Culture and Commitment
Hilton Worldwide President and CEO Christopher J. Nassetta is quoted in a recently published interview as identifying Hilton’s core values utilizing the letters in the Hilton name: HILTON — H for hospitality, I for integrity, L for leadership, T for teamwork, O for ownership and N for now. Fellow veterans and current service members and military spouses will undoubtedly see the correlation between these values and the military service culture. What is of even greater interest is the way in which these values play out practically.
“Military veterans and their families have made incredible sacrifices for our country, and we are strongly committed to ensuring they have great jobs when they return home from service… We’ve always felt strongly about this issue since our founder Conrad Hilton himself was a military veteran, and we are very proud of our veteran Team Members who have contributed so much to our company.” – Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton
Not having visited the Hilton headquarters before, I had in my mind a palatial building with ornate fixtures on a sprawling lawn; it is, after all, a hotel and hospitality company. What I found instead was a perfect reflection of the utility, purpose and customer focus of their founder. As Lauren graciously offered a tour of the floors and spaces, I was impressed with the service-focused function and design. One floor featured a state-of-the-art commuter space like you might expect from a tech startup, another floor was a series of design experiments and refinements for perhaps the next hotel, replete with in-progress technological innovations like a wraparound global mapping display. Executive spaces were an accessible reflection of function and purpose rather than ego. Indeed, from nearly the start of the interview Melissa and Lauren highlighted the importance of teamwork and collaboration. I was witnessing the very same “digging for gold” and “esprit-de-corps” culture that was instilled in the company by Conrad Hilton nearly 100 years prior.
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The Military Friendly® Companies survey is about identifying organizations that are not only committed to the military and veteran communities (beginning with their own employees), but also about finding corporate cultures that align well with the military experience. Lauren expanded on this concept, “I think my favorite thing I hear veterans tell us when they come in is how working here addresses one of the biggest things they miss: the camaraderie that they had in the military … at Hilton they felt like they got a piece of that back.”