Karen Richardson, Founder of Richardson Talent Solutions, and a consultant for ALHI’s Strategic Consulting Services, is an accomplished executive who partners with organizations and boards of directors to identify, cultivate and prepare talent to succeed. With an educational background focus on business and finance and more than 25 years of HR experience at GE, she possesses both strategic and execution expertise. Her breadth of expertise includes talent management, C-suite and board engagement, cultural transformation, organizational development, succession planning and performance management. Her client roster includes organizations worldwide and across various industries from aerospace to fintech, automotive to food service.

Employee experience, once considered a soft aspect of HR, has taken center stage in the global luxury hospitality industry. Its importance has surpassed mere satisfaction surveys and annual reviews to becoming an influential factor directly impacting a hotel's profitability and brand reputation.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs up to 200% of an average employee's annual salary to find a replacement after they depart. The time and resources spent on sourcing, interviewing, hiring, onboarding and training new talent can be substantial. This is particularly true in the luxury hospitality industry where high levels of service quality and guest satisfaction are paramount. The costs aren't just financial; lost institutional knowledge, decreased productivity, overworked remaining staff and the potential impact on customer satisfaction are all parts of this expensive equation.

Conversely, a robust employee experience strategy can have significant benefits. A study by the Jacob Morgan Group showed that companies that invested in employee experience were four times more profitable than those that didn't. Similarly, Gallup found that organizations that effectively engage their employees experience 59% less turnover.

You craft unique experiences for guests daily. It's time to apply that same philosophy to your employees. Happy, engaged employees are more likely to provide outstanding service, resulting in more satisfied guests, increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. In a digital age where online reviews significantly influence travelers' choices, having a motivated and committed staff that creates memorable guest experiences can be a game-changer. It's no longer just about beautiful properties and unique amenities; the people who deliver these services are your true differentiators.

Employee experience is not a one-time initiative. It's an ongoing strategy that requires commitment from all levels, especially from leadership. It encompasses every interaction an employee has with your organization, from recruitment to exit. Implementing a well-thought-out strategy that values employee feedback, encourages growth and development and recognizes employee contributions can make all the difference in retaining top talent.

By investing in employee experience, you're not just reducing the costs associated with turnover. You're building an engaged, motivated workforce committed to providing the unforgettable experiences your guests expect. Remember, your employees are your brand ambassadors and a positive employee experience will likely translate into a superior guest experience.


To learn more, go to ALHI’s Strategic Consulting Services or contact Karen Richardson at karen@richardsontalentsolutions.com.