Suzie Yang, General Manager, W San Diego
What is your business background?
I have been in the hospitality industry for 18 years. I relocated from San Francisco in December 2010.
What is the best way to keep a competitive edge?
The hotel industry evolves extremely quickly, so to be innovative I travel quite a bit to metropolitan cities and stay in other hotels to see what my competitors are doing well. In addition, I learn a lot from the talent who work at the hotel and W customers. It’s amazing how much you can learn from customers.
Best advice you ever got...
No detail is too small! In the hotel industry, having an eye for detail makes a major difference. My mentor, Carla Murray, SVP of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, West Region, shared this with me. It’s the small, simple things that make a difference to our guests.
Biggest management myth...
Managers are not always more knowledgeable. I learn so much from my co-workers every day. A successful hotel is truly a sign of a great team.
How do you motivate people?
I work with people of various generations, and I think before you can motivate a group you need to understand what motivates each individual. A co-worker that just graduated from college has different motivating factors than a baby boomer. I tailor my communication to my audience. Since every day is different in the hospitality industry, I also consistently aspire to find fun ways to reward our talent for doing a great job. When my co-workers are happy, it’s the most rewarding gift.
What sets your company apart from others in the industry?
We focus and dedicate much of our resources to developing our talent and ensuring that their careers evolve through the various brands of hotels within Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The amount of resources we have within the San Diego Region and throughout North America is amazing. I have so many co-workers who have worked for the company for 15-25+ years. We take great pride in doing the right thing for our co-workers, our guests and our investors.