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Corporate Responsibility Report

Our people

Illustration of our employees

Key achievements in 2013

  • Improved engagement score* in our twice-yearly employee survey – up 3.1 percentage points to 81.7%. (Source: combined average of the two 2013 IHG Employee Surveys (Owned, managed hotels, corporate and reservation staff)).

*IHG Employee Engagement score excludes IHG hotels in Japan.

As a responsible employer the relationships we have with our employees and the way we manage and take care of them are extremely important to us. We believe the success of IHG doesn’t just depend on the brilliance of one brand or one person, but a whole family of preferred Brands, brought to life by talented and passionate people whose purpose is to create Great Hotels Guests Love.

One of our key challenges as a company is to attract, retain and inspire people to deliver great performance and Great Hotels Guests Love, our core purpose, across all our brands regardless of the business model. We achieve this by clearly articulating our values and the behaviours we expect from our employees – our Winning Ways – and by creating an environment where our people can be themselves and are encouraged to perform at the highest level – we call this Room to be yourself. Together these form 'the deal' between IHG and everyone who works for us.

Unless otherwise stated, information in this section applies to people directly employed by IHG and those who work in managed hotels or as part of our joint venture with All Nippon Airways (ANA) in Japan – in total approximately 120,000 people. (Source: IHG Annual Report 2012). While our franchised operations are not required, by nature of their contract, to engage employees in the deal, we work hard to ensure that our franchised hotels offer good working conditions through contracts and terms and conditions.

What we ask: Winning Ways

Winning Ways is a set of behaviours that defines how IHG interacts with guests, colleagues and hotel owners. IHG's people have embraced these behaviours with enthusiasm and creativity worldwide. The Group's employee survey, completed in 2013, indicated:

  • 89% think we do the right thing
  • 91% think we celebrate difference
  • 92% think we work better together
  • 91% think we aim higher
  • 90% think we show we care.

Source: combined average of the two 2013 IHG Employee Surveys (Owned, managed hotels, corporate and reservation staff).

Winning ways

What we offer: Room to be yourself

While Winning Ways define what is expected from all employees at IHG, we have also developed standards that characterise what employees can expect from IHG. Our People play a key role in delivering our brand promises day in, day out. To achieve our Vision, we need to attract the very best people, harness their passion and equip them with the right skills to give our guests a truly great experience. Research shows that people want to be treated as individuals and recognised for the great work they do. In our employer brand we call this ‘Room to be yourself’ and this commitment is brought to life by four key promises:

  • Room to have a great start
    You will be treated with respect and we will make sure you have everything you need to have a great start.
  • Room to be involved
    You will have the opportunity to work with great teams, know what is going on and make a real difference in your workplace.
  • Room to grow
    You will be supported and given opportunities to develop yourself and pursue a rewarding career.
  • Room for you
    You will be rewarded and recognised for your contributions and we will value the significance of your life beyond work.

In 2013, our employee survey indicated:

  • 88% agree they have Room to be yourself
  • 93% have Room to have a great start
  • 92% have Room to be involved
  • 89% have Room to grow
  • 84% say we deliver Room for you.

Source: combined average of the two 2013 IHG Employee Surveys (Owned, managed hotels, corporate and reservation staff).

Room to have a great start

Over the next three years, to meet our growth targets, we need to find an additional 90,000 Brand Hearted colleagues. People that really love our brands, can bring them to life through great service delivery. By defining the specific behaviours needed to bring our brands to life and incorporating them in all our People tools, we are able to recruit people with the right attitude for the brand as well as the right technical skills for the role. All new recruits attend an orientation programme and have access to a new onboarding portal to ensure they understand our Winning Ways, Room to be yourself and what being Brand Hearted really means, from the moment they join IHG.

Room to be involved

We place great importance on communicating with our employees, making sure we keep them informed about what is happening in our business and how we're performing. Communication channels include global management conferences, team meetings, informal briefings, in-house publications and intranets. Improvements to our corporate intranet site 'Merlin' means employees can now access information about people, policies and news across all hotels, corporate offices and reservations centres at any time.

