One of the keys to our company’s success is how we positively motivate our team members. Among those items is that we run a relatively flat organization. What does this mean? It means that there are open lines of communication among all team members at every level of the organization. It also means that team members are free to engage and communicate with their boss, their boss’ boss, and across departments.

A flat organization does not mean that there is a lack of structure or that there is no accountability. Similarly, team members still have direct supervisors and managers still have direct reports. However, supervisors and managers cannot preclude team members reporting directly to them from engaging in conversation or communication with other team members be they line level or corporate executives. While it is key to notify supervisors of these conversations in keeping with our policy of transparent communication, every team member should feel that they are only one step away from a new learning or job growth opportunity.

We operate as a flat organization by keeping an open-door policy, both physically and metaphorically. Every team member can engage in constructive conversation with every other team member be it in their department, at their property, or even at the corporate level. No one is above talking to any team members or dealing with specific situations. It goes back to some of our guiding principles that even corporate executives should be able to clean toilets or sweep floors if needed.

Through operating a flat organization, we provide autonomy to our team members and trust them to make the right decisions after proper training and coaching as may be necessary. Empowered team members take responsibility for their actions and take pride in their work. This results in more satisfied team members and ultimately achieves better results financially and through guest service scores. At the end of the day this is what increases asset value and provides greater opportunity to all stakeholders throughout the organization.