Dad Always Said, Take Care of Your Employees

December 17, 2008

JWMarriottSrWaitStaffCAP Today is a very special day for me and for my family.  My dad, John Willard Marriott, Sr., is being inducted into the Labor Hall of Fame at the U.S. Department of Labor here in Washington, D.C.

As many of you know, my father, with the great help of my mother, Alice, founded this company, which started off as a nine-seat A&W root beer stand, in 1927.  Dad was a hard worker and our employees emulated that same work ethic.  He also believed the key to a successful business was to, first and foremost, take care of your employees because he always said, "If you take care of them, they'll take care of your customers and the customers will keep coming back again and again."

My father always made sure to take time to listen to his employees and let them know that they were a part of his extended family.  He also made sure they were well cared for.  In fact, he was one of the first employers to offer health care coverage to employees.  He hired a doctor and a surgeon to take care of their health needs for little or no money back in the 1930s.

To this day, Marriott believes it's our responsibility to promote wellness and help employees make good decisions about which health care plan is right for them and their families.  These plans include free preventive care, lower-cost drugs for those with chronic conditions and free sessions to help people quit smoking.

Through our "Know Your Numbers" campaign, we remind our associates of the importance of knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and body mass index.  They keep a record of their numbers through a Personal Health Record.  We also offer health care coaches to help associates better understand their conditions and treatment options.

I am very proud of the legacy and high standards my father left behind that are now enshrined in the Department of Labor Hall of Fame.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Dad Always Said Take Care of Your Employees


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Thank you for this story on your dads belief in taking care of those who helped his business grow. It is a wonderful story.

I worked at the Omaha Regency location after I was laidoff in 1995. I felt respected,equal and appreciated by all whom I had the pleasure to work with. This experience helped mold me into a better employee and coworker.Your father's insight into employee 's inner self were right on. If you worled you must take a dinner break because its had to focus on guest needs with you stomach empty
Well deserved award!!!
Would welcome the opportunity to wok with LEADERS again.

Mr. Marriott, I had the opportunity to meet you back at your headquarters when I was attending MBA school at the University of Utah, a campus I know you are very familiar with and fond of. I was with a group interviewing for first jobs and I ended up taking one at IBM here in Seattle. I often wonder what it would have been like to work with you and your team. I have followed you for many years and your family tradition is rich and deep - not many of those left it seems. Congrats to you and your family on this great honor - well deserved as an icon of successful and reputable business in this country. BTW, I LOVE your blog and my hat goes off to you for embarking on this effort - it is truly awesome.
Blaine Millet

my father william gladstone marriott had
the same philosopy as you tout and had
countless friends because of this.keep up the good work.
George W. Marriott

Mr. Marriott - I appreciate your post on the importance of taking care of your employees. I think it is a greater challenge for companies to do that during tough economic times, however, these times do reveal more of the heart of a company. I have worked for a several well known companies and I rarely find your philosophy permeating down to the front lines of the organization.

hi everybody .. all the best all mart hotels stff.. god bless y and happy new year 2009.. live long life...

We have been staying at the Residence Inn in Andover, Ma. since Oct. 30, 2008 because of a fire in our condo building, which will be a long term stay. We must say that the staff here is a credit to your hotel chain and your philosphy. To a person they have been friendly and helpful. It feels like our home away from home.
It would be great if all your hotels could have guest recycling. We do that at our condo and saves considerable money.

Mr. Marriott I believe we met when the new Motel was being built about 1957/1958 (now closed)NEAR the Roslyn Va. Motel close to Alexandria. My Dad had the contract to mount the clothes/suit case racks and you had him bend all the lamp brackets so the shades would cover the lamps already purchased. I think Dad charged you .75cents for each and he paid me .50cents to do this. I remember having to return the master key to only you at the end of the day. That was some time ago and we both are a lot older. I still use Marriott and have great memories of the Hot Shoppes in Roslyn. God bless you and hopefully you and the Marriott Company will prosper in 2009
Jim Clarke

Congrats on a job well done and for all of these many years of serving the world. As a hospitality professional myself and an owner of Inn I must agree with father, he was right on. The employees of a great company are they're greatest asset, unfortunately the business schools of today have failed to teach that wonderful principle. Congrats to read that your company continues to operate with such values and congrats on your fathers induction.

