South-Western - Management  
Perks Help Keep Four Seasons Staff Pampering Guests
Topic Motivation
Key Words motivation, customer service
InfoTrac Reference A69551444
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News Story 

Four Seasons has a well-earned reputation as a hotel chain that pampers its guests. What motivates an employee to step out of his written job description and go the extra mile for the customer? Four Seasons employees do just that on a regular basis, perhaps simply because it is expected of them. Whether it involves dressing up as Santa for a guest’s child, or spritzing water on sunbathers, employees will do it.

Profit-sharing, frequent promotion, retirement contribution plans, tuition reimbursement and travel opportunities are some of the perks that the Toronto-based company offers its employees. New employees go through a rigorous training program, and are assigned both a mentor to help map out career prospects and a “buddy” to familiarize the employees with the job.

Staff regularly complete surveys assessing supervisor’s performance. Workers receive up to 5% of their salaries in a profit-sharing plan, and free nights at Four Season’s resorts. Although salaries are modest for most staff, there is no shortage of applicants for positions because working at Four Seasons is so desirable.

Questions
1.

An activity tends to be repeated if it is reinforced. How does the Four Seasons reinforce employees who go beyond the ordinary for their guests?

2.

Explain expectancy theory using Four Seasons as an example.

Source Kim Hanson, "Perks Help Keep Four Seasons Staff Pampering Guests," National Post Jan. 13, 2001, p. D8.
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