Kathleen Taylor, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
For the 14th year in a row, Four Seasons has been named by FORTUNE magazine as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” ranking 53rd. Four Seasons is one of only 13 organisations to have earned FORTUNE’s recognition every year since the list’s inception in 1998, and it is the highest ranked hotel company on the list.
“This year we’re celebrating 50 years of luxury hospitality,” says Kathleen Taylor, president and chief executive officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Our success over the past five decades would not have been possible without our talented and loyal employees, who continuously look for ways to make our guests’ experiences memorable. Their initiative and desire to excel consistently raises the service bar. It’s truly an honour to receive this distinction once again.”
From a single motor hotel in Toronto, Canada, Four Seasons has grown into the world's leading operator of luxury hotels and residences, with 84 properties in 34 countries. Throughout its growth, Four Seasons has maintained an unwavering commitment to exceptional guest experiences. This commitment is made possible by the more than 35,000 Four Seasons employees worldwide who share a single focus and are inspired to offer great service.
The ability of Four Seasons to attract and retain the best employees in the industry can be attributed, in part, to its careful hiring process. Every time a hotel opens, thousands of rés and conducted 2,000 interviews to fill 300 positions prior to its opening in late 2010.
This process serves partly to determine skill, but mostly to evaluate attitude. Four Seasons looks for people who genuinely like other people and are, therefore, more motivated to serve them.
“Competence we can teach,” explains Nick Mutton, executive vice-president, human resources, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Attitude is ingrained. At Four Seasons, the Golden Rule – to treat others as we’d wish to be treated ourselves – is at the heart of that attitude. And we have yet to enter a destination where upholding the values of the Golden Rule hasn’t resulted in a world class service team.”
As Four Seasons embarks on the largest expansion in its history – with more than 50 projects in some stage of planning or development – it will maintain its unrelenting focus on attracting, developing and retaining the highest performing employees worldwide.
To pick the "100 Best Companies to Work For," FORTUNE partners with the Great Place to Work Institute to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. This year, 311 companies participated in the survey. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of the Institute's Trust Index survey, which is sent to a random sample of employees at each company. The survey asks questions related to management's credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third of the company's score is based on its responses to the Institute's Culture Audit, which includes detailed questions about pay and benefit programs and a series of open-ended questions about hiring practices, internal communications, training, recognition programs and diversity efforts. Any company that is at least seven years old and has more than 1,000 US employees is eligible. The deadline for applying for next year's list is June 15, 2011. Online nomination forms are available.
Being ranked on the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list is the latest honour in a year marked with accolades for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Most recently, Four Seasons was named by Gallivanter’s Guide as the “Best Hotel Group Worldwide” in their 2010 Awards of Excellence. Four Seasons properties also dominated Travel + Leisure’s 2011 500 World’s Best Hotels and Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2010, and Best Places to Stay ‘Gold List’ 2011. Four Seasons also received distinction in Forbes Travel Guide Annual Star Awards with more Five Star properties included than any other hotel brand.