You don’t get to be one of the top convention centres in the world without an amazing team that works in perfect synchronicity. We’re pretty proud of our success at Shaw Centre, having been named among the top 3 best convention centres in the world in 2014, based on customer surveys. On top of that, we continually hit between 4.7 and 4.9 out of 5 in customer satisfaction surveys. These achievements would not be possible without our dedicated employees who truly are the heart and soul of our organization.
Ask any boss or HR manager in almost any business and they’ll tell you the same thing: nobody is irreplaceable, but maintaining low turnover is key. Knowledge is power, so when you lose an employee, you lose that person’s corporate knowledge. Plus, there are significant costs to train a new team member to understand not only their duties, but also the corporate culture. In addition, employee departures can create a negative impact around the office, affecting overall team performance.
In a business like ours, employees – both front and back of house – can make or break a customer’s experience and affect their opinion of our organization. As a management team, we rely on our staff to uphold and execute the standards, beliefs and ideas of the organization and we trust them to make many customer-focused decisions every day. Our employees understand our operation from a point of view that management rarely gets to experience, and they serve as the critical link between Shaw Centre and its customers.
Not only do we rely on our frontline employees to care for all our customers’ needs, we also look to them to provide feedback to us on how we are doing as a management team and as an organization. Their input helps us understand which characteristics of Shaw Centre’s brand and identity are most meaningful to employees and which ones might need updating or changing. These insights are particularly valuable now that we’ve passed the five year mark as an organization; nurturing and refining our brand is vital work because it’s one of our most valuable assets and what differentiates us in the global marketplace. The brand promise that an organization makes to consumers is not only delivered through products and services, but also through the behaviors of the employees who represent the brand to customers every single day.
Keeping employees happy is the best way to keep your brand strong and your customer experience positive. By following a simple checklist that’s probably common to many organizations, at Shaw Centre we endeavour to maintain and increase satisfaction by ensuring that employees are:
• Respected, valued, listened to and challenged;
• Trusted with decision-making and/or responsibilities;
• Made aware of career growth opportunities;
• Kept informed and engaged; and
• Given specific and frequent feedback.
With hundreds of full and part time employees at Shaw Centre, keeping this commitment to employee happiness is a big job, but it’s one that we’ll never shy away from. Our success comes down to one key strength, which is exceptional customer service. This doesn’t happen by accident. So how do we work to ensure everyone on our team keeps delivering that outstanding service? Here are just a few tangible things we do:
Communicate with them via The Stage, our internal newspaper sharing new programs, news about the business, upcoming events, client feedback, promotions, personal milestones, colleague profiling. We also have a television in the employee lounge with on-going news about our business playing in a loop.
Empower them via our customer enhancement program (pashmina, flat shoes, reading glasses) which allows them to be proactive and anticipate guests’ needs. Staff then get the credit for and the immediate reward of a happy customer.
Facilitate charitable giving thanks to our charity of choice (Mealshare) and volunteer days. Charitable giving improves employee engagement by boosting productivity, promoting ethical behavior, increasing gratitude to the organization, and fostering increased pride in their work.
Focus on teamwork to encourage pursuit of common goals. Our organization’s generally positive attitude in the workplace extends beyond just the rank-and-file employees. When a corporate giving program brings together people from all levels of the organization – from the C-level to the mail room – everyone feels like they are truly working together as a team.
The relationship between external customers and internal customers is symbiotic. At Shaw Centre we genuinely believe in the adage that if you take care of your employees, they will in turn take care of your business. It’s simple, really. Happy employees equal happy customers.