Employee feedback is vital if we are to meet expectations and deliver our commitments. We ask our employees and those colleagues working in our managed hotels to participate in an Employee Engagement survey each year. Since the first survey in 2007 we have continued to achieve very high response rates with 97% of employees participating in our two 2013 surveys.

Division/region 2012 response rates
2013 response rates
Americas hotels 95 96
Europe hotels 91 92
Asia, Middle East and Africa hotels 96 97
Greater China hotels 98 99
Corporate offices 94 95
Reservations centres 90 93

(Source: 2013 IHG Employee Survey tracking data)

Room to grow

Providing all our colleagues with Room to grow is an essential part of our culture and is at the heart of how we continue to develop our business. Our approach ensures that we provide learning and development opportunities to all colleagues, whilst investing strongly behind our critical roles and core capabilities. To support this, every employee creates a personal development plan with their manager, which supports their development and, in turn, drives our business success.

We run a twice-yearly Careers Week for our talented, energetic and passionate people to promote the world of job opportunities in over 4,600 hotels in nearly 100 countries and territories; and a monthly Hot Jobs feature on our intranet, Merlin, profiling key vacancies around the world.

We also continue to provide an extensive range of employee training that helps accelerate their development such as eLearning curricula from respected business schools. Our hotel General Managers are one of the most important roles for driving the success of our business and this is why we are launching our new General Manager training programme, which is a breakthrough programme designed to shift our mindset away from simply creating great hotel managers to developing great Brand managers. To have preferred Brands, we need the best General Managers in the industry.

The growth and development of our people in our owned and managed hotels and corporate and reservations offices is important to us. We therefore make training programmes available to all of our employees. Our surveys indicate that 90% of employees agree that IHG delivers training to assist with their current roles. (Source: combined average of the two 2013 IHG Employee Surveys (Owned, managed hotels, corporate and reservation staff)).

We want to inspire our managers to be great leaders. To that end we have several management development programmes in place, including an assessment of individual potential and capability, clarity about expectations and business-related education.

Our online performance management tool, MyRoomtogrow, is available to more than 7,900 employees globally including all corporate team members and General Managers at our managed and owned hotels. MyRoomtogrow includes all steps in our performance management journey – setting objectives at the start of the year, a check of progress at mid-year, our personal development plans, an annual self-review, the manager's self review and calibration to ensure consistency of ratings across the business.

Our award-winning Leaders Lounge is an innovative and cost-effective way of developing and communicating with our senior managers online. Through this virtual community our Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Committee keep managers informed about key issues and challenges for the business. The site also includes input from external business thinkers. The usage of IHG's Leaders Lounge continues to rise, with more than 7,000 visits per year.

Room for you

The benefits we offer employees vary according to region but wherever our people work we aim to offer them compensation and benefits programmes that are competitive in their local market and which recognise and reward their achievements. We also contribute to both mandatory and company-sponsored retirement plans. In our employee survey the majority of people who work for us said they believe they are fairly paid for the work they do.

We manage performance by helping people to align their objectives to our core purpose, and by encouraging managers to acknowledge employee achievements or contributions as part of our Winning Ways culture.

Bravo!, our online peer-to-peer recognition tool, allows corporate employees to publicly recognise each other for a job well done. They can either nominate colleagues for a simple thank you or for one of the various award levels which have an associated cash value. Since its launch in 2012 more than 56,000 Bravos! have been sent, proving our People really value the opportunity to be able to give and receive recognition from their peers.

We provide a range of benefits to help employees achieve a better work/life balance. Healthcare is provided to some staff groups and, in our Americas region, we have programmes in place to help employees maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the cost of health insurance claims. In some regions employee assistance programmes offer a confidential counselling service to help employees deal with financial and legal matters, relationship problems and stress.

IHG was featured on the Sunday Times' 25 Best Big Companies to Work For in 2013.

Find out more about our brands

IHG logo

  • InterContinental Hotel & Resort logo
  • Hualuxe Hotels and Resorts logo
  • Crowne Plaza logo
  • Hotel Indigo logo
  • Even Hotels logo
  • Holiday Inn logo
  • Holiday Inn Express logo
  • Holiday Inn Resort logo
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations logo
  • Staybridge Suites logo
  • Candlewood Suites logo
  • Priority Club logo