"The magic is in having the right staff"

How Ennismore attracts and retains people that provide exceptional hospitality

This week, we’re looking at how Philippe Zrihen, head of Ennismore Americas - one of the world’s largest operators of lifestyle brands - thinks about brand experience, recruiting, and leadership. 

Attracting the right people

Experience design is important, but at the end of the day, operating successful brands comes down to the people providing hospitality.

"The magic is in having the right staff,” Zrihen shared. “We’re only as good as who we can recruit, and we recruit by having an operating philosophy that says we're all here trying to provide a fun, non-stuffy lifestyle in our hotels.”

Staff are the first point of contact with guests, and their job is to ensure they are attentive to providing the experience guests are looking for.

Cultivating the right culture

For Zrihen, success begins by attracting the right people but it’s critical to build on that by developing a culture where those people thrive.

That starts with empowering people to speak their minds. “I say to people, no matter what role you have in the company - share what you’re seeing and observing. Share your different views. Let’s talk about it."

That sort of engagement not only betters the work culture but also betters Ennismore hotels because everyone on the team - at all levels - is thinking every day about how to improve the experience.

This philosophy affects how Zrihen and his team recruits, because they are looking for people who are going to be able to speak their mind. “The culture perpetuates itself if you do this and actively encourage participation.”