The Portman Ritz-Carlton: Setting up our Ladies and Gentlemen for Success Prior to 1998, The Portman Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai was a five-star property much like any other in the city. Employee and guest satisfaction ranged between 70 and 80 percent, and finances were unspectacular. But after Mark DeCocinis and The Ritz-Carlton took over management of the hotel in early 1998, employee satisfaction soared, guests were much happier, and finances improved. In just a few years, then General Manager DeCocinis and The Ritz-Carlton lifted the hotel to a level all its own, using a proven business approach and sound human resource management practices. The Portman Ritz-Carlton currently has more than 700 employees. For five consecutive years, its annual employee satisfaction rate has been the highest among all of the Ritz-Carlton’s 63 hotels worldwide, reaching 98 percent last year. And while the staff turnover rate for Asia’s hotel industry is 29 percent, the rate at The Portman Ritz-Carlton is a modest 15 to 16 percent. Its guest satisfaction rate is between 92 and 95 percent and its annual financial growth at 15 to 18 percent year on year. In recent years, The Portman Ritz-Carlton has won award after award in recognition of its successful formula. For three consecutive times, it was named “Best Employer in Asia” by Hewitt Associates and “Overall Best Business Hotel in Asia” by Bloomberg TV. For the fifth time, it has been selected the “Best Business Hotel in China” by Business Asia magazine.
Mark DeCocinis: Regional Vice President, (Asia Pacific) The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
A native of Salerno, Italy, Mark DeCocinis was brought up in the United States. He brings more than 20 years of hotel experience to his position. He was formerly general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Aspen, following posts as hotel manager and general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. He has held food and beverage director positions at Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts in Amelia Island and Naples (Florida) and Boston, Massachusetts. During his 17 years with the company, Mark DeCocinis has been a member of The RitzCarlton hotels and resorts pre-opening teams in Asia and the United States. The 578-room Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai is a landmark located in a retail, dining and entertainment complex on the famous Nanjing Road. Under his leadership, DeCocinis has led The Portman Ritz-Carlton to win multiple outstanding awards. In recognition of his contributions to Shanghai’s economic and social development, DeCocinis was made a permanent resident of China last year and honored with the Gold Quality Award by the Shanghai Municipal Government. He also received the “Friendship Award” by the People’s Republic of China in 2004, Shanghai’s prestigious “Magnolia Gold Award” in 2003 and the “Magnolia Silver Award” in
Business and Talent Requirements for the Portman Ritz-Carlton’s Success As a premium hotel whose utmost mission is to provide “genuine care and comfort to our guests,” The Portman Ritz-Carlton pledges to “provide the finest personal service and facilities to our guests who will always enjoy a warm, relaxed yet refined ambience.” And this objective can only be fulfilled by satisfied and engaged employees. Mark DeCocinis, Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, has stated: The three goals of our organization are financial results, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. These goals are not exclusive from each other. They are very closely interrelated. Without satisfied and engaged employees, there is no way we could ever achieve excellent financial results and guest satisfaction.
To ensure such high service standards, Mark DeCocinis and his management team look for people who will fit the existing culture: 1) People who share the same values and purpose. “Our selection focuses on talent and personal values because these are things that can’t be taught. Our culture is special, and we...
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