Get On-Board and Take-Off on a Voyage with Marriott!

nantic    October 7, 2015

Title of Post: Get On-Board and Take-Off on a Voyage with Marriott!


Organization Name: Marriott International, Inc.

Industry: Hospitality & Tourism

Name of contact: Jayana Garvey,

Web reference:,,

Description of how social media is used for business performance:

While many blogs focus on how current employees use social media to interact with their employers and organizations, future employees, such as interns and new recruits, seem to be often overlooked. These future employees are so incredibly valuable as they are taught from the bottom up and are essential to the employment cycle. Engaging in innovative ways to attract new hires and potential employees is an important part of a healthy growing business.

The Marriott International group of hotels and suites is a perfect example of creating an innovative and “cutting-edge” technology to connect new hires and interns around the globe within the organization. Marriott’s Voyage Global Leadership Development Program (AKA Voyage) is available in 30 countries around the world and is a hands-on training and leadership development program that provides the opportunity to work abroad or locally at a Marriott or affiliate location. The video below posted on YouTube gives a quick intro to the program.

Intro to Marriott International’s Voyage Program

Throughout the program, participants have access to a unique virtual environment platform to connect with their curriculum, peers and senior level leaders.

Screenshot: Marriott works with ON24 to create a Virtual Learning Environment that delivers training to over 5,000 hotel managers. (

The most exciting features of the virtual portal are the built-in social media tools: the Chat and Webcast tools. The Chat tools promote discussions and networking between voyagers around the world and the Webcast tools gives new hires the chance to connect and network with senior leaders within Marriott.

Voyage was acknowledged as the most innovative program due to its only one of its kind approach to attract, engage and develop its future employees and leaders. This program has become so popular and rapid growing that it has won the top award of the 2015 Bersin by Deloitte‘s annual 2015 WhatWorks® Award Program.

Not only does the Voyage program attract new, young candidates with a close-knit community of support through its virtual environment, it also fulfills the company’s aim of healthy growth by creating a “pipeline” of “highly trained… entry-level leadership talent while providing a globally consistent and enriching experience for the company’s next generation of leaders”.


Since its creation in 2013, the Marriott has seen considerable success of the Voyager program to on-board new graduates as future employees. In fact, a total of over 900 Voyagers have been employed through the program in over 30 countries; and of which 99% of these graduates became full-time employees with Marriott. While this program only takes 18 months, this short time allowed Marriott to instill a sense of belonging and community through social media connections between voyagers and their coaches. This in turn, has created a loyalty base from its voyagers as almost all of them became employees.

Voyage program

Picture from Impact 2015 Conference.

Lessons for others:

While keeping current employees engaged and connected is extremely important, it is also vital for a companies’ growth and sustainability to create new and innovate ways to attract new potential employees and keep them connected with their peers and senior leaders. When a strong and connected environment is created, like the virtual environment of Voyage, a community is built amongst employees which leads to loyalty, satisfaction, and ultimately retention. One of Marriott’s core values is: “Take care of associates and they will take care of the customers.”

Submitted By: Nicole Antic, SMBP, University of Waterloo

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.