Treating Your Employees
Like Honored Guests = Outstanding Customer Service = Business Success
Chip Conley, founder and CEO of Joie de Vivre, the largest
group of boutique hotels in California, believes in treating his employees like honored
guests. He knows that in turn they’ll provide the kind of extraordinary
customer service that will guarantee return business, and recommendations to
friends, family and colleagues.
I had just read his book, “Peak: How Great Companies Get Their
Mojo from Maslow,” and was curious to see if he was really as passionate about
his work and his employees as he sounded in his book. I soon discovered that
his passion was exponential and contagious.
While many organizations have cut back on employee benefits,
appreciation programs and teambuilding events that increase fun at work, Chip
refuses to do that. He says. “Happy
employees equal better workplaces which equals increased profit.
After working with us for three years, salaried employees
get one-month paid sabbaticals.
All employees and their families are given two free nights
per quarter at any Joie de Vivre Hotel. If they choose not to use their nights
during any quarter, they can bank them for a longer stay.
Employees also get discounts on massages and spa services,
and can take any of the lifestyle class that Joie de Vivre offers which
include; learning a new language, how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey, and how to
have a more balanced life.”
As I spoke with him at one of his properties, Hotel Vitale,
I could see and hear the love he had for his work, and the value he placed on
all of his employees feeling included and experiencing the joy of life.
When I asked him how he maintained his own life balance he
replied, “I’m energized because I’ve been living my calling. I love coming to
work. I take vacations, make use of our spa services, and practice yoga and meditation.”
Conley went on to say, “Every day I affirm that as I
surrender, more love comes to me. I’ve learned that I can’t do everything, and
that I need to let go of things I can’t control.”
He has also learned to be “off the clock,” and even have no e-mail
Fridays, which for many of us would be worse than withdrawing from the most
“I named my company Joie de Vivre because I wanted to find
more joy in my life.”
From what I’ve observed, he has.