Last year I had the pleasure of working with Sea Island to measure employee/team member perceptions of working for Sea Island. Sea Island is an amazing resort on the coast of Georgia where the rich and famous go to vacation. I was out there last week to present the team member survey results to some of the executives and managers. I had the opportunity to stay at the resort, and this place was absolutely amazing. This was the nicest place I have ever stayed by far, you can see a picture of the main part of the resort below.
However, what made it truly amazing was not the ocean, the architecture, or the amazing food, all of which really was amazing. It was the people. The staff at Sea Island were absolutely incredible. They would bend over backwards for you and do it with a cheerful attitude. I was shocked at just how happy the staff was. Just about everyone I met were some of the nicest and friendliest people I have interacted with at an organization. So when I looked at the employee survey results, is it any surprise the scores were also very good? The team members really enjoy working there. I have blogged before about how loyalty and happy employees exhibit positive behaviors which impact the customer. Sea Island is a case study in how this works and the impact it has on the customer.
You might think that working at a resort is not a bad gig, but keep in mind, they are still working, they aren't playing in the ocean or talking private squash lessons from their on-site squash pro (yeah that is right). They also have to deal with some not-so-nice people. We heard some pretty rude customers while we were there, but the staff took it all with a wonderful attitude. I think it starts with the culture and tone of leadership in that they truly seem to care about the employees and truly want to take care of them. The employees then want to take care of each other and support one another, they really are a team. This then translates into impacting the customers in a very positive way. They are truly exemplifying the service profit chain and that happy employees make for happy customers, however in their case I would say happy employees make for an amazing experience for the customer.