Venues of Excellence chairman and EEF Venues MD, David Vaughton, encourages greater focus on wellbeing to improve customer service and staff happiness.
At EEF Venues, we believe in ‘soft’ investments as much as on the bricks and mortar. So why, and how do we define a ‘soft’ investment? For us, this can be beautiful gardens, stimulating art, better food and beverage; it’s the stuff the customer doesn’t directly pay for, but still anticipates, and certainly values.
For us, loyalty is built around service. This is why we need to link wellbeing and customer service inextricably together, and make them both part of our ‘softer’ investments. We actively encourage others to do likewise.
The subject of wellness is growing within business, and not just in the events industry.
Mental health has become a major cause for concern in people’s daily lives, and business has a responsibility to make a positive influence on the people it affects. This can, and should, be looked at from both a pragmatic and emotional point of view; does a positive approach to wellness impact positively on business performance? But, also, what sort of values does our business have?
For us, wellness isn’t just an investment in staff wellbeing, it’s a message to our customers that we care about them, about everyone in fact. A host greeting someone at the door because they are told to is acceptable service, a host who clearly enjoys their job, and is a happy and satisfied person, engages delegates, makes them laugh, makes them feel good in turn. This is exceptional service.
This can only be done by investing in things that make our staff feel good, and by showing them that we care about them. This, for me, is the very essence of wellness and where it meets great customer service and positive business. We can track customer satisfaction, we can track return and loyalty levels, and we can relate that back to a positive strategy around our people; one that puts their mental and physical health at the core.
Personally, I have no interest to run a business that doesn’t care about wellness, in particularly mental health, but all aspects of work life balance and personal wellbeing.
It’s down to us as an industry to support our people to keep them productive, but to also show them how much we care. Our reputation is built around what we do, what we say and what others say about us; if we take care of the first one, the second two will take care of us.
David Vaughton was speaking to Mike Fletcher