A message from CEO Rob Katz on Thursday, March 15

I am pleased to share the overall results of our 2018 Employee Engagement Survey (EES). First, I want to thank the almost 70 percent of employees who chose to participate; I can’t emphasize enough how valuable your perspective and input is to the Company, and how important it is in shaping how we move forward. Thank you for taking the time and effort to provide this critical feedback. 

2018 Overall Results
Across the entire Company (including Whistler Blackcomb but not yet including Stowe), we exceeded the Willis Towers Watson "Global High Performing Norm" (GHPN) benchmark in 8 of 13 categories, most notably Leadership (84 percent favorable, +8), Empowerment (90 percent favorable, +3), Employee Development (81 percent favorable, +5), Work Environment (87 percent favorable, +7) and the new Leader Index (88 percent favorable, +6) category. As a reminder, the GHPN standard is comprised of a weighted average of employee survey results from our survey vendor’s highest performing clients in the areas of financial performance and HR practices. These scores against the GHPN are a wonderful achievement and a testament to all of our teams working so hard to create the Experience of a Lifetime for our employees and our guests. 

In the other three areas – Engagement (88 percent favorable, -4), Retention (66 percent favorable, -3), and Sustainability (86 percent favorable, -2) – we were slightly below the High Performing Norm but maintain strong scores overall and are committed to making improvements in these areas over the next year. 

Year-Over-Year Improvements
While we are proud of the overall results compared to the GHPN, we are also thrilled to share the year-over-year Company trends, which reflect the commitment and hard work of so many of our employees and show just how far we’ve come. (Because they did not take the survey in 2017, we have excluded Whistler Blackcomb from the year-over-year results and look forward to including them in next year’s trend analysis.) Highlights from 2017 to 2018 include: 

Engagement (+2 vs. one year ago). Compared to 2017, overall engagement increased +2, with improved scores in 11 of 13 critical categories.

Leadership (+5 vs. one year ago) and Empowerment (+4 vs. one year ago). We have been continuously reimagining, improving and innovating our leadership development programs and coaching, so that you have the access to the development needed to grow and contribute to your full potential, and it was wonderful to see this recognized in the results. With our ambition to be the Greatest Leadership Company In The World, future investments in these areas will continue to be critical components of our Company growth and industry leadership.

Sustainability (+3 vs. one year ago). We are thrilled to see that this year’s environmental initiatives, and specifically our new Epic Promise For A Zero Footprint, resonated with so many people. While we have had a long-standing and deep-seated commitment to the environment, we took it to the next level this year, and this is reflected in our Companywide Sustainability scores.

Communication (+3 vs. one year ago). Communication emerged as a new engagement driver this year, indicating its growing significance to you. It is reassuring that we are moving in the right direction on this important topic, but we also recognize that as our Company continues to grow, we will need to continue improving how we communicate and share information within our teams and across the entire diverse and dispersed employee base.

Next Steps 
Your team’s leadership is currently reviewing local/department EES results and will share them with you over the next few weeks. I encourage each of you to ask about the results and participate in your action planning process to help us create the best and most engaging work environment possible at Vail Resorts. 

Thank you again to those of you who participated in this year’s EES and to everyone who worked so hard to create the Experience of a Lifetime for all of our employees.