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Although few hospitality organizations are listed in the annual survey of Fortune magazine’s one hundred best companies to work for, an analysis of companies with similar operating challenges provides clear direction for hospitality and service companies’ human resource practices. This study examined twenty-one companies, including one food-service firm (Starbucks) and three hotel chains (Four Seasons, Kimpton, and Marriott). The remainder of the companies analyzed were grocery and health care organizations, both of which share human resources issues with the hospitality industry, such as long operating hours, relatively high turnover, and relatively low pay. The innovative human resources practices isolated in this analysis were a culture that emphasizes the value of people, scheduling flexibility, creative staffing practices, people-oriented training programs, transparent and well-aligned performance management policies, and compensation policies that reflect the organization’s values and link pay to performance.


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Finalist for Best Paper Award.