Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Focusing on the Employee Experience

What are others perceptions of us? Do those we come into contact with think we’re friendly? Kind? Happy? Or do they think that we’re stand-offish, short-tempered, grumpy? Some of each, depending on the day? Truth is, most of us care about how we ‘show up’ in the world. We care about the energy and signals we’re sending out and how others experience us. As employers and business owners, we certainly care about our guests’ experiences while they’re in our care, and so it stands to reason that we would also care about our employee’s experience working for us. 

Why care? Well one obvious reason is that if you have a great employee, you want them to come back for another season, or maybe several! And if they had a good experience working for you, they’re more likely to do so. And they’re more likely to talk up your place and opportunities to their friends, in-person and on social media. And because, well, it’s just a good thing when your seasonal employees enjoy their time with you. If they’re happy, your guests stand a better chance of being happy. It’s a win-win!

The exit interview is a good time to learn about your employee’s experience. Did they feel valued? Did they feel they were treated with respect and kindness? Did they learn new skill sets? Did they make new friends? Did they get out and take advantage of all your property and area had to offer? What are a couple of their take-away memories of their season with you? And what do they think would have made the experience better? 

Also consider a stay interview – one that’s conducted mid-season. A check-in to see how their experience working for you is going so far. Consider questions like: How would you rate the communication in your department? Is your position what you expected it to be?  Have you received adequate training for your position? What conditions here enable you – or make it hard – to do your best work? Their feedback and/or suggestions mid-season give you an opportunity for a course correction.

The employee experience is directly related to your company culture. You can think of your company culture as its personality – it defines the environment in which employees work. Company culture includes a variety of elements, including work environment, company mission, values and ethics.

A good employer-employee match is one where these elements line up. For instance, if your work environment is one of team-work and requires flexibility, then you’ll be best served by employees that enjoy and thrive as part of a team with flexibility in work duties and schedules. 

Also, keep in mind that culture is dynamic and it shifts – incrementally and constantly – in response to external and internal changes. We know that new bosses often shift the company culture from the top down, but employees can create shifts as well. You may have that one star employee, and the way they work with guests and/or their teammates may offer a fresh voice and energy that creates just that little shift in your overall culture. 

The CoolWorks Enhanced Employer Profile gives you an opportunity to share a bit about your Employee Experience. So when you’re creating your Enhanced Profile, or sprucing it up for your upcoming recruiting season, consider these questions to help you craft the Employe Experience section: What’s it like to work and live there? What do you value and how do those values shape your employee’s experience? What’s fun and enriching about working at YOUR Great Place? What will be the best take-away after a season working with you?

Taking some time to describe your employee experience will will help you attract like-minded employees who will be able to thrive and maybe even add to your company culture.