INTRODUCTION
Very few companies can achieve or sustain high customer loyalty without a cadre of loyal, engaged employees. Engaged employees are enthusiastic about their work and their organisation. Their enthusiasm is contagious. It rubs off on other employees, and on customers. Motivated employees create strong business performance because they provide better experiences for customers, approach the job with energy-which enhances productivity-and come up with creative and innovative ideas for product, process and service improvements.

TIPS TO BE APPLIED TO ORGANISATIONS

  • Examine the current employee experience. What does your current experience look like? What makes your organisation different, interesting or valuable? What behaviours are most characteristic of your organisation?
  • Understand the drivers of employee engagement. What are your employees looking for in terms of psychological, emotional as well as economic benefits? What creates meaning for your employees?
  • True ownership by line managers. Most companies depend on HR to manage the employee journey. Truly believing in an employee life cycle comes from making employees lives richer, and there isn’t much that HR alone can do to help employees achieve that.

How often do you put yourself in your customers’ shoes?
Often! Taking the customer journey is part of our daily routine as it helps us to understand the guest experience and it gives us insights on what our organisation can do better.

How often do you put yourself in your employee’s shoes?
Employees are arguably the most valuable resource an organisation possesses and it is widely accepted that employee satisfaction and motivation are strongly linked to business performance. As a result, measuring employee satisfaction has become standard practice in most companies. However, employee satisfaction is not enough to guarantee strong business performance. In times of constant change and in a challenging market environment, even a minor incident can negatively influence satisfaction. Under these circumstances, it is the loyalty and retention of employees that keep them committed. Real commitment is formed by employees identifying with the organisation, its corporate culture and its organisational objectives, or in other words with the Employer Brand.

Using your Employer Brand consciously is an approach for recruiting, selecting and bringing the best people of your organisation to prosperity. Building on a strong Employer Brand starts from the inside and demands clear views. People perform better when they can use their talents and when they are challenged. What exactly is so “attractive, unique and authentic” about your organisation as an employer? This can be determined best by current role models; the people you would like to have more of. What is it that gives them energy, what are they proud of, when do they get a sparkle in their eyes when they talk about their work?

One way of maximising the experience of your employees is ensuring they are on a continuous journey during their employee life cycle. The life cycle of an employee already starts in the pre-recruitment phase, the moment when an individual realizes it is time for a (new) job. How easy is it to find your organisation online? Does your website give all the necessary information to stimulate someone’s appetite to come and work for you? Employee retention and satisfaction are influenced before a new hire even walks into your building. Studies have shown that organisations that provide new hires with easy access to forms and employment information prior to the first day of work benefit from enhanced employee retention, productivity, and overall satisfaction.

What about the personal development options? Investigation tells us that employees – especially those at the beginning of their career – specifically want to be challenged because they think that in that way they can develop the quickest. Besides that there is a strong connection between the favourite employers and the organisations who are considered as ‘….difficult to get employed there’.

How do you reward your employees and how do you keep them motivated long term? Numerous studies have concluded that for people with satisfactory salaries, some non-financial motivators are more effective than extra cash. Many financial rewards mainly generate short-term boosts of energy. Of course, the economic crisis has given managers a great opportunity to re-assess the combination of financial and non-financial incentives, however to create long term employee engagement three non-cash motivators tend to work best. Firstly praise from immediate managers, secondly leadership attention (for example, one-on-one conversations), and lastly a chance to lead projects or task forces.

Regardless of all those good efforts, it is a given that employees leave organisations to pursue their careers elsewhere. What do you do when people exit your organisation? How do you keep track of them and how do you keep them involved into your activities? Exit interviews improve employee retention, when followed up accurately. Moreover, having a strong alumni program is an important part of the exit process as well. If your alumni remain advocates of your brand, your circle of influence increases and you become more attractive as a company.

Making the Employee journey a part of your strategic HR activities, will strengthen your Employer brand and will help you to be an Employer of choice.

Conclusion:
Loyal, passionate employees bring an organisation as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile. They bring you more great employees. And that spreads happiness — happiness for employees, for customers, and for shareholders.

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Jos Jumelet Senior Consultant at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Jos Jumelet is a Senior Consultant at LHC. He is an operator at heart and has great experience in the field of hotel management. He has experience in leading owned, managed and franchised hotels. He is result oriented with a strong focus on quality. He has also gained experience in the leisure industry, which reinforces his strong knowledge of owner – operator relations. Jos has been involved in hotel selling and acquisition as well as in rebranding. He has additional project experience in hotel renovations, extensions and has overseen clustering activities. Jos is an alumnus of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. He speaks English, French, German and his mother tongue Dutch.