Create Your Own Luck: Building the Employee Experience
In hospitality we aim to create memorable experiences for our guests. We regularly engage with our customers in order to make their time in our business special and to serve their unique needs. We do all this for two reasons: to sell our goods and services and to create repeat guests. When all these things combine (the goods, services, staff interactions, and overall atmosphere of our business positively representing the brand) then the guest has an experience that becomes a memory; a memory that will entice them to return and to speak positively about our business to others.
This exchange is clear: we will show you the love by delivering on our promise and you will show us the love by becoming loyal customers and champions of our brand.
The same is true of the employee experience. Thoughtful businesses show their employees the same love and care as they do their customers. These operators know that if they create a brand that positively impacts their employees by helping them learn and grow, that their employees will, in turn, become proud ambassadors of the brand and then stand up for it, take care of it and recommend it to others. Building a strong company culture is all about creating a positive and stimulating experience for the people that inhabit your business for hours a day and many years at at time.
Some people call this attention to your employee’s experience “internal hospitality.” This is a bit different from '“external hospitality” which is the hospitality you show your customers in your business. But it comes from the same source: care for others. When you utilize internal hospitality to build a clear employee experience then you will also create a solid team and develop an engaging company culture.
In an article on Forbes.com, “2018 Will Be the Year of Employee Experience,” the author makes the distinction between CX (customer experience) and EX (employee experience). She notes that “EX is the sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization — every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment.” This is not about perks and incentives; it is about being meaningful about every interaction your team has with your leaders, brand and business.
In mapping out your employee experience - the EX - you first must understand it’s about setting expectations, understanding the individual, creating a pathway for promotion, offering clear feedback and coaching your team members to fully embody their role while under your roof. It’s about creating loyalty while helping individuals develop a variety of specific skills so that they remain stimulated and engaged throughout their entire journey as your employee. At the same time, Improving their resume and increasing their value to your company and team.
This is how you create a company culture: through the experience of your employees. It’s not about the annual holiday party or employee of the month, it’s about the biggest prize of all: building a memorable and inspiring experience of your brand for the most important people who come in contact with it: your employees. When you build an EX that keeps your employees committed to your brand and customers, you’ll feel like you won the lottery. And the best part is you won’t be alone, your team will feel the exact same way.
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