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How To Create A Culture So Strong That Your Customers Can Identify Your Values

A look behind the curtain of how one company, Rosewood Mayakoba, does this masterfully, and how your company can, too.

Photo Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba
Photo Courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

Every company talks about culture, yet few create one so pervasive that it’s felt not only by the team, but by the customers.

Recently, I had such an experience as a guest at Rosewood Mayakoba, a stunning resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. As a result, I reached out to the staff to get their perspective on how they created this ecosystem in hopes that other businesses, big and small, could learn something from it.

Whether it was a staff member who works in landscaping but was willing to stop on his golf cart and take me where I was going, or the person who greeted me by name with a smile at the spa, I couldn’t help but feel as though every person who worked there was just as happy to be there as I was.

So, at every opportunity, I’d ask and kept hearing about how staff members had been there for the entirety of the resort’s existence, how they have team theme parties to keep morale high, and that even those who leave to pursue other jobs often come back. It was authentic, not forced in the least, and upon talking with other guests, they felt it, too.

Photo courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

So how do they create this? Let’s learn from their team:

It starts with hiring

Have you ever considered how your values are infused into your hiring practices? That even if you don’t have a role open, if someone is a standout and aligns with them, that you find them one?

That’s what Managing Director Daniel Scott does. “It starts with a different approach to hiring, looking solely at attitude. Do you take joy in making others happy? If so, we’ll find a job for you. We spend as much time enriching our team’s experience as we do on the guest experience. Service is not subservient. We are hosts, taking care of others. When you are surrounded by people invested in the happiness of others, it’s contagious. Sharing and striving to fulfill this mission is the practice we aim to perfect.”

Photo courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

It seeps into every detail

No matter into which nook or cranny of your business you look, the ‘devil is in the details’. In this case, this includes the cuisine. Chef Juan Pablo Loza, Director of Culinary Experiences, explains, “We are passionate about our responsible, clean culinary offerings. Every day we make conscious choices regarding what will be beneficial for our guests, the environment, and our community. We are a certified Seafood Watch partner. We have an organic garden on-property that provides a rainbow of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. We’ve even been recognized by the government of Mexico for our sustainable purchasing practices. Our guests feel great after eating our food, and we feel great knowing that we’re staying true to our core values.”

Photo courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

See your employees holistically

No one’s life exists in silos, and what’s going on in their private life impacts their work life. Emmanuel Arroyo, Regional Director of Wellness, uses this to help amplify the spa experience sharing, Our wellness team is incredibly devoted to incorporating healing methods into our own daily lives. Many of these practices have inspired the personal transformative journeys we have created for our guests. We blend the ancient Mayan and Pre-Hispanic principles with which many of us have grown up, with modern-day, spiritual pampering. This results in a unique, holistic wellness experience.”

Create unique experiences that blend your staff with your customers

There’s often an invisible line between employees and customers, however Aurora Avila, Celebrations Manager, has found ways to merge them. She shares about “…a dinner that happens two or three times a week where our guests sit side by side with our associates and share a delicious meal. Like in a Mexican home, mi casa es su casa! It gives us an opportunity to speak to our guests (our family) on a personal level, while enjoying beautiful food and listening to incredible live music.”

Have regular all-staff gatherings

While team meetings are common, it’s also important to bring together all staff across disciplines to learn together, be acknowledged, and connect. Lilian Toral, Director of Rooms, gives an overview of their practice: “The entire team gathers regularly for an all-property operations meeting. It’s an opportunity for us to share thoughts on what is working well and what we can improve. We also recognize our team members who are doing great work, which is my favorite part of the meeting. We strive to be exceptional and are always pushing ourselves to be better in some way. These meetings give us a forum for discussion. We are not alone in our journey, we have our extended Rosewood Mayakoba family behind us.”

Photo courtesy of Rosewood Mayakoba

Connect your values to a larger purpose

Guest Relations Manager Jose Maria Lizarraga shares about a unique way they’ve extended their values into the community and invited customers to partake. He says, “Recently, we opened Centro Educativo K’iin Beh, which is a school for elementary and middle-school students in Playa del Carmen. Many of our guests contribute in some way: they volunteer time or resources to support our community. The children benefit significantly, but also our guests feel rewarded knowing that they are helping to enrich the lives of others.”  

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