Recently, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel (a hotel brand of Marriott International) hosted Journey Week, its annual employer branding programme that comprised activities aimed at attracting new talent, while inspiring current ambassadors to continuously aim higher.
Speaking to Human Resources, Zacharias Rajagopal, Director of Human Resources, Reinaissance Kuala Lumpur, said: "It encourages and inspires ambassadors to create their own future and help shape the company apart from showing potential employees why Marriott International is an employer of choice.
"Marriott International believes that a great career is a journey of self-discovery: people achieve personal fulfillment through new adventures."
He shares about how the initiative encourages employee growth, the challenges involved, and more.
- With inputs by Jerene Ang.
Q Tell us more about the Journey Week and Associate Appreciation Week?
The company’s founders J.W. and Alice Marriott saw life as a journey – from the day they set out to Washington, D.C. to open their root-beer stand, they never stopped exploring and reaching for new opportunities. Marriott International is equally committed to each ambassador’s journey, enabling him or her to grow personally and professionally with careers that flourish.
A career networking session and hoteliers outreach programme held in Sheraton Imperial on 10 April 2019, to attract a fresh pool of talent to join the Marriott family and Renaissance Kuala Lumpur involved a week-long of career coaching and tea dialogue session with ambassadors in hopes to encourage them to work towards their personal career goals and aspirations, with guidance and support from the management team.
Meanwhile, for Associate Appreciation Week, we had activities around taking care of the ambassadors' well-being and recognising them for their hard work and contribution. Some of the activities planned include preparing breakfast on-the-go for ambassadors, organising karaoke session, and having a guest chef in the cafeteria.
Q Why were these activities chosen?
These activities were chosen for Journey Week to inspire Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel’s ambassadors to continuously strive for excellence and demonstrate a culture which entails the vast opportunities available within Marriott International. Career talks and tea dialogue sessions enable senior management to share their journey and showcase their career development within Marriott in hopes to inspire others to work towards their personal career goals and aspirations.
Apart from that, it also continues to place associates at the very heart of the business by giving associates opportunities to grow and succeed and guiding them towards their goals.
Activities chosen for Associate Appreciation Week are designed to practice our core value of putting our ambassadors first. Living by Marriott’s first core value of 'we put people first', these activities are set to make ambassadors feel appreciated and valued by the company and putting aside seniority and titles within the corporation while creating a fun and exciting work environment for all.
Q How was the event communicated to staff?
The brand provides all hotels with toolkits of communication – this ensure standard guidelines being maintained, with the communication, across all hotels. However, hotels are encouraged to use creative and different methods of working with the collateral provided within the toolkits.
Within our hotel we used e-mailers, back-of-house posters, banners and decoration throughout the back of the house at all associate touchpoints and further information was disseminated by departmental leaders through daily briefings with their immediate teams.
Q What were the challenges involved?
The biggest challenge was attracting the segment of ambassadors who shy away from participating in internal events. While they are interested in participating in activities and initiatives organised, they hold back from partaking in them and thus there is only a small pool of ambassadors who are willing to proactively be part of these employee engagements.
Q What are the benefits seen?
Journey Week creates an opportunity to engage with external talents and build a stronger pool of talent with the Marriott ecosystem apart from enhancing Renaissance Kuala Lumpur’s brand awareness within the hospitality industry. It also allows our team of bright talents grow with Marriott and inspire them to continuously better themselves for their personal career growth.
Associate Appreciation Week creates greater ambassador engagement within the Renaissance Kuala Lumpur family and a stronger team synergy. It strengthens the bond between ambassadors and creates a fun work environment for them and we hope they will be proud to call this their second home.
Photo / provided