I just got back from our annual Christmas trip, a trip to unwind, relax and sharpen the saw. I try very hard to not work, except during specified times on these trips. This is usually very hard.
When you are away from home you rely on so many different employees of so many different companies to make your trip a success. We were super fortunate this year, got service from 3 different employees that were at the highest level of engagement. We also received service from some employees who were, sadly, not engaged.
Decided to eat dinner the first night at a really nice restaurant. After we were seated, we were greeted by Jeff – a professional server. Jeff was so engaged, you would have thought he was the owner of this restaurant. He was so proud of his workplace and very enthusiastic about meeting new customers. He explained not only the menu and specials but the history of the restaurant and how they cooked their food. He did not miss a beat, all orders were correct, cooked perfectly and our drinks never got below half full. It was a great start to a great getaway.
It is difficult to find a restaurant on Christmas Eve that is open past noon, other than fast food. I was not expecting much in the way of service, I was expecting service staff that was in a hurry to get home to their families and away from work. I was pleasantly surprised when Amy came to our table. She was on point, from suggestions in the beginning to the goodbye at the end. She was very happy to be at work and it showed. A smile on her face the entire time and not one mistake was made. She made what I thought would be a normal dinner into a great experience.
We visited the water park every day and encountered many different lifeguards and water park staff. David was the shining star of the entire complex. He made the wait in line to ride a slide more than worth it! If you have ever been to a water park, you know the job has got to be quite taxing on the employees, dealing with a lot of kids who are more than enthusiastic and sometimes don’t follow the rules or the safety guidelines.
David talked to every one of his “guests” before they got on the slide, he had fun with the young kids as well as the adults. He was having a great time. I later saw David doing some of his “other” tasks, picking up towels and stocking the towel shelves for everyone. He had a smile on his face and was still talking to every guest he passed. He did not just say hello, he asked questions. He wanted to know if all guests were pleased with the water park and if they were having fun.
When I checked into the hotel, the front desk employee was too busy dealing with someone on the phone to even look up at me, although he did lower the phone to say, “Hope you have a good stay”. OMG, I was really feeling poorly about my choice in hotels. The housekeeping staff that I did encounter were somewhat indifferent. They smiled as you walked past, but never engaged a guest with conversation. The room was not the cleanest I have experienced either. I remember a couple of other servers that were acceptable, but can’t remember their names.
Engaged employees make everything better, from your meal to your fun! In most cases they are unforgettable and make you want to return…