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The Customer Expo 2018 breakout session dealing with Employee Impact concluded with a presentation from Toyin Powell, Director of Member Acquisition and Early Engagement Strategy for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
She began on a humorous but sincere note, stating that she was a fan of both of the presenters that she followed, that she and her husband love Overstock and that she spends “too much” money at Ulta Beauty.
Powell introduced her company, which she has served for three years now—around the time Wyndham Rewards was launched. It is, in her words, “the simplest and most generous loyalty program in the industry.” Its simplicity gets customers feeling connected with the brand.
At Wyndham, Powell’s role deals with field support. She said, “When we think about training, we think about it holistically, trying to understand that people learn very differently.” Wyndham does not take a one-size-fits-all approach to cultivating a great frontline.
Respecting the differences of employees’ learning styles, Powell has found, leads to a more engaged workforce. “It is so important, particularly for hotel associates, that they are advocates of the brand.”
An impersonal training may lead employees to feel disenchanted, unenthusiastic, and those feelings may spill into their interactions with customers. To keep the training individual, the company has used learning modules that employ gamification.
Powell noted that her company also keeps training engaging for its internal associates as well as its frontline. They too should become advocates of the brand and its rewards program.
“A really big part of what my team focuses on,” she said, “is motivation. And people are motivated by a lot of different things.” To motivate frontline employees to treat guests as well as possible, the company launched an employee engagement program called Wyndham Rewards Ambassador.
The employee chosen as Ambassador is selected by the general manager of a particular hotel. The Ambassador is recognized for his or her knowledge and promotion of the rewards program and willingness to share enthusiasm and excitement with other team members.
The brand leverages reward points as currency for employees. If they benefit from the rewards program, they are then able to experience its benefits and serve as advocates to guests, especially rewards members.
The company has also launched the Applause Award, which gives points to frontline employees in recognition for “doing the right thing,” whether that is encouraging guests to enroll in the program or housekeeping with efficacy and enthusiasm.
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