HR transformation case study

Hyatt’s talent strategy transformation


A talent for caring: How Hyatt is activating its purpose and transforming culture to unlock growth for colleagues and the business


Client: Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Our Role: Help design and implement a Talent Philosophy and an associated Playbook, a resource to allow leaders to move the business forward through consistent, focused, yet flexible Talent management.
Industry: Hospitality and leisure
Services: Workforce Transformation, People and organization



Bringing purpose to life on a global scale

Hyatt had rallied around a unifying purpose—we care for people so they can be their best. Hyatt’s purpose resonated instantly within the organization because “care” is at the core of Hyatt’s DNA. While “care” can be limited to only a feeling, Hyatt sees it as more: It’s an action taken that starts with listening and empathy, resulting in caring action that leads to people being their best. With this in mind, Hyatt began to take a fresh look at how its colleagues could be their best. In doing so, Hyatt realized that managers and their teams needed a clearer framework for understanding their roles and accountabilities. They needed a simpler approach to be more consistent and confident in making people decisions (how they hire, develop, grow and reward colleagues) and how they create a culture where colleagues can be their best selves every day at work through enhanced focus on leading inclusively and creating the right environment for colleagues’ wellbeing.

The starting point? Listening and understanding the root issues by conducting extensive research with colleagues around the world to discover the leadership behaviors that most successfully drive business outcomes. With more than 120,000 colleagues working in more than 875 hotels in over 60 countries on six continents, it was also time to optimize its HR processes, tools and systems; designing around the needs of the business and removing inconsistencies and fragmentation in an effort to improve operational effectiveness and increase colleague and job candidate satisfaction. Hyatt’s HR leaders aspired to create a superior Talent experience to bring purpose to life for every colleague and potential colleagues—and, by extension, for every guest and customer—in its hotels worldwide.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of our work with Hyatt has been participating in the evolution of a significant HR transformation that impacts everyone in the organization on some level, and ultimately, Hyatt guests worldwide. We were inspired by Hyatt’s commitment to including the perspectives of its people in every region.”

Jon Glick, Principal, PwC

Design-thinking + analytics + change management = a vision forward

When Christy Sinnott, Hyatt’s Talent Management Leader, first met PwC’s account and HR consulting team and began discussions about their shared passion for purpose-focused organizations, data driven decisions, and culture, none could have known that these discussions would evolve into a multi-year effort to transform Hyatt’s talent strategy. The HR transformation journey has engaged PwC professionals with subject matter experience in every aspect of HR program design and management. Activating Hyatt’s leadership development model through talent development training targeted at Hyatt's top and rising leaders was the first step. With a new set of expectations for leaders in place, Hyatt asked PwC to help design and implement a Talent Philosophy and an associated Playbook, a resource to allow leaders to move the business forward through consistent, focused, yet flexible Talent management. A current state assessment helped identify challenges and gaps; a blueprint for success helped to facilitate alignment of business and people strategies; and plans for the future state supported development of a clear and compelling Talent Philosophy. That Philosophy—a series of six commitments to its colleagues—is grounded in Hyatt’s purpose and values and designed to guide the relationship between leaders and their teams. The Playbook maps Hyatt’s People strategies to specific systems, processes and procedures to support transparent and consistent standards across the organization.

“PwC helped us understand how applying the lens of purpose could transform and focus HR structures and processes to create world-class leaders and, subsequently, to re-imagine the entire talent experience. In a global organization of our size and complexity, this has been an amazing collaboration among so many people, including our colleagues around the world.”

Christy Sinnott, Senior Vice President of Talent Management, Hyatt

Re-imagine the talent experience to help Hyatt and their colleagues map a route to growth

With the Playbook underway, Hyatt’s HR leaders realized that while they had done a lot to evolve their strategy and systems around Talent, there was much more they wanted to do. They invited PwC to help them re-imagine the entire talent experience, with the goal of improving internal processes on a global scale to support strategic workforce planning and permit colleagues to pursue their own growth as the organization continues to grow. PwC teams helped Hyatt identify pain points, create diverse personas and stories to envision colleagues’ overall experience from pre-hire through promotion, and map opportunities to promote a clear understanding of, and commitment to, brand and purpose. Along the way of this extended journey, the PwC team helped support Hyatt with a multi-year colleague listening program; create a roadmap for the implementation of digital platforms to support efficient HR processes across the organization; consider strategies to advance Hyatt’s commitment to Inclusion and Diversity; and develop specific tools and methods to measure success and business outcomes.

“Inclusion is a core organizational capability at Hyatt that will continue to drive many aspects of our business, including Talent. Working with PwC to further our inclusion goals has been extremely helpful and timely.”

Malaika Myers,Chief Human Resource Officer, Hyatt


Creating an ideal future-state experience

Demographics shift. The business climate changes. Guest expectations evolve. One constant for Hyatt is its culture of care which is at the heart of its business strategy. Scaling an enhanced talent experience worldwide will allow Hyatt to enable colleagues to be their best and achieve business outcomes as Hyatt continues on its growth trajectory.

The team is now actively working to advance care for colleagues in many ways:

  • A Global Leadership Performance Model that helps drive the behaviors that drive results creating a high-performing culture that can adapt to the changing business climate.
  • A streamlined and improved candidate experience, including a redesigned applicant process, new on-boarding tools and resources, and an evolving new hire orientation program, that Hyatt anticipates to reduce source-to-hire time and increase retention.
  • Diversity Business Resource Groups and the Global Inclusion & Diversity Council are helping to develop a robust pipeline of diverse leaders for the future to execute current and future business strategy, increase retention, differentiate Hyatt as an employer of choice and drive greater personalization of the guest experience.
  • A New People Leader Curriculum provides new managers with a Talent Playbook that creates consistency across the organization, empowers leaders of people to make the right decisions for their teams, and brings clarity to the supporting systems and processes.

At the center of the work is an intense focus on:

  • Eliminating key pain points for colleagues so we bring the right roles to the right people at the right time. Transparency around and opportunities for career growth and development, performance measurement and rewards.
  • Simplifying HR programs and processes contributes to a shared understanding of responsibility for leading talent. HR managers work closely with people managers to help them proactively build and develop their teams, with flexible customization to support distinct functions, hotels and regions.
  • Expanding talent and recruitment outreach to institutions in diverse communities to drive an expanded, more diverse candidate pool, and in some cases identify business development opportunities.

“Participating in CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, alongside PwC, has been a valuable part of Hyatt’s inclusion journey, particularly the collective effort of organizations to look at bias and to share challenges and best practices. Creating a sense of belonging and community is especially important in the hospitality industry for both our colleagues and our guests.”

Tyronne Stoudemire, Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity, Hyatt
Jon Glick

Jon Glick

Principal, PwC US

Shebani Patel

Shebani Patel

Partner, PwC US

Ann Johnston

Ann Johnston

Partner, PwC US

Angela Lester

Angela Lester

Partner, PwC US

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Neil Dhar

Neil Dhar

Vice Chair, Consulting Solutions Co-Leader, PwC US