Fairmont Hotels: Giving Star Employees Just What They Want

Fairmont Hotels: Giving Star Employees Just What They Want

Cafeteria cook Florica Radu needed a new kitchen floor. Front office supervisor Jared Aucoin wanted help buying a silver Jeep. And laundry attendant Lisandra Miravete hoped to take her mother to London.

All three Fairmont Hotels & Resorts employees are winners of the company's new recognition program for hotel workers. An employee- of-the-year program on steroids, Fairmont's new initiative offers two staffers from each of its 55 properties a $5,000 reward. It's not a cash bonus: The two customer-service all-stars work with hotel management to come up with a gift up to that value, such as a trip to Southeast Asia or home improvements such as Radu's.

Fairmont used to dole out trips for two each year to any of its hotels to recognize a select few employees. While that's nothing to sniff at, such perks are more limited than the new program. That's why Fairmont made the change. "Our guests do not want service that's cookie-cutter," says Carolyn Clark, Fairmont's senior vice-president for human resources. "Just as we're trying to deliver individualized, personalized experiences for guests, we wanted to introduce a customized, personalized rewards program for employees, too."

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