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.

The Power of 1-2-3

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Food & Beverage: Millennials Rule

The Millennial Generation has surpassed the Baby Boomers to become the largest living generation in America, and their tastes and preferences are being reflected in the Food & Beverage industry. In general, Millennials insist on more natural, healthier, less-processed food and beverage sources, and in part, this inspired the farm-to-table movement. However, now the trend is becoming even more pronounced and hyper-local. Millennials no longer simply want to know their food is farm-to-table, they want to know which farm, and where it's located relative to the community. As a result, hotel F&B directors are redesigning entire menus to feature area brewers, wineries, and family farms. Not only is this a proven way to satisfy Millennial tastes but it also opens the door for hotel guests to enjoy immersive experiences such as tours and excursions to local farms and breweries. Also, thanks in no small part to Millennials, coffee consumption is at an all-time high. In response, F&B directors are creating innovative ways to enhance the coffee experience for guests. Nitro-brewed coffee, cold brew, lattes on draft, and the introduction of unique milk options are part of this trend, as are locally sourced coffee beans where available. Millennial influences can also be found in the Craft and Artisan Cocktail movement where the same preferences for locally sourced and high-quality ingredients apply. One leading hotel even offers a drink menu featuring liquors infused with herbs recommended by experts for their health and well-being benefits. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.