The conversation around returning to the workplace has become a headline for major companies. After two years, some professionals may not be enthusiastic about the return. For many employees, the pre-pandemic office experience posed challenges: limited flexibility, long commutes and sometimes basic amenities. But what if the office could be a place employees want to be?
“According to Travel and Leisure’s ‘2021 Top 25 Hotel Brands in the World’, more travelers are gravitating towards brands that focus on guest wellbeing.”
When recalling places you have had a great experience, of what do you think? What is it about a favorite hotel, restaurant or bar that makes patrons want to return? Greater understanding of what makes top-rated hotels, restaurant groups and airlines so popular can offer fresh insights for the workplace. While offerings, price points and classifications vary, one key factor is consistent across the board: superior customer experience.
According to Travel and Leisure’s ‘2021 Top 25 Hotel Brands in the World’[i], more travelers are gravitating towards brands that focus on guest wellbeing. The Oetker Collection ranked #4 largely due to its warm, gracious service and ability to make guests “feel like family.” Belmond came in at #22 for its genuine service and beautiful properties that “reflect a sense of place.” Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI) published its annual ranking of top luxury hotels in the world in which they evaluate 123 touchpoints. LTI stated: "It's all about a brand's ability to deliver: its passion, commitment, ethos and values, as well as the quality of its management and staff.”[ii]
“Humans are social beings that seek connection. Businesses should look for ways to enable connectivity in the workplace through physical spaces and programmatic offerings.”
Airline rankings carry a similar theme, according to Travel and Leisure’s ‘The Top International Airlines.’[iii] At number two, Qatar Airways is regarded for its “excellent crew, amazing food, [and] on point comfort.” Eva Air jumped from number four to three this year due, in part, to “excellent service and food." 26-time winner, Singapore Airlines is regularly awarded best-in-class because of its acute attention to customer service. Customers reflected on their experience, noting the “intuitive service on board” and “how flight attendants were always ready to lend a hand, refresh a drink or go the extra mile.”
From hotels to airlines to food service, these hospitality services experts are prioritizing one key element: experience – people want to feel engaged, connected and heard. This is Hospitality 101.
Humans are social beings that seek connection. Businesses should look for ways to enable connectivity in the workplace through physical spaces and programmatic offerings. Companies that consider a reorganization of Corporate Real Estate or Property Management functions to dedicate teams to focus exclusively on employee experience—customer-centric food and beverage programs, wellbeing offerings, concierge services—will likely gain the edge when it comes to employee attraction and retention, especially in markets where competition for talent is fierce. Taking a page out of the hospitality industry’s book, start thinking of employees as guests, creating reasons they want to be in the office rather than reasons they have to be.
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