme and content “arc” for the general managers meeting.
  • Constructed meeting content with a mix of presenters and media, including:
    • Outside thought leader perspectives.
    • A mix of presentation styles for executive presentations, including unexpected visuals, live animation and minimal slide support.
    • Videos to capture the voices of employees and guests not present at the meeting.
    • A covenant/commitment from GMs to the CEO.
    • A “journey map” created live throughout the meeting and distributed to participants with four learning modules so leaders could take what they learned back to their teams.

Results:

  • Through surveys on the meeting app, general managers said the meeting provided clarity about the strategic priorities and their role in implementation.
  • Hyatt executives, including the CEO, CMO and chief innovation officer, suggested the meeting was the most successful they had conducted – crediting the structure provided by Hyatt’s strategy story.
  • The post-meeting assets (Journey Map and learning modules) were heavily accessed in the weeks following the session and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive about their effectiveness with hotel teams.

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