Dear Mr. Marriot
You deserve it. Congratulations.

I just read the comments about your father and his commitment to employees, re: December 17, 2008, Dad Always Said, Take Care of Your Employees. I work for The Southern Company and we have always considered that our employees are Our most valuable asset. I continue to believe one of the reasons The Southern Company has chosen to partner with the Marriott chain of hotels is because of the employees that work for your organization. As I occasionally travel around the country, I take the time to pay close attention to not only the way I'm treated by employees, but by the way they treat others around me. When their behavior is consistent, I know that there is a commitment to customer loyalty and their inherent value. Please continue this mindset relative to your employees by recognizing their actions and rewarding them accordingly.
C. Leroy Meacham
Alabama Power Company
Sr. Power Delivery Specialist
600 North 18th Street
10N-0735
Birmingham, AL 35203 Take the time necessary to work the job safely!

I have been a loyal Marriott customer traveling the U.S. for over ten years and Marriott is consistently the best by far! I created a patent pending/trademarked business concept that I know Marriott would definitely see as an on the MOVE opportunity and in a huge market that is completely untapped. I am a Director of Sales for a Diagnostics company with highly successful experience in sales and marketing. I would like to speak to the powers that be at Marriott because I am partial to the Marriott family history and my long history of Marriott being my home away from home, and a potential business opportunity for both parties, my family and Marriott. Please contact me to discuss if possible. It fills a huge unfullfilled need! Thank you for my home away from home!

It was truly inspiring reading the story of your father and his dedication and
commitment to his employees. I truly believe that Marriott will continue to show innovative approaches in hotel management and hospitality. The employees that we have met in our Marriott stays have always demonstrated that their work
was more than a job, in fact, they have make us feel at home away from home at each and every stay. Thank you Bill Marriott,Jr. for setting the gold standard. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

After,I had read my comments,I posted on 12-26-08,and seen,I had written the wrong first name,for Mr.Marriot,I had to come back and say,I am sorry,I had typed the wrong first name,for Mr.Bill Marriott,on my pervious posting.

This philosophy is a key reason why my family and I (via my 60 nites on the road for business) make the Marriott properties my usual choice.
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It's why we always provide appropriate tips for housekeeping and/or other special services.
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And it's why we made sure our 7 year old son, thanked the housekeeper on December 26th at the Norfolk Residence Inn for making our room so nice.
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I am also blessed to work for a family-owned firm where our 3rd generation owner goes out of his way to thank his 500+ employees in many ways. I am proud to help maintain the good name of our firm for and with him.

Hi Bill
I stopped in a Marriott Hotel for this first time this year when I visited New York for my 40th birthday.
The name 'Marriott' is special to me as it is my maiden name. My sister has researched our family line back to the 1600's. Do you know where your branch of the Marriotts come from ?

It's been great to work with the marriott. I have been an independent construction restoration contractor starting my 19th year on Hilton Head Island Sc. working for the marriott. I learned early what the marriott standards were all about and have always strived to perform top quality 5-star workmanship.I want to thank you Mr.Marriott for all these years of working with your company even and without ever meeting each other! That shows that you have well trained engineers,but how i have mannaged to stay with the Marriott and so many different engineers all these years is sometimes a mystery to me.Every year i wonder if i will get a contract with your company before christmas and it always works out just in the nick of time. Again, Thanks for these 18 years of work your company has awarded to my company and have a wonderful new year.

