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Published:April 11th, 2008 08:53 EST
Hilton Rewards Great Performance

Hilton Rewards Great Performance

By Joel G. Block (Mentor/Columnist)

Last week while on vacation with my family, I found an incentive program being implemented across the Hilton chain of hotel properties that entrepreneurial companies should implement because it appears to be generating great results.

We arrived in Palm Springs, California, which is just outside of Los Angeles. It was our plan to spend a few glorious days in the sun. As we were checking in, I noticed a little card at the front desk that was brightly colored just begging to be read. I picked up the card that was titled "Catch Me Doing Something Great."

As I read further, it was very obvious that Hilton wanted their customers to recognize the personnel at the hotel for doing or providing services that were "above and beyond" the expectation of the guest. Whenever a customer caught an employee doing something great, they were to fill out this little card and drop it into a box. That box, then, would be sent to Hilton`s headquarters where it would be mixed with employees from the many different hotel chains that Hilton owns worldwide. From those cards, winners would then be selected randomly from all the different entries that were put into the box, and various prizes would be awarded.

I asked the desk clerk if she had gotten "caught doing something great"? She told me that she had on several occasions. I asked her if she won, and she told me that she had not won, but the contest was very motivating to her because the idea of winning a prize was very exciting. She also told me that somebody who works at that particular property did win a great vacation. One hotel employee won an all- expense-paid trip to Miami, Florida.

Isn`t this something that a small company can adapt if you have 5 or 10 or 15 or more employees? Can`t you allow your customers to point their finger at the ones who are especially great and bonus them in some special way? Wouldn`t that help to bond you to your customers? Wouldn`t that empower your customers in a way that helps to manage your store, your location or your service company with even greater precision and enthusiasm? Go ahead and replicate this program. Hilton is not the first to use it. I saw it being used 15 years ago on United Airlines.

These kinds of contests are fantastic for several reasons. First, it adds a lot of fun to the workplace. Second, it rewards people who really are doing a good job. And finally, it motivates everybody on the team to do an even better job, especially when they start seeing that real rewards and real prizes are being given away. The amount of the prize and the size of the reward is not really the most important issue. The recognition that the employees receive is really what makes all the difference.

So, as you are working hard every day to build your company, or as you`re building your career, make sure that you`re rewarding employees like the Hilton Hotel in Palm Springs did and in the same way that the Hilton family of hotels is doing worldwide. You`ll notice great results and you might just find out that your entire team has more fun every day. You will also find out that people who have more fun do a better job at their work.

About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc.
Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker and advisor. To bring Joel into your company, please visit or