Company: Hyatt Hotels.
Location: 12 properties in the Washington area.
Employees: 2,609 locally; 45,000 nationwide.
Last year, Gerard Taylor and his family spent a relaxing week at a resort in Lost Pines, Tex., enjoying a range of activities including horseback riding, golfing and hiking.
The family greatly welcomed the break from the daily grind, which came courtesy of Taylor’s employer, Hyatt Hotels.
At each of its properties around the country, Hyatt selects an employee of the year. Winners must demonstrate a commitment to excellent customer service and an ability to work cooperatively with other team members.
The winners get an all-expenses paid trip to share with their immediate family to any destination in the United States where Hyatt has a property. In addition to free air fare, lodging and dining, the employee receives assistance from Hyatt in planning activities and excursions at their destination.
“We really want to reward not just in a small way, but in a grand way, the winner,” said Kira Sanborn, human resources manager at the Grand Hyatt Washington.
And the employee doesn’t have to use valuable vacation time to take the trip because the award gives them an extra week of vacation days.
“The one week’s vacation extra was, I think, the sweetest part of all,” said Taylor, an engineer at the Grand Hyatt Washington. He won the prize in 2012.
Hyatt’s award winners aren’t the only staffers that enjoy perks when they travel. After one year of working at Hyatt, all full-time employees are eligible for 12 complimentary hotel rooms per year. Part-time staffers earn six free rooms per year.
Employees also get a deal if they dine in any of Hyatt’s restaurants: They get a 50 percent discount on any food and beverage purchases made at the hotel chain’s properties.