Skip links

A Story of Employee Empowerment

Reading Time: 3 minutes

When a company has an empowerment culture, it can turn great employees into heroes.

Certain brands in the Kimpton family of hotels offer guests the option to request a live goldfish to stay overnight in their guest room.

The children in one family of loyal Kimpton guests had grown accustomed to this goldfish program. In the elevator on the way up to their room, the children voiced their excitement to meet “Speedy.”

Describing company culture is difficult. Candidates want more than just a list of buzz words. Check out Words to Describe Company Culture to break the list and give candidates what they want. 

Josh, the bellhop accompanying the family in the elevator, quietly frowned when he realized what the children were talking about. This particular hotel brand didn’t have the same goldfish program that other Kimpton brands had. It pained Josh to know that the children would be disappointed when they got to the hotel room. Sure enough, when the family and Josh entered the room, there was no sign of Speedy. The children were heart-broken.

Later that day, Josh saw the family leave the hotel to go to dinner. At this time, he ran (on foot!) a mile-and-a-half to a nearby Kimpton hotel — a brand which he knew had the goldfish program. Josh scooped up a goldfish and ran back to his hotel, where he subtly put the goldfish in the room of the young family.

When the family returned to the hotel, they were delighted to find Speedy made it to their room after all!

Did the hotel have a policy to turn to regarding disappointed customers by the lack of a goldfish program that other Kimpton brands had? Of course not. Josh took it upon himself to think of a way that would provide amazing service to the family. It was Kimpton’s empowerment culture that provided the support for Josh to be a hero.