Hampton Inn, part of the Hilton family, boasts 1,400 hotels that are 99% franchise-owned and operated. Hampton led the mid-scale, limited service hotel industry for years, but when its numbers began to slip, leaders needed a way to “turbo-charge” the brand.
The Business Need
After pioneering the mid-scale, limited service hotel segment in 1984, Hampton had been the perennial leader in this part of the industry. However, as its 20th anniversary approached, it had slipped from the top spot. Brand leaders at Hampton saw an opportunity to re-energize the entire brand product offering to reclaim its leadership position in the industry.
Make It Hampton was created with four touchpoints: the guest room, the welcome, the breakfast, and the 100% Hampton Guarantee. With that done, the problem became how to spread the word to its hotels. At the same time, the leaders had to convince owners and operators to reinvest in their hotels by implementing more than 100 product changes at each location.
Hampton brand leaders partnered with Root and other key partners to define and communicate the Hampton Brand Story and offer training on the culture of “Connect.” With the Hampton team, Root created a variety of approaches, from Learning Map® modules and job aids to games and conference activities. These solutions helped Hampton differentiate itself from the competition and become the first choice of franchise investors, but leaders wanted to be sure the competition couldn’t copy one basic thing: Hampton’s people.
The solution broadened at this point, when Root partnered with The Marcus Buckingham Company to create a series of 45-to-60-minute electronic learning modules based on Buckingham’s Simply Strengths® concepts. This process allows people to identify personal strengths and apply them so they can be more productive and fulfilled, thus creating an edge in delivering the Hampton guest experience. Rather than its original six-week personal journey, Root transformed Simply Strengths® into an engaging training curriculum that could be accessed by Hampton’s entire workforce.
The Simply Strengths® modules were launched to managers during regional meetings and the curriculum received fantastic reviews by the franchised general manager population. General managers were encouraged to recruit hotel staff to participate. In the plans are an updated version – translated into Spanish and French Canadian – that will include a Strengths Engagement Tracker system designed by The Marcus Buckingham Company, which allows individuals to assess their current and potential levels of engagement. In 2006, 300 trained facilitators rolled out the modules to more than 13,000 employees.