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Erin Moran, chief culture officer, Union Square Hospitality Group LLC
When your CEO literally wrote the book on hospitality in business, being the standard bearer of company culture is no small job. But it’s one Erin Moran embraces.
As chief culture officer of Union Square Hospitality Group LLC, she’s charged with overseeing all aspects of the employee experience — and strengthening the Enlightened Hospitality philosophy espoused by USHG founder and CEO Danny Meyer.
That philosophy, based on the idea that putting employees first ultimately creates a better customer experience and a stronger business, has been at the center of the company’s recent moves.
Union Square was an industry pioneer on the issue of parental leave, expanding benefits in 2017 to offer eligible full-time employees four weeks of leave at 100-percent pay and four weeks at 60-percent pay, after a birth or adoption. The company’s groundbreaking Hospitality Included policy, which eliminated tipping at a number of USHG concepts, was designed to foster more equitable compensation between front- and back-of-the-house employees. Even the company’s move toward cashless restaurants cited safety and efficiency benefits for staff.
Moran, who has been with Union Square since 2013, previously told NRN that the financial cost of people-first policies is worth the ability to better recruit and retain talented leaders.
“It is our strong belief that this will positively impact retention and help us to recruit better,” she said when the parental leave policy was announced. “It’s really challenging to make the business case, but we’re taking a leap of faith and believe it is the right thing to do for our people.”