Mr. Jim Marriott,For what I read,I can feel your deepest feelings for your dad,and his wisdom.You must have loved him very much,and it shows.I too share his thoughts on how employees should be treated.For the past 17 years,haveing owned my own franchise restuarants,I have lived by those actions towards my employees,and it was key for my business,and its success.I wish to one day,to work for your company,and build on my experiences for you.You do not just have a great company to work for,you have a one of a kind,where many employees, enjoy going to work for you,at Marriott.

Congratulation for a great achievement. I wish I will be a part of Marriott team someday.Happy Holidays and merry christmas to you.

Congratulations! In my opinion, employees are the most important thing to every company. I've been hounded by nearly everyone I know about it, they say Customers are the most important. Seems a little backwards to me...who's going to take care of the customers and make sure they come back...Happy employees, I think so! Congrats once again ... I'd be proud too.

I worked for Marriott for 23 1/2 years before the Food Service Management division merged with Sodexho. I was lucky enough to still get my 25 years of service credited, so that I could be a member of the Quarter Century Club. I still carry the card in my wallet that lists the values your father passed on to you when you took the reins of the company. I still practice these values today at Sodexo. Your father once said, We are not in the food service business serving people, we are in the people business serving food. Too many businesses have lost their way regarding customer service. I sincerely hope that the Marriott family will always controll the reins of this company. It just would not be the same without a family member at the helm. Another thing, your father employed minority workers long before the buzz word of diversity. Not just employed, but valued their service and promoted from within. He truly is a legend in the business world that may never be duplicated.

Mr. Marriott, I just sent a note to the manager of one of your hotels in CT. I wanted to share it with you.
Dear Stacy,
I wanted you to know that I was very impressed by your new GM, Nicole ********. I work for Kaiser Permanente and offer healthcare to Marriott in regions outside of your area. In any case, I spend quite a bit of time on the road and always stay (if I can) at a Marriott property. I am never disappointed with the service or the associates who always are helpful. This last trip was a bit different in the sense that a GM did a wonderful thing to help me out. I had traveled up to CT without taking my computer bag or tote bag. I was visiting a client and used a laundry bag to hold my computer. I realized as I arrived at the front desk that the plastic bag was not going to work. I asked the person at the front desk if she had anything to put my computer in and she did not. As I asked, the GM, Nicole ******** was arriving at work. She immediately emptied her tote bag of her own contents and gave me the bag. She said that I could use it as long as I needed it. I returned the bag after my two day stay and learned she had just moved from Tennessee to CT. What a great start to her new job in New England! I enjoy working with Marriott corporate and have let them know what great service I received. Thanks for hiring such thoughtful people.

Dear Mr. Marriott, This award is clearly well deserved and in my opinion long past due. My first job over 30 years ago was at a Marriott property and I've been a big fan of both the company and the corporate culture ever since. Although I'm no longer an associate, I still recommend Marriott properties whenever I'm asked for advice on where to stay because I know, no matter where someone stays in the Marriott system, the quality of service will be outstanding.

My Family and I have been staying at Marriotts in the USA mostly, again I too Have experienced great personal attention by people who work for Marriott, this is the key reason why I keep coming back again, and again. Marriott just doesn't say it, you all walk your talk, I'll see you soon, oh, only one request which I think is a win for us all, please replace all sofa beds with Murphy beds!!! sofa beds are uncomfortable, Murphy Beds work for the hotel Space, and provide a comfortable bed for a great nights sleep!!! More will keep coming Back with for the Murphy Beds!! I'm not Kidding You!!! Thanks, Sean.

I am adding a comment to this post although it isn't directly related. Wednesday morning, I left MN for a trip across country to spend X-mas w/my sister & brother in law in DC. It has been a stressful drive w/storms. Last night, I stayed in Rockford, IL at a motel chain and it was unbelievably bad. Tonight, I am in Louiville and an hour ago checked into a Residence Inn. Entering my quarters for the evening was like visiting a relative's home. And, the woman at the front desk warm, friendly and professional. Nice job!