It all began with a meeting: Employees of the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, a 374-room luxury hotel in Old Greenwich, Conn., met late last year to come up with new ideas to improve service. The outcome is "Every Guest Leaves Satisfied," a program that grants each staff member the authority "to take the necessary action to rectify an undesirable situation for a guest," says General Manager William Rizutto. Each month, employees who have taken an empowered action are nominated for the Outstanding Empowered Action of the Month Award.

One award-winning action came from Barbara Peasenelli, from the hotel's banquet department. Thanks to her, the department now has a "Guest Group Log Book," in which employees log all special requests and services for meeting guests, whether a person requires vegetarian meals or cappuccinos with lunch.

"Corporate groups are here as guests for anywhere from one to five days to five weeks," Peasenelli says. "Many different banquet service employees come into contact with these groups." This way everyone knows who wants what."