Marriott: Building pride within the workforce

In a global initiative, Marriott International's staff are now being trained to recognise and reported suspected incidents of human trafficking.
By: | October 21, 2019

David Rodriguez, Global Chief HR Officer of Marriott International (pictured), says employees need to be proud of the organisation they work for, and invested in the wellbeing of their customers.

That’s a crucial reason he has overseen an initiative at Marriott to train hotel associates to recognise the potential signs of human trafficking, a global concern, with an estimated 40 million women, men and children victims of modern slavery in 2016 alone, according to the Global Slavery Index. Hotels and motels are often used clandestinely by human traffickers as bases of operations.

Marriott shared the training (which was developed in partnership with nonprofit organisations ECPAT-USA and Polaris, which specialise in combating human trafficking) with other employers in the hospitality industry. The company also had it translated into 16 languages and made available to locations in 130 countries. So far this year, more than 500,000 hotel associates have been trained.

“This is about living our purpose,” Rodriguez says. “And, to the extent that you’re serving a noble purpose in society, you’re appealing to the highest needs of your employees. And you cannot have an effective organisation just focusing on human capital — you also have to be concerned with social capital.”