Posted on Jan 14, 2021 3:30:00 PM by Aaron
The heart and soul of our business and the hospitality industry overall is people.
Serving people. Employing people. Partnering with people. The product we “sell” is space and comfort, yet what we actually exist to provide is inspiration. Each day, the guests in our hotels wake up and move about their day in the name of accomplishment. They are setting out to do something. When they leave their beds, their rooms, and the hotel property, they are destined to achieve something. The purpose of KAJ is to motivate everyone in order to achieve.
We do that by designing a hospitality experience fostered by a family-like culture.
As with any business, revenue matters. KAJ has goals for growth firmly in place. Yet there is so much more to our purpose than what monetary value can prove. We’re also keenly aware of the industry we’re a part of, one that seemingly trades in the currency of reviews and opinions.
We acknowledge that both revenue and reviews help drive our business, but that people are who truly propel us forward and affect our operations each day. By saying KAJ Hospitality is a yes, and organization means we’re fully aware of how business happens and what it takes to remain successful … and that people will always be an important part of that equation.
According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, there are over 54,000 hotel properties in the U.S. and over five million guestrooms. With stats like that, it can be hard to see our business beyond the aforementioned revenue and reviews scenario. What’s important to our company is the differentiation we bring to that expansive market that helps define our brand in order to better serve people—including our employees, guests, partners, vendors, and communities.
About a year ago, our team began the process of recommitting to our long-term visions of success through establishing a brand consistent with our values and culture. The goal was to provide a framework that would support our operations across each property and within each interaction our team has with each other and external-facing people. As part of that exercise, we conducted interviews at each property to gain critical insights into the team dynamic present.
We spoke to staff members with decades of tenure and new hires. We sought out each department from sales to engineering to housekeeping to support staff. We craved a well-rounded narrative that represented the culture within each property so we could gauge continuity and identify gaps. One overarching theme that came from the exercise helped us realize the hands-on and experiential differentiator was firmly in place: that the word no isn’t in the vocabulary of KAJ teammates.
Not only did our team recognize that attribute within the team around them, but they also shared that from a personal perspective sharing how important and gratifying it is when they can, touch, and do things that make the culture and experience at KAJ better.
Our recently unveiled tagline “Here for People” summarizes this particular differentiator the best. It’s bold and brilliant in its simplicity and the expanse it covers in the name of our organization. Every interaction and decision we make is based on the notion that people deserve to be treated like family. It helps us know exactly how to handle each situation with continuity and grace from top to bottom.
We aim to be warm and friendly, yet professional.
We are both helpful and approachable.
We’re consistent yet flexible.
We are both Midwestern and innovative.
Our team is aware of our industry and some of the standards that accompany our line of business. Hospitality is often viewed as transactional and impersonal. With every interaction we have, we call upon our culture to focus on trust, loyalty, and the human experience.
We’ve established a process for the partnership arm of our business so those we serve in that capacity know what to expect and what is expected of them throughout the process. There are many positive aspects of planning a vision and setting all the wheels in motion in order to achieve it. To that, our team believes our ability to execute upon said vision is something unique in our landscape.
Internally, we employ EOS—the Entrepreneurial Operating System which is a framework that brings simplicity and practicality to organizations’ culture in order to drive growth and support visions of success. Through this system, we gained invaluable insight into how to make processes stick and more importantly, how to make execution a standard expectation for the people we serve.
Keeping things simple isn’t always easy. Humans are complex creatures and often we’re affected by the simple nature of that fact. Yet, at KAJ we strive to make it simple for those we serve. Simplicity is underrated.
That embodies the notion that our brand and our service is straightforward. That with each interaction, there’s clarity and understanding. Problems are met with critical thinking and solutions that make sense. We hope each time we're fortunate enough to make an impression on the people we serve, it's in a favorable light and leaves an impact that our version of hospitality is built for people.