Why Workplace Culture Matters in the Hospitality Industry

workplace culture

For better or worse, every organization has a unique culture, regardless of how active the organization or its leaders are in defining it. Consequently, managers should play an active role in defining their workplace culture in a way that aligns with their strategic goals and objectives.

What Is Workplace Culture?

Workplace culture represents all of the ways, both internal and external, that an organization demonstrates its vision, priorities, and belief system. Every company has one, whether the culture is developed intentionally or considered a mere afterthought. Culture includes how employees communicate with each other, their leaders, and the customers; the perks and benefits offered to employees; and even the physical look and feel of the workplace. Culture may be easy to influence, yet it is difficult to change.

Why Is Culture Important?

A successful hire is more than a candidate who has the right technical skills to perform certain duties or tasks. A good culture fit between employee and employer is crucial to ensuring performance, satisfaction, and engagement. Therefore, communicating company culture should always be a key element in a hotel’s talent acquisition strategy.

Culture is ground zero in talent acquisition because it is foundational to the definition and execution of the other three pillars that support successful hiring and retention: branding, marketing, and advertising. If culture is the observable demonstration of a company’s values and beliefs, branding is the public’s perception—including job seekers—about the organization. By integrating these observable demonstrations of company culture into employment branding, marketing, and advertising strategies, employers can build a holistic, multi-channel communications approach to improve the overall candidate experience and boost hiring and retention outcomes.


How To Build Company Culture

Although there are many pathways for building an effective culture, there are three important elements that every strategy should include: authenticity, diversity and inclusion, and reinforcement.


Just because a company intends to project a certain culture does not mean that the job-seeking public perceives the company in that way. When building a culture, authenticity and honesty is key. It’s important to avoid a disconnect between messaging around culture and the way people actually feel about the workplace or organization.

Adopt a talent acquisition approach that plays to the strengths of the things that define the company’s people, products, and services. In other words, do not try to position a company to be something it is not. Instead, position it to be the best it can be. Not every company can be the “coolest” in the industry. But an organization may have leading career development programs or offer personalization and flexibility that is unique in the industry. An authentic and honest representation of an organization’s strengths and benefits is a critical part of building culture.

Diversity and Inclusion

Company culture should be inclusive and offer diverse perspectives and experiences. Whether engaging a hotel’s management team or conducting town halls with employees, it is important to be open to different perspectives and to get feedback from a diverse set of voices. An inclusive approach to culture-building inspires team members to become active participants in the process, arms them with a sense of ownership and pride in the role they play, and creates a group of evangelists within the organization who help to spread the word about a company’s culture, in turn, benefiting recruitment efforts.


Once a culture has been defined, it must be vigorously reinforced on an ongoing basis. Reinforcement is not achieved through a company manual or with a few inspirational words posted on the wall. Each day, management should seek to intentionally reinforce and recognize the culture of the organization. Employees who demonstrate the cultural behaviors and values of the organization must be celebrated or rewarded; compensation and execution strategies must be aligned to reflect an organization’s priorities and vision; and interactions with employees and customers must uphold the values and culture of the organization.


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Ron Mitchell is the CEO of Virgil Holdings Inc., which designs and delivers tech-enabled human capital solutions that give individuals and organizations the insight needed to make better employment decisions. Over the past 15 years, he has built and managed several consumer and enterprise businesses focused on career placement and professional development.