Andrew P. Newmark, VP HR, APAC, Marriott

The Importance of Putting People First at this Global Hotel Company

by
Andrew P. Newmark

Vice President Human Resources - APAC excluding China, Marriott

How does a large hotel group like Marriott recruit and retain talent? Andrew P. Newmark explains this and shares more about the company’s culture.

How HR supports

As HR managers, we can never stop listening to our associates, to hear directly about their employment experiences and what they want out of their careers, now and in the future.

Our role is to also ensure we develop our line leaders to lead with our people-first values, nurturing associates and facilitating career development. It is also critical that HR continues to play a strong business partner role with key business initiatives and organisation changes.

Having recently been through a major merger that has undoubtedly impacted our associates, it is critically evident that HR must be at the table when planning, navigating, and executing important business priorities.

Culture matters

Our culture is all about putting people first. Fundamentally, we believe that if we take care of our associates, they will take care of the guests. This philosophy underpins our people strategy and guides our decisions.

As part of that culture, we proudly celebrate and embrace diversity and inclusion, so we are able to continually attract, recruit, and retain a wide array of talented associates.

Here are two examples of how we retain and develop our associates:

We proudly celebrate diversity and inclusion so we are able to continually attract, recruit, and retain a wide array of talented associates across. We are particularly proud that as an inclusive business, we have been able to attract and retain an unusually high number of female leaders who seek to combine challenging careers with a family life. For example, women hold nearly 36% of Board of Directors positions within Marriott International (MI).

Globally at least eight women lead divisions in MI worth more than $100 million annually, according to 2017 statistics. In Asia-Pacific, close to 35% of the company’s senior leadership at the VP level and above are women. In 2014, we founded a dedicated Committee, which is tasked with organising the annual Women In Leadership (WIL) conference and other sustainable WIL initiatives. This has now expanded to include 36 WIL Market Ambassadors across 11 APAC markets.

We give associates opportunities to grow and succeed within the company—this is part of our DNA. Within Asia-Pacific, we have over 140,000 associates and each of them has the possibility of advancing their career within the business. For example, our 18 month, full-time, paid Voyage Global Leadership Development Programme for recent university graduates offers opportunities to enrich their future career by interacting with and learning from Marriott’s global senior leadership.

Our MI Careers programme provides a comprehensive learning framework across key functional levels and enables associates to see their career development opportunities and learning pathways to feed their career growth. The MI Careers General Manager Track alone has been a pivotal development ground for many of our existing General Managers.

Our proposition to our associates is that we offer uniquely rewarding and sustainable careers because we are a business that truly puts people first. Our commitment to our associates is illustrated by TakeCare, a unique programme that emphasises the body, mind, and spirit, while building a healthy and secure future. In 2014, MI introduced the #TakeCare Healthy Hotel Certification to recognise properties that go above and beyond to be a #healthy place to work.

Making a difference

In our experience, our associates are motivated through the belief that their work truly makes a difference, and they feel the pride that comes with working for the world’s largest hotel company with 30 brands and over 6,000 hotels.

Our associates are also motivated by opportunities to support the communities in which we operate in. As an example earlier this year we held the annual “Run to Give” event across Asia-Pacific. The 2017 Run to Give included 125 locations, 520 hotels, almost 35,000 runners, and raised over US$450,000 for charities around Asia Pacific.

When we prioritise our associates -- from diversity and inclusion practices to corporate social responsibility -- this ensures that our people feel valued, which cascades down to our customers.

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