Managing human capital teams in luxury

Hakan Ozel, Area General Manager, Operations of Shangri-La Dubai

Luxury companies’ employees require specific abilities. In luxury, the human touch is everywhere. It is always people who make a luxury brand. They need, in addition to high professionalism, talent, creativity, sensitivity and attitude for detail in luxury. Succeeding in luxury requires both a highly creative and imaginative as well as rigorous approach. However, performance, enthusiasm, and dedication of one single person or a couple of people is not enough. It is only through the efforts of forming a team, the members of which complement each other. In other words, a luxury company requires totally dedicated and responsible teamwork.

Luxury is extremely creative and refined. This is particularly required at the level of production and communication. A luxury team consists of a variety of employees who should have a correct attitude. The team should have at least one creative person. You cannot expect everyone in the team to be creative, but you should ensure that there is at least one creative mind. If it is the case that everyone is creative and behaves creatively, it is already the wrong team.

The creative mind should know the brand’s value, its promise, the expectations of its loyal and potential customers, the economic value of the product, its nature such as presentability, beauty and fine details while creating. And this is not enough; the product must sell, too.

While creating luxury goods, other than the creative mind, the rest of the employees who contribute to the production should be experienced and refined with a correct attitude. This is a rare resource, and this group of employees should be made loyal to the company. It takes a lot of time to train and develop such a group of employees. As such, retention efforts are crucial for consistency and sustaining quality and originality.

To blend both creative minds and performers, a very experienced manager is required in luxury. The ideal is that the luxury company should have leaders who have a proven record of luxury experience work history including their worth in their mainstream world. The manager should be very familiar, knowledgeable, and experienced with the products, the luxury concepts and the job itself, and has something extra, beyond their peers, enable them to work with both creative minds and performers to produce the goods. Managers who only have experience in traditional companies will have difficulties in blending with the team and adapting to the specific requirement and environment of the luxury workplace. Choosing the right caliber manager is essential.

Stability in teams that include creative minds, performers, and managers is an important key since human capital is a vital part of giving value to luxury brands. Traditionally, luxury employees spend a big portion of their entire career in a single luxury company. The faithfulness of these employees to luxury companies leads to a certain cultural originality, apparent in its products and services, as obviously recognized by the customers. In this case, employee loyalty is pivotal in order to retain the originality of the luxury products and services. Constantly moving from one company to another causes the originality of the brand to disappear.

When we talk about teamwork in luxury, it is not about helping and supporting each other, but paking a very important part with responsibility and attitude to create, perform and manage.

The great luxury companies have splendid venues and stores and produce beautiful products and services. In these venues and stores, the brand’s image is transmitted to the public and customers. Luxury teams fulfill the brand’s promise and make the customers’ dreams come true.

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