Tulip Media Group

The Gold Standard for Company Culture


The Ritz-Carlton has won award after award for its best-in-class customer service. With 108 locations in 30 countries, the luxury hotel chain is known around the world as one of the most lavish places to stay. In this issue of TMMarketing Magazine, I’d like to share with you the company culture that enables the Ritz-Carlton to be so spectacular. 

My Experience at the Ritz-Carlton

I was drawn to study the Ritz-Carlton culture because I’ve actually had the pleasure of staying in two Ritz Carltons for a week each time. Back in 2008, I stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Cancun, Mexico, and in 2010, I stayed at the Grand Cayman Ritz-Carlton in the Cayman Islands.

Before company culture even crossed my mind, there were instantly things I noticed that were so different about these hotels. For one, their staff called me by my name. They had put in the effort to learn my name before I even got there and made sure everyone on shift knew who I was. Another difference was that if any employee was in the hallway when I was walking to and from my room, they would always make eye contact and greet me warmly. If the maid was vacuuming, she would turn the vacuum off to stand up and make me feel welcome. I remember feeling like complete royalty during each of my stays.

Fast forward eight years to when I started studying company culture. Ritz-Carlton was on my list because of the incredible experiences I had there. The two books I read to learn more about the Ritz-Carlton culture were Excellence Wins by Horst Schulze and The New Gold Standard by Joseph A. Michelli. I highly recommend both of these reads. It was quite fascinating digging into their company and learning about the culture that fuels the “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”

The Gold Standard

The Ritz-Carlton hotel chain is driven by an unwavering commitment to service, both in their hotels and in their communities. That’s how they’ve earned their five stars and a reputation for luxury around the world. After reading about Ritz-Carlton, I learned the recipe for its renowned customer service lies in a strict adherence to its “Gold Standard,” which can otherwise be referred to as the company’s Core Values. Three key factors comprise the Ritz-Carlton Gold Standard: the Credo, the Motto, and the Three Steps of Service.

The Credo

Ritz-Carlton is clear on its mission. Not only does the company define its number one priority as guest care and comfort but it also vividly describes the atmosphere it seeks to cultivate and its expectations for the Ritz-Carlton experience. Having this clear vision of a “warm, relaxed, yet refined” atmosphere and an experience that “enlivens the senses, instills well-being, and fulfills even the unexpressed wishes and needs of guests” gives everyone in the organization a precise objective for delivering remarkable service.

The Motto

The Ritz-Carlton motto is memorably “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” Not only does this distinguish the company’s staff but it also puts customers and employees at an equal stature. This is one way the Ritz-Carlton reminds its staff of their incredible value as part of the organization and as individuals. 

Three Steps of Service

The luxury hotel chain has three key steps of service that mark its patron’s journey. First, every guest receives a warm welcome. Second, guests are addressed by name and each team member is expected to anticipate and fulfill their needs throughout their stay. Finally, every guest departs with a fond farewell from the team. This simple map for a successful stay provides a consistent blueprint for Ritz-Carlton staff to follow in every location.

Team Empowerment

Employees at the Ritz-Carlton are valued. In fact, the company considers them its most valuable asset. The employees at the Ritz-Carlton are so important that the company vows it will apply the principles of trust, honesty, respect, integrity, and commitment to nurture and maximize the talent of each individual to their own benefit and to the benefit of the company. 

To achieve this, the company provides each employee with 250 hours of training each year to help them grow in their role and as people. The really neat thing about this training is that each session is delivered in a format that is tailored to each employee’s learning style. Ritz-Carlton takes the time to understand how each team member learns best and caters to them.

The company also understands that the best way to foster “unique, memorable, and personal experiences” for its guests is to trust employees with decision-making authority. That’s why the company allows any employee—from housekeeping to management—to spend up to $2,000 per guest per day to resolve a problem without asking permission from a supervisor. That alone is enough to make each team member feel important and valued as a contributor to the hotel’s high level of service.

Empowered employees have a higher level of satisfaction. They acknowledge that their decisions influence the company’s success, and they care more about their work as a result. Empowering employees with respect and dignity has been key to Ritz-Carlton’s long-standing success.

The Ritz-Carlton of Marketing

At Tulip Media Group, we aspire to be like Ritz-Carlton. In fact, we aspire to be the Ritz-Carlton of the marketing industry. We understand the importance of customer service and consistently go the extra mile to make our Client-Partners feel like royalty. We are also run by a totally empowered team. 

When you choose Tulip Media Group for your digital and print marketing solutions, rest assured that we’ll all take the initiative to learn everything we can about your company before we meet with you and tailor a marketing program that we’re confident will respond to the unique needs of your company. We’re so confident in our process that we even guarantee results for everyone that works with us. Visit TulipMediaGroup.com to learn more about what we can do for you.