Setting a goal and having the environment to achieve it

A dark, wet day in winter, writing a strategy plan and developing the goals to achieve it. Did the thoughts of warm bright summer days drive me harder to achieve this or was it something else?

Driving employee engagement in a hospitality business has to be the number one driver in the service profit chain. Driving an improvement in employee engagement might have been acceptable to some but, for me, I wanted more. I wanted to push further and for Valor to be compared against the elite. At the end of the day, that’s how all our great sports men and women measure their capabilities and strive for gold in the forthcoming Olympics.

From within me, my inner self drove me to write that goal – to win an industry award, for Valor to be recognised as the best.

A teenager asked me what I’d done at work that day and I told her about the goal. She said how come you can do that, just like that? The question made me stop in my tracks and consider the answer. How could I? It’s because the culture is right within the business for me to instinctively know I can. Relationships are built on a foundation of trust. In a business where these relationships are formed, individuals take ownership and accountability within a certain set of parameters; for us these are our values.

I shared my goal, I committed it in writing and spread the word throughout the business. Soon everyone joined, our employees answered anonymous surveys measuring our performance against the competition. Our culture is one where people succeed because their own beliefs are aligned with our values, inspired leadership allows them the autonomy to take ownership of their own roles, being creative and innovative, achieving their personal goals, driving their own performance and ultimately being part of the business success.

Valor has been recognised with the Best Place to Work in Hospitality Award 2016 and the prestigious Catey Awards, likened to the Oscars of the hospitality sector, has awarded Valor Hospitality Europe the accolade of ‘Best Employer’.

Since inception in 1984, The Cateys have cast a spotlight on the industry’s highest flyers, strongest performers and hottest brands. For more information, visit:

Follow us #cateyontour as we take this accolade around all our hotels and enable everyone who makes this a great place to be proud of what we’ve achieved.

catey statue

Long may the sun continue to shine!