Luxury brands, by definition, need to be a cut above – and not just in terms of their aesthetics. Luxury customers expect, and pay for, attention to the very finest details. Delivering on this expectation requires more than precision: it requires passion. After all, it is the people behind the brand that make luxury goods and services truly luxurious. That is why high end brands need to pay as much attention to their employees as they do to their customers.
It is not an overstatement to say that the success of a luxury brand relies on the employees who bring it to life. Good leaders know that their teams need to be inspired and empowered in order to deliver on their brand’s promise. To display the level of responsiveness, attention to detail and unwavering quality demanded by the luxury market, a brand’s employees must have passion and pride in everything they do.
To display the level of responsiveness, attention to detail and unwavering quality demanded by the luxury market, a brand’s employees must have passion and pride in everything they do.
Building the right team
Both pride and negativity are infectious, which is why it is vital that every single person on your team displays enthusiasm for the job, right from the start. Whereas training and motivational initiatives will help to stimulate and sustain passion, forming a team of people who love what they do should begin with the recruitment process. This will ensure that the whole team approaches your brand’s mission statement with interest.
After sourcing staff that fit your culture, it is essential to get off on the right foot. There is something powerful about the way a staff member is introduced to a new role – when done right, this can positively affect their relationship with your brand from their first day on the job, to the last. Experiences such as letting them stay in one of your luxury hotel rooms and order room service, for example, will provide them with an invaluable insight into the experience of your customers, while also making them feel appreciated.
Building a framework for excellence
One thing is for sure – securing pride in your workforce does not just come down to financial incentives. Of course, fair levels of pay are essential, but inflated packages can in fact distract from the motivating factors which you would like them to be focusing on. Take for example the outstanding performance of the 70,000 Olympic volunteers. Without being paid a penny for their time, they exhibited immense pride in their individual roles, the event itself and as representatives of their country.
Trusting your staff and giving them responsibility to make decisions and act on them are great ways to encourage them to go beyond the minimum requirements of their role. This can be supported by clear processes that outline the high level of service they are constantly expected to deliver, providing them with a benchmark to measure themselves against – a measure that is in addition to the example provided by every one of your organisation’s leaders, who it goes without saying, should act as behavioural role models at all times.
In the end, respect goes a long way. Create an environment that leaves your employees feeling respected, and it will translate in the work that they do, which will in turn enhance the experience of your customers. When employees are passionate about their work and feel valued as individuals, they will have pride in what they do and provide an effort fit for a luxury.