Managing Human Capital: Teams In Luxury

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

Luxury companies’ employees require specific abilities. In luxury, the human hand 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, it is not enough performance, enthusiasm, and dedication of one single person or a couple of people is not enough. It is through only the efforts of forming a team, each member of whom is complementing each other. In other words, it is a totally dedicated and responsible teamwork that a luxury company comprise of.

Luxury is extremely creative and refined. This is particularly required at the level of production and communication. A luxury team is formed of a variety of employees who should have a correct attitude. The reality is that the team should have at least one creative person. You cannot expect that everyone in the team is creative, but you should ensure that there is at least one creative mind. If that is the case that everyone is creative and behaves creatively, it is already the wrong team. That creative mind should simply know the brand’s value, its promise and the expectations of its loyal and potential customers, economic value of the product, nature of it 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 this group of employees. As such, retention efforts are very crucial for consistency and sustaining the quality and originality.

To blend both creative minds and performers, a well-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. Manager should be very familiar, knowledgeable, and experienced with the products, its luxury concepts and job itself, possess the difference compared to peers, and has something extra to enable them to work with both creative minds and performers to produce the goods. Managers who have experience in traditional companies will experience difficulties while blending with the team and adapting themselves to that specific requirement and environment of the luxury workplace. Choosing the right caliber manager is crucial. 

Stability in teams that includes creatives minds, performers, and managers is an important key since human capital is an important 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 crucial to retain the originality of the luxury products and services. Moving from one company to another one constantly 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 taking a very important part with responsibility and attitude to create, perform and manage. The great luxury companies have splendid venues and stores and are producing 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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