The hotel is the highest-ranked medium company in this year’s Top Places to Work survey, and the respect management shows to its staff is a big reason the employees rave about working there.
The managers at the Boston waterfront hotel, one of just three five-star properties in the city, know that in order to deliver the highest level of service, workers need to feel like five-star employees. The hotel pulls out all the stops for its guests — filling up bathtubs with pink champagne if they so desire — and this VIP treatment extends to its employees, many of whom make their living doing the decidedly unglamorous work of making beds and washing towels.
Managers listen to their opinions, don’t second-guess their decisions, and reward “never-say-no” behavior, such as the room service attendant who ran out to buy gluten-free bread for a guest. There is always a pot of rice cooking in the free employee cafeteria for the many Asian workers who like to eat rice every day; the menu, ranging from salmon fillet to pulled pork to marinated flank steak, is created by Daniel Bruce, the executive chef who runs the hotel’s swanky Meritage restaurant and Rowes Wharf Sea Grille.
“They understand their internal guests, us, just as much as they understand the guests that walk through the door,” said chef concierge Nathan Goff, who has worked at the hotel for 10 years.
The word employees use over and over again to describe the hotel is “family,” and the abundance of longtime workers — nearly half of the hotel’s 251 employees have worked there for more than 10 years — is a big reason for that. Many of them came from other countries seeking a better life, and they found it, thanks in part to the hotel’s benefits — including health insurance, language classes, tuition reimbursement, and grant assistance – as well as to the camaraderie they have found inside the grand hotel’s doors. General manager Jonathan Crellin sometimes eats with the employees when they bring in food from their native countries, recently sharing a sunset Ramadan meal with a group of Moroccan workers.
“The women in housekeeping who came here not speaking English, that just came to America, and now they own homes and their kids are in medical school, and they’re working alongside people that they’ve worked with for many, many years,” said Crellin. “They’ve been the backbone of the culture and the feeling of the family spirit.”
Every month, the hotel, owned by Boston’s Pyramid Hotel Group, honors employees’ Milkshake Moments — named for the book “The Milkshake Moment” by management consultant Steven Little, who wasn’t able to order a milkshake at a hotel because it wasn’t on the menu, even though it turned out the kitchen did have ice cream and milk.
Hotel employees who go the extra mile to create “milkshakes” for their guests are honored at a monthly employee meeting and given a blender from Crate & Barrel and a copy of the book.Continued...