The intersection of guest and employee experience is one of the most important balances in the attractions industry. Not only does the word experience apply to guests, but it also applies to the employees who create those experiences. Oftentimes, guest experience and employee experience are seen as separate functions that usually remain in their respective silos, when in fact there is much that can be gained when they are intertwined. Fostering the company culture while simultaneously creating unparalleled experiences for guests can be challenging. However, our theory suggests that the core elements of improving both the guest and employee experience are exactly the same. In this episode, Matt and Josh challenge each other to address guest experience and employee experience initiatives, using their respective expertise to solve for the other’s.
Attracting Talent (Employee Experience)
When it comes to attracting talent from the guest experience standpoint, it is about setting an expectation that people will have when they visit. Expectations are set for visitors based on what they can anticipate when they visit, and these locations should exceed these expectations to ensure a great guest experience.
For employees, an expectation should be set on what it will be like to work at that location. Management and the workplace environment should be clearly defined for an employee to generate a positive experience. One department shouldn’t be crafting these job descriptions, but instead the employee should get a good idea and have their expectations exceeded to create a great employee experience, similar to the guidelines we use for our guests.
Personalizing the Experience (Guest Experience)
Creating a personalized experience for a team member involves many separate keys that unlock relationships that will generate a great experience. Whether it be something as simple as letting them know you were proud of their performance or using their name more often in the workplace, generating these personalized experiences makes an employee feel more welcome.
Therefore, personalized experiences for guests follow many of those same keys. Using a guest’s name throughout an experience can create feelings that make the guest feel remembered, appreciated, and welcomed. By following those similar guidelines we use for employees, the guest feels like there’s more interaction and relationships throughout their visit.
Holding People Accountable (Employee Experience)
In nearly every experience, there are rules and guidelines in place for operational concerns and guest safety. Being on the side of the guest is important to do, as it should not be assumed that guests don’t have the same level of proficiencies that employees have, so going about enforcing accountability in this manner is important to generate a great guest experience and further understand the guest’s situation.
For the employee experience, employees should be held accountable and take ownership of their responsibilities. However, it should be known that they don’t have the proficiencies that their leaders do. It is important to go about enforcing accountability delicately so that issues can be corrected in a non-assumptive manner and generate a great employee experience.
Using Feedback to Improve Experience (Guest Experience)
From an employee standpoint, it is much easier to notice change as they are seen more often by their leaders. By using verbal feedback and basic analysis, it is easy to approach a team member and figure out a root cause of a problem to improve the employee experience and fix issues in the field.
In the lens of guest feedback, you have to act on the feedback you get from surveys and analysis in a similar manner to how you would approach an employee. By trying to solve it at the root cause, whether it be a water pipe or rude employee, you can truly improve the guest experience in a simplistic manner by allowing the guest to be heard and hear about an impact they made.
Driving Employee Loyalty (Employee Experience)
Guest loyalty has three main components; coming back often, telling others, and they come to your defense. By showing these main components, a reputation is made for guest experience and generates a beneficial reputation for the company by showing loyal supporters.
In terms of employees, these three main components can be translated directly to retention, referrals, and defense of the business. When these main components are shown by your employees, they feel more welcome and that they are working for a more reputable company. This can help improve operations, retention, and the work environment itself.
Surprise and Delight (Guest Experience)
When you think of team members as investments, you realize that you want to keep that investment motivated and excited to perform at a high level. By surprising employees with simple acts, you can keep them motivated and make them feel valued.
Guests’ experiences thrive on surprise and delight. When you break them out of a routine, it goes far beyond what they expected and enables them to truly have a better experience.
There are many more issues within the realms of guest and employee experience in which this theory can be tested. We are eager to continue the conversation with your suggestions and thoughts on this topic.
This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our amazing team:
- Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas
- Branding and design by Fabiana Fonseca
- Summary by Mason Nichols
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