It is said that:
“Experiences are the new Luxury goods.”
Think about what people are paying for –
- Navy Seal inspired Bootcamp
- Tough Mudder
- Haunted House Vacations
- Survival Vacations
- The Death Race
- To be challenged mentally and physically beyond anything they have ever experienced!
We are spending our free time and our hard earned money, not on relaxation, but on experiences that we will never have or find in our daily life. Experiences that make us feel good about ourselves – doing things we thought we would never be able to do.
You could go out and buy yourself a new Rolex for $5,000 or you could backpack across the desert over two weeks in brutal conditions. Which one would you remember most? Which one would you talk about more? Which one would make you most proud of yourself? Experiences are the new Luxury goods.
I’ve thought about this recently in terms to employee engagement and loyalty. In my company we have had a Sales Retreat a number of times in our history. We don’t have one each year, but we’ve had a number of them in our history. It’s part education, part team building, part motivation, part party. Everyone of them offers a great ’employment’ experience and they are talked about often, months and years later. During these retreats – no sales happen, no recruiting happens, our normal daily work stops. Yet, these are the experiences my team remembers most. Same with the chili cook-offs, the football tailgates, the Friday after-work happy hours. We laugh, we share, we learn more about each other than we knew before.
My recruiters also get to travel to client sites – some are close, within driving distance – some they have to fly to. All of them love going to meet with clients at their locations, seeing their operations, meeting the people face-to-face. Maybe not totally ‘unique’ – but different from their daily tasks for sure. This doesn’t happen weekly, maybe not even monthly – but they all get to get out from time to time.
I’m wondering how often do you give your employees unique experiences? It doesn’t have to trips or picnics. It can be something that fits right into your daily operations and your employees development plans. These experiences can all be tied right to the betterment of your business. Think about that up and coming leader who just isn’t that well known. How hard would it be to have that person co-present at your next department meeting or even at a board meeting! While that might not ‘challenge’ you – it might challenge the heck out of them! What about having your HR Director go on a sales call with your VP of Sales? And not just sit there, but have one portion of the sales presentation they have to answer to!
Unique experiences challenge people. They challenge people to sharpen their saw, to get out of their comfort zone and stay engaged with your business. It’s something money or extra benefits can’t touch. Unique experiences are priceless. They don’t cost of anything, yet it’s one of the most valuable things we have to offer. Great leaders and great HR Pros can make these experiences happen. It doesn’t have to be a crazy position description or job design, it just has to be different from what the person normally does. An average day for one of your operations leaders, could be a crazy day for one of your marketing associates, and vice verse.