Since acquiring their first hotel over 75 years ago, the family-owned Loews Hotels & Co has maintained a strong presence in the high-end luxury hotel market. In recent years, Loews Hotels’ leadership realized that having a stellar consumer reputation wasn’t enough. They knew that their exceptional team members were what made for a standout customer experience. And, that their core values set their team members up for success at work.
In this case study, we’ll explore how Loews Hotels brought their core values to life to continue to attract and retain top talent in a tight hospitality labor market.
First, communicating core values internally
Before creating an external employer branding campaign, the communications and culture team at Loews Hotels conducted their own internal campaign to spark excitement around the company’s culture and core values: Family, Professionalism, Adding Value, and Be a Good Neighbor.
Throughout all 24 properties, this effort included upgrading all team spaces, creating an internal communications strategy recognizing core values in action, and opening lines of communication to allow for team member feedback.
After a year of reinforcing core values internally, the Loews brand team decided the time was right to shift to communicating core values externally to candidates. They knew that employee stories were the best way to bring their four core values to life in a compelling way. Enter Stories Inc.
Uncovering stories that show core values in action
Each Loews Hotels property is thoughtfully created to reflect the culture of the city it calls home. Knowing that each location has a distinct look and feel, the Loews brand team decided early on to feature four different properties in the employee storytelling content library. One on-site filming and photography day would be conducted per core value:
- Chicago — Family
- Philadelphia — Professionalism
- Orlando — Adding Value
- Miami — Be a Good Neighbor
The Stories Inc. team scheduled and lightly prepped ten team members per location (40 total), representing a variety of key positions: Culinary, Front Desk, Housekeeping, Sales, Security, and Servers, to name a few.
Using our facilitated interview style, we uncovered stories from team members that showed core values in action. For example, this employee spotlight from Jessica, a server at Loews Hotels in Philadelphia, shows how she has personally benefited from the company’s commitment to Professionalism:
When she was being moved from a food runner to being a server, she asked her manager, “How do I learn about this stuff?” Instead of referring her to a book or even a colleague, he pulled out a couple different bottles of wines and encouraged her to taste them. They then had a conversation about each one, why it tastes the way it does, and how to pair them with meals for the optimal dining experience.
Delivering a core values content library
Once all the stories were uncovered, the Stories Inc. team got to work creating the core values content library. Compilation videos — 2-3 minute videos featuring a variety of storytellers speaking to a culture topic — would show how core values are experienced by team members throughout Loews Hotels. By sharing many perspectives, the videos show candidates that the value-driven culture is the rule, not the exception.
Core Value #1: Family
While many companies describe their culture as, “We’re like a family,” this two-and-a-half minute video shows what ‘family’ looks like at Loews Hotels: hospitality from the heart, the freedom to be yourself at work, and knowing that your colleagues have your back.
Core Value #2: Professionalism
In this compilation video, we hear from Loews Hotels team members about what professionalism means to them: becoming an expert in your field and taking pride in your work.
Core Value #3: Adding Value
At Loews Hotels, ‘Adding Value’ means employees being empowered to make a difference — to the company, to guests, and to each other. In this three-minute video, team members share how they have been able to make large impacts on the guest experience:
For other team members, “adding value” also meant Loews’ openness to moving them into roles that best suit their skills. Recreation Supervisor Benjamin Payne started out as a lifeguard. His manager quickly recognized his aptitude for guest interaction, and moved him to a sales position where he excelled. In his words, this shift “allowed me to direct myself to where I really should be, as opposed to where I got hired.”
Core Value #4: Be a Good Neighbor
In 1990 Loews Hotel created the Good Neighbor Program, becoming the hospitality industry’s first broad community outreach program and encouraging team members to be active, positive members of the local community.
In this video, we hear many ways team members find ways to give back…from becoming a mentor to high school students interested in pursuing a career in hospitality to improving sustainability efforts within the housekeeping department.
Employee Photo Library
In addition to the compilation videos, Stories Inc. delivered an employee photo library made up of hundreds of professional images including portraits and working shots. These images can be used across all talent-facing channels including career sites, social media, and recruitment marketing materials.
The importance of communicating core values
If your organization lives its values, uncovering stories that show your values in action is the best way to build trust with candidates and differentiate your culture.
Have questions about how to communicate core values? Contact our team and we’ll help you think through a content strategy!