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Travel and hospitality

Four Seasons, Marriott praised as “great place to work legends” by Fortune

March 9, 2017

Image courtesy of Four Seasons New York Image courtesy of Four Seasons New York


For the past 20 years, Four Seasons and Marriott International have been cornerstones of Fortune’s annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in the United States rankings.

Since 1998, Fortune has published a list of companies revered for workplace culture and overall treatment of employees. Based on Fortune’s 20 years of research, its analysts believe that the future of workplace culture will rely on three key trends: a fairer workplace for all employees, increased focus on developing all employees and a deeper sense of purpose for all employees.

Working for the best
For the last 20 years, a group of 12 companies have appeared on every 100 Best Companies to Work For ranking, earning the title of “Great Place to Work Legend.” The placement of these brands demonstrates the importance of workplace culture, showing that if excellent policies are put into practice the impact is long lasting.

“Winning a spot on this list indicates the company has distinguished itself from peers by creating a great place to work for employees,” said Fortune in its report. Fortune surveys employees anonymously to build its ranking.

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International Hotels & Resorts and department store chain Nordstrom are found within the dozen mainstays. The remaining include Goldman Sachs, Cisco, Publix, REI, SAS, TDIndustries, Gore, Wegmans and Whole Foods.

In a statement, Four Seasons’ president and CEO J. Allen Smith said, “Being named as an employer of choice by our employees for 20 consecutive years is a tremendous honor, a great source of pride and a testament to the strength of our culture.

four employee

Four Seasons, Tokyo employee

“It is the people of Four Seasons, their love of hospitality and the passion they bring to their work that have made this company legendary,” he said. “Many things can be taught; the extraordinary capacity for empathy that is shared by Four Seasons employees cannot be.”

Four Seasons, which placed 79th out of 100 overall, operates on the “golden rule” of treating others how you would like to be treated.

Fellow hospitality brand Marriott International placed 33rd and Nordstrom placed 94th.

Marriott notes that by treating employees well, they will in turn pass along that level of care to guests.

"Since the founding of our company, associates have lived our core value of putting people first," said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott. 'They have contributed to creating a family-like, inclusive culture that welcomes all guests and has led to business success."

As brands become increasingly transparent in their business practices, employee benefit programs have been put into the limelight, with many groups publicizing initiatives intended for work-life balance.

Sustainability is as popular as ever, with luxury conglomerates such as Kering Group and LVMH emphasizing and sharing their ethical, environmentally friendly efforts to demonstrate their corporate social responsibility to consumers. Internally, employees are a brand's most valuable and vocal advocates as they live and breathe the ethos of a given house, making quality of life while at work an important support factor, especially as many brands struggle to find and retain talent (see story).