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Hyatt Hotels CEO: Kindness and Empathy ‘Translate Into Good Business’

Think of the word “hospitality.” What others come to mind? “Care,” of course. “Cordial,” certainly. And “welcomed,” too. So it should come as no surprise that Hyatt Hotels, in the business of minding its guests, pays particular attention to minding its employees and partners. With a mindset like that, how else could it operate?

That might come as a surprise in the competitive corporate world. But CEO Mark Hoplamazian says his purpose is to care for people so that they can do their best. The Chicago company’s focus on empathy, he adds, can sometimes drive it to comment on issues in broader society.

“There have been many instances, such as gay marriage in Illinois—where Hyatt is headquartered, with a lot of hotel operations—or the DACA issue, which reflected our values,” Hoplamazian says. “The level of engagement and consciousness elevated over time because more people are finding a voice directly in the workplace or on social media.”

Those people could be customers or employees. Speaking up, then, is how the company can define what it stands for, Hoplamazian says. “We need to elevate the level of understanding and engagement, which is beneficial to society.”

Watch the video above for more from Fortune’s interview with Hoplamazian.

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