The Customer Experience Will Never Exceed the Employee Experience

The Vital Mission of Seasonal Employee Engagement

By Tony Bridwell Partner and Practice Leader, Partners in Leadership (PIL) | March 20, 2016

Co-authored by Mattson Newell, Director of Partners In Leadership (PIL)

Being a statistic seems to be inevitable in life. In some way, each of us will find ourselves on a statistical list of sorts. For over half the country one such list is a reality: the “first time job” list. At some point in our life we have held a job in the hospitality/restaurant industry, and if you throw retail into the mix, it is possible to cover most of all the country.

We (the authors) both fall into this category, one working at a snow cone company and the other starting at the young age of 14 as a fry cook for an A&W Drive-In only to cap his career as the Chief People Officer for Brinker International, the owners of Chili’s Grill and Bar.

For many, their first work experience in one of these industries was made possible on a part time or seasonal basis. The number of seasonal jobs each year account for a substantial quantity of first time jobs, some 52% as reported by the US Government Workforce report. Experience teaches us leaders frequently do not invest the needed time, energy, and resources preparing these seasonal employees to deliver a desired result. The belief broadly held, as told to me by a hiring manager of seasonal employees is, “They will be gone soon, why waste our time?”

The question needed at this point is this, how important is maximized sales to your organization? It seems a bit rhetorical to ask, but the question must be asked to make a point. If maximizing sales is important, then maximizing the customer experience to drive more sales should be a key focus. There is a simple principle to keep in mind, the customer experience will never exceed the employee experience. Meaning, the investment you make in your people has a direct payout with the customers walking through your doors.

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Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.