Unlocking Success Through Outstanding Corporate Culture by David Tart, Managing Partner of Raines

Exceptional experiences are at the core of what we do in the hotel industry. We want
our guests to be wowed, we want them to leave our properties with great memories,
and we want them to come back.

Delivering stand-out guest service requires the buy-in of the entire Raines team, from
our executives to our sales and marketing folks to our front desk agents and
housekeepers. But how can we ensure that our team is inspired and empowered to act
on behalf of our guests? The answer: A strong, positive, and inclusive corporate culture.
A positive corporate culture fosters an environment where employees feel valued,
motivated, and engaged. In a hotel investment and management company, culture is a
cornerstone of long-term success and sustainable growth. Employees that are secure in
their roles and vested in the company’s overall performance are better positioned to
provide industry-leading service. Further, when employees are happy and fulfilled,
they’re more likely to go the extra mile to make sure that guests have an excellent
experience. Happiness breeds more happiness in a virtuous circle.

There’s one more area where a strong and positive corporate culture is crucial:
attracting and retaining top talent. Hotel management is a competitive industry, and the
best-of-the-best want to work for organizations where they can grow, learn, and thrive.
It’s not just about a paycheck, they want to feel valued and respected. And, when they
do, it creates a ripple effect and positively impacts our entire organization.

It's easy to talk about building a strong corporate culture, but some people may wonder
what that looks like in practice. At Raines, we’ve developed and implemented several
strategies that target strengthening our culture.

Our number one priority is clear and constant communication. We are working hard
to encourage transparent communication throughout our organization and regularly
schedule feedback sessions, meetings, and opportunities for our team to connect with
management. This is critical to fostering a culture of trust and collaboration.

We have a formal feedback mechanism. We act on the feedback and suggestions
that we receive, which lets our employees know that we’re paying attention and
leveraging their expertise to make our entire organization better.

We put a strong focus on career development. We have invested in ongoing training
programs for our team members, which helps employees enhance their skillsets and
shows that we are committed to their career growth within the Raines organization.
Also, opportunities for growth directly translate into lower turnover rates, and we all
know that recruiting and training new employees is expensive.

We make time for recognition and rewards. At Raines, outstanding performance is
routinely acknowledged and rewarded through structured recognition programs. Some
employees may prefer public acknowledgment, while others might appreciate a private
thank-you note or gift. Either way, we want to be attentive to the successes of our
people. Acknowledging achievements can also involve offering opportunities for growth
and advancement.

Our employees are empowered to take ownership of their roles. When employees
feel trusted, they're more likely to be engaged and satisfied.

And finally, we encourage work-life balance. Burnout is a major problem in our
industry, and we want our employees to be happy and healthy. We encourage breaks,
limit overtime, and provide support for personal well-being.

These values are baked into the Raines organization and provide the foundation for all
that we do. Our leadership is fully committed to our culture, which creates a trickle-down
effect throughout our organization. We strive to improve upon and carry these values
through orientation and training, regular meetings, employee engagement, and
community involvement.

By consistently and creatively incorporating our core values and mission into various
aspects of our management, we can instill these principles in the hearts and minds of
our employees, supporting a corporate culture we all can be proud of.