It’s always good to be an inspiration to colleagues. Particularly when it’s Julie Lombe, National Trainer for Sothy’s.
Julie reminds us that ethnic skin care education is a global issue and still rife with opportunities for improvement:
La frontière entre marques cosmétiques généralistes et ethniques s’estompe progressivement. Qu’elles soient de parfumerie (Lancôme) ou de grande distribution (L’Oréal, Dove, She Moisture), les marques de maquillage, de soin ou de soin capillaire tendent à se globaliser et à s’adresser à une clientèle multiculturelle.
On ne peut pas du tout en dire autant pour les marques professionnelles ! Les causes de cette invisibilité ethnique sont à chercher auprès de tous les acteurs de l’industrie : monde éducatif, marques, spas et instituts … et clients. Un article inspiré par les réflexions de Linda Harding Bond.
Despite the proliferation of introverts in the industry, old school methods of training are still being used in spas around the globe! This may be due in part because hospitality companies don’t often conduct personality assessments for their employees.
However, those of us who work in spas know that the serene atmosphere and mellow vibe tends to attract a more laid back soft spoken kind of person.
In the case of sales training, 99% of programs are designed for extroverts. Read More
As consumers become more knowledgeable about what other consumers are experiencing, the demands for excellent customer service increase. The vast majority of consumers say they will walk out of a store if they receive inadequate assistance from employees. Nowhere is this more impactful than in the luxury market.
Despite the importance of individual attention at luxury retailer stores, many consumers think today’s brands aren’t delivering. Only 38% of consumers said they receive better customer service in luxury retail than in non-luxury retail.
Want to read more of my article? It’s on Huffington Post-Click Here
Would Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor have tolerated customer service shaped only by a checklist? No. Neither do today’s guests of The Beverly Hills Hotel, a favorite of those two actresses. While leading the 1,000 employees at The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, I’ve seen how a customer’s experience can change based on something as small as a smile. At such moments, smooth operations and efficient processes are no substitute for an engaged, motivated employee with the instinct to do the right thing.
Yet luxury hospitality and retail businesses, like many other companies, can struggle to motivate employees. This is often a particular challenge with hourly-wage workers. Few organizations master it. As customers, we have all experienced an overworked and undervalued employee dismiss us with a shrug.
At our hotels, we keep our team motivated and our morale high by focusing on four important factors:
Financial Security One of the most important ways that managers can help these employees be their best is to start by making them feel safe. Employees can only deliver great service if they have peace of mind. They can’t give their best if they are worried about their incomes or job security. Creating this sense of safety is really about speaking to two parts of each employee: his heart and his head.
Forgiveness Fair pay is the basis for creating an organization where employees feel secure, but of course, it’s not enough. You also have to manage each employee’s emotions – that’s the heart. One of the most powerful ways to do this as a manager is to forgive errors. No matter how high your standards, perfection is beyond human reach. True forgiveness must be felt, not just stated.
When a person in my organization makes a mistake, I always try to ask: Are they repeating a mistake or making it for the first time? Can we forgive and teach? Sometimes the cerebral policy has to bend to the heart – because the employee made a mistake trying to do the right thing. Perhaps the employee took initiative to solve a customer problem for which we don’t have a policy. Looked at that way, maybe the mistake wasn’t a mistake after all.
It’s just as important to practice collective forgiveness. A hotel in San Francisco where I worked previously lost a 5-star travel rating after an inspector gave us a poor grade for front-of hotel experience. We had to connect head and heart to rally the team to win the rating back– even as customer volume was booming and we always felt short-staffed.
For two years, we nurtured excellence, meeting with employees one-on-one to analyze service. A secret shopper evaluated the team every six to eight weeks. At shift meetings, we shared the results, praising successes and noting mistakes. Individuals who scored well earned gift certificates or salary boosts. Soon, staffers were congratulating each other for 100% test scores. We shared positive reinforcement openly, but gave negative feedback privately, in combination with coaching.
Respect When I arrived at The Beverly Hills Hotel, the employee entrance and locker rooms were, in the words of one colleague, “horrific” — quite run down and dirty. When you’re asking people to come to work in an ultra-luxury environment, this is a stark way to start the day. So we revamped the employee entrance to resemble the hotel’s iconic front-of-house arrival area for the guests — down to the green-and- white-striped canopy, palm plants, and red carpet. Today when employees come to work, they walk the red carpet, with music playing in the background. They have a sense of arrival and strong team morale.
Decisions like these lead employees to articulate not only that your company is a good place to work, but also why it is a good place to work.
Communication To make employees feel safe, respected, and when necessary, forgiven, leaders have to make themselves available. At the Beverly Hills we have an open-door policy. Any employee can come see me with a question or suggestion. According to employee survey data, that policy helped overall employee engagement rise by 12% between 2010 and 2014. And at lunchtime, I frequently eat in the employee cafeteria, not the guest dining room, and I sit with different people in order to hear a range of feedback. This also gives me the opportunity to put our company’s good growth news front and center for our team, which reassures everyone in the organization – from the back office to the lobby – that their incomes are secure. It’s a positive, self-reinforcing loop.
As we come into the holiday season most spas will begin to experience an upturn in their customer bookings and overall sales. But is your staff delivering the kind of positive experience that will have your new customers craving more? Read More