Airbnb Chief Human Resource Officer Becomes Chief Employee Experience Officer
Businesses have long recognized the importance of delivering a differentiated and engaging experience for their customers. But as Millennials have surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, companies are now applying the same philosophy of creating memorable customer experiences to keep their own employees engaged and happy. By Jeanne Meister, Jul 21, 2015 , Forbes
Today, forward-looking companies are well aware that top talent is looking for more than a job with benefits. While some companies create experiences central to the “place of work,” such as access to gym facilities, free massages, and gourmet food, Airbnb is building what I call the “workplace as an experience™.” The essence of the “workplace as an experience” is where all the elements of work—the physical, the emotional, the intellectual, the virtual, and the aspirational—are carefully orchestrated to inspire employees.
Airbnb Looks To Create memorable Workplace Experiences For Employees
Airbnb, with over 1,000,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries (now including Cuba), is a leader in the sharing economy, one where consumers stay with peers rather than staying in a traditional hotel. Just as YouTube did to television, and the Huffington Post did to mainstream media, Airbnb allows everyone to be both a contributor and a consumer. Airbnb is now taking this “contributor experience” inside to their employees, and is creating the “workplace as an experience.”
Levy’s scope of responsibilities reflects this expanded vision. Levy is responsible for not only typical HR functions such as recruiting, talent management and development, HR operations, and total rewards, but also a range of new areas which create the “workplace as an experience” vision. This expanded scope of responsibilities includes such functions as facilities, food, global citizenship, and a secret sauce of creative individuals in most offices called ground control, who focus on bringing the Airbnb culture to life through workplace environments, internal communications, as well as employee events, celebration, and recognition.
As Joe Gebbia, Co-Founder of Airbnb, says, “Everything at Airbnb is a continuation of what it’s like to be a guest in somebody’s house.” The role of Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb blurs the lines between the functions of Marketing, Communications, Real Estate, Social Responsibility, and Human Resources.
Every aspect of creating the employee experience is focused on designing an extraordinary physical, emotional, intellectual, virtual, and aspirational experience for Airbnb employees. From the tasty and healthy menus for their free meals to the meeting rooms offered are inspired by active Airbnb listings. In addition, the food service is not outsourced but a part of the Airbnb Family and the work environment.