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Measuring your Hotel’s culture – Why and how should I do it

by Katerina Santikou, Managing Director | Workathlon

Whether you are running a seasonal hotel or not, you hope to develop engaged, motivated, and excited employers who will stick around for a while. Well usually, there’s one word you hear again and again: culture. There is good reason for this – the attitude of your hotel and the people who come to work there every day has huge impact on its happiness, and overall success.

Cultivating strong culture doesn’t happen overnight—and it certainly doesn’t happen by accident. It’s easier when your staff turnover rate is low and when the hotel is operating all year-round. Let’s see how you can create a positive hotel culture and how and why you should measure it.


One thing you should know is that every company has a culture, regardless if you cultivate it or not, culture is what defines your company’s value and vision. Ask any hotel whether or not they have a culture of “excellence” and “service-oriented attitude” and they’ll claim they do, but the values and culture of your hotel can’t be described in a list of generic words. High performing hotels can meaningfully describe the ideal culture and experience they want their employees to have.

You may not see the benefits of culture right away. A hotel that commits to improving its culture today might not realize the benefits until those customers decide whether to return to the same hotel for a vacation. Culture is much more than your performance in the moment, it’s about committing to better performance in the long run and creating brand loyalty.


There have been many recent studies suggesting that a healthy company culture leads to better performance. In fact happy employees are 12 percent more productive than the average worker. If culture empowers employees to perform better in their jobs, it leads to further innovation in a hotel. This means that an employee would take the initiative to better service a customer because, in a way, culture has lead them to do so.

The challenge for most hotels is consistency. How do you keep a consistent and coherent culture when your staff turnover is high and a newcomer might not adhere to this culture? In this Guide, we’ll take you through some ways to create and measure your culture to make sure that there is alignment between corporate culture and behaviour.


When it comes to evaluating the culture of a company, some experts argue that something so intangible can’t be measured. Can common vision, goals, missions and behaviors be measurable? For a long time, measuring culture was something that was done once every six months using an engagement survey. This, however, hasn’t proved to be efficient or effective.

Culture measurement should be treated as an ongoing process. This means that in the same way you measure budget and sales planning every few months, this should be how you discuss people and culture data. At the same time, continuous surveying isn’t the best solution either. According to Dr. Jason McPherson, “90% of companies using continuous surveys can’t keep their response rates above 50% when the same people are being surveyed weekly or monthly.” So what do we propose? Targeted, effective pulse surveys.

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