Keeping a 492-room hotel running smoothly — and its hundreds of daily guests happy — is no small feat.
Keeping its staff wanting to stick around for years might be an even bigger accomplishment.
Employees of the Renaissance Austin say the hotel’s management is able to do exactly that. The hotel, part of the Marriott chain, is the No. 2-ranked midsized employer in the American-Statesman’s 2019 Top Workplaces of Greater Austin project. It’s the sixth time the hotel has made the rankings, which are in their 10th year.
Tony Martins, a beverage and food operations manager who has worked at the Renaissance Austin for about a year and a half and has worked for Marriott for four years, said a positive attitude starts with the leadership team. The hotel’s success comes down to Marriott’s culture, which he said is “taking care of the staff so the staff can take care of the guests.”
Orchestrating the hundreds of employees can mean a lot of flexibility and moving pieces, but employees said management is open and communicative with issues big and small.
Employee also praise a benefits package that goes beyond mainstream offerings like health insurance, paid time off and 401k matches.
As part of the Marriott hotel group, employees get discounted rooms at more than 3,000 hotels worldwide. That’s on top of perks like discounted meals daily, stock purchase plan, immediate accrual of vacation days, a company credit union and related benefits, and dry cleaning for uniformed associates.
Ali Sweeney, an event manager and meeting coordinator at the hotel, said the company’s employee development options are important to her. Employees are given career planning, cross-training and development programs to allow them to prepare for promotions at the Renaissance Austin or other Marriott locations.
“I have a great team I work with and I’m trained for whatever I need, and I have the resources I need to get any job done,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney transferred from a Marriott hotel in New Jersey to the Renaissance Austin a couple years ago. Within a year in Austin, she was promoted from working at the front desk to her current position, she said.
“I can see myself having an entire career with them — and that is just starting at the front desk,” Sweeney said.
Martins the hotel promotes a team atmosphere between all departments. If one department is busy, co-workers help each other out, he said.
Victoria Spence, a housekeeper for Renaissance Austin, agreed with that assessment.
“We all work together. We all want to make the guests happy all the time, because it should be like a second home and we want to be treated the same way,” Spence said.
Spence has worked at the hotel for five years, after working in retail for before joining the hotel business. She said from the start the attention employees get caught her by surprise.
“I never thought any company would actually take time and effort to even acknowledge an employee or just the department,” Spence said.
Employees said there are often events for recognition of specific employees or departments who have put in hard work, or special treat days to reward the staff.
“I don’t think I would ever want to leave the company,” Spence said. ” This is like a second home to me. Even if I’m dealing with personal issues at home, I can always be here.”
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