Reward for honesty and integrity…
FOR their honesty and adherence to organizational core values, Mrs. Joy Oguelo and Emmanuel Nwokejiezi recently bagged the 2014 Transcorp Hilton’s General Manager (G.M.) Integrity Award.
The two workers of the House-Keeping Department of the hotel were recognized and rewarded for returning the sum of $20,000 found in a room to the management for onward transmission to the owner.
At the award ceremony, the Abia State-born mother of two told The Guardian that she had gone on a normal room cleaning exercise shortly before Christmas.
According to her, she did not intend to clean the room in question as it had a “Do Not Disturb” tag at the door, implying that the guest did not want to be disturbed.
“I felt the guest did not want to be disturbed and decided to go to the next room. I later learnt that the guest had checked out and there was a need to keep the room tidy.”
“In the process of cleaning the room, I found the money. I was scared initially, and I quickly called my team-mate, Emmanuel, to come and bear me witness. I did not want to touch it but he advised that we should count the money before handing it over to the management.”
“We counted the money and discovered it was $20,000. What came to my mind was the orientation we received from the hotel. We were told to return anything we found in the room to the management.”
“So, we put down our names, the room number and the amount as we found it and handed the money to the management”, Aguelo stated.
Speaking about her background, Aguelo stressed that though she was from a very humble background, she did not contemplate keeping the money for herself.
“Though I am from a poor home, I was not tempted to keep the money because it would bring shame to my God that I serve, my family and the organization.”
“Some friends blamed me for not removing part of the money but I told them I was satisfied with what I had.”
She, however, commended the management for the honour given to her and her colleague, noting that it would go a long way to motivate others to be honest.
“I did not know it would lead to the integrity award. I just felt I had done what I was expected to do but truly, the award would motivate me to do more, to put in my best,” she declared.
For Emmanuel Nwokejiezi, who has worked with the Hilton for about a year, several factors motivated him to return the money.
He said: “First, my parents are pastors and also, the orientation from the Hilton influenced my desire to return the money.”
“Some friends said I was stupid for accepting to return the money but I felt there was no gain taking what did not belong to me”.
On the impact of the award from the management, he said: “The recognition really motivated me. It has given me more encouragement. When you do something good and someone says, “well done,” it encourages you to do more. I was not expecting it”.
The Imo State-born Nwokejiezi said his parents would have been disappointed in him had he not returned the money.
“My father said he was happy I returned the money. He said he would have cut off my head had I kept the money to myself”, he said.
Speaking on the award, the Public Relations Manager of the hotel, Mr. Shola Adeyemo, emphasized that honesty and integrity are some of the hotel’s core values and when team members exhibit such virtues in either words or deed, the hotel makes conscious effort to recognize such individuals.
“When our team members exhibit in words or deed, this gesture of integrity, we make conscious effort to recognize such persons and that is what we have done in this case,” he said.
According to Adeyemo, the December award was the first phase of several packages that are designed for the recipients.
“The recognition will come in various phases. The first step was to recognize them at the most important gathering of our team members at the end of the year. That was a gathering of over 1000 members of staff. That alone was inspiring, especially for other team members who have learnt that if one displays the value of integrity, he would be recognized. They had the privilege of being recognized by the Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Valentine Ozigbo.”
Adeyemo believes that the actions of Oguelo and Nwokejiezi would not only impact the outfit but the host community and the society at large.
“For us as a brand, that feat was very important because the core message of our host community’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme is travel with purpose and by that, we mean that a hotel should impact positively on its host community.
“When we have our team members display integrity of action, it is believed that such would trickle down to the hotel’s host community and the larger society.”
“This captured our reason for being very thorough in our recruitment exercise. The process transcends academic qualification and lays greater emphasis on behavioral pattern of the individual”, Adeyemo revealed.