The Values of ReCapturit® - Hospitality - Framed and Forgotten or Foundational and Felt?
This was just one thought as I was seeking to understand Values in ReCapturit as a company; the existing ones and those to which we would aspire. To discover them, I built categories and word clouds and lists and delved into definitions, all while looking inward to myself and to those Values which were evident at this point in our infant company. It was as if I were rubbing spices in my hands as potential ingredients of a stew, sensing to find those essential to the dish.
They all had to stand strongly alone and to work well together. As individuals, each needed prominence and purpose. As a grouping, they would put forth clarity, potency and unity for how they would communicate.
Many months of stirring that stew has led to these, our ReCapturit Values:
Hospitality - How we treat people.
Stewardship - How we care for things.
Craftsmanship - How we build things.
Learning - How we keep growing.
Integrity - How we live and work.
In the weeks ahead, I will elaborate on each Value individually. Today, let’s start with one that gets an upturned eyebrow when I say you can build Hospitality into a website as well as into an organization.
Hospitality - How we treat people.
Let’s take a look at this from the opposite side, what Hospitality is not. In a human interaction, being ignored when you walk up to a reception desk is not Hospitality. Being placed on hold for an unimaginable length of time and actually looking forward to obnoxious advertisements to break the monotony of the maddening music: not Hospitality. Receiving a curt email without context that takes you several minutes to decipher what the sender is saying? Not Hospitality. It is certainly not the restaurant server blaring at you from ten feet away that "The nachos are awesome and how ‘bout another cocktail?!” while breaking your train of thought with friends you’ve not seen for years; no, not Hospitality.
Is it when you have opened a website and found what you were looking for and just begun to read, and BAM! "Hey! We have a super-important survey that we want you to take NOW and NOW is the time to interrupt and tell you about it because NOW serves our needs NOW!” Feelin' it? Oh, that is definitely not Hospitality.
Those are all serving the sender, not the recipient.
So, what is Hospitality?
Hospitality is notoriously empathetic. You must consider the experiential needs of others. You must anticipate. Hospitality is personal. It is patient. It seeks to serve in a way that the recipient wants to be served. It is a door held open. It is a pleasant greeting. It is a smile and a lift of the head to let someone know you see them and acknowledge their presence, even though you are on the phone. It is the use of one’s name. It is learning and responding when the recipient does not want what you’ve offered and thus modifying your future behavior with as much specificity as you can.
Hospitality is selfless in that it is about the other person. Granted, we feel good when another is made to feel good by our efforts, but that is not its point nor purpose.
Hospitality is alert. It is attentive. It is respectful and kind. It is genuine. It learns as it goes and adapts to mood and circumstance: could that person have had a bad day, experienced trauma, or just have low blood sugar? Yes. How we respond is important. It is not about us but them. Do I lower my intensity, not be so "bouncy,” bring them a bite to eat? Yes.
As we embrace and exude Hospitality to our co-workers and collaborators, visitors to our offices or websites, fellow attendees at a conference, it becomes apparent that this is part of who we are. And, it is. Hospitality is a responsibility.
Imagine walking into an unfamiliar office space of cubicles and busy workers, some with headphones on, some with hats, all working away, heads down. Your natural expectation is likely that you will have to continue wandering unaided until you find what you need or succumb to interrupting a worker to ask for help. But what if in the periphery of any eyes that could see you, you saw a twinkle of recognition, followed by their looking around to see if anyone had helped you, and then in unison, they realize that no! Instantly, several swivel, unplug, and get up to greet you. They are calm and real and genuinely interested in knowing that you are served. They do not pounce. They simply, happily greet you together and determine who can best help you to find what you need, and the rest just go back to work.
That is genuine Hospitality, and it is sadly non-existent in many places.
Now begin to imagine when you have settled into your chair to GSD (Get ‘Stuff’ Done), and you pull up a website you need to use and to explore. You begin to scan the page. The page does what the people in the previous example did; it watches your behavior and determines you may need help. It sees you wandering and offers politely. If you accept its help, it continues with inquiry and answers. If you decline, it lets you know it will be always available to help you with specific, accurate recommendations or directions. This is not the Clippy of old, nor the is it the intrusive drop-down of a survey request interrupting your train of thought, again.
Hospitality is discriminating but not discriminatory. It serves at the utmost level to all who enter its sphere. Such service to all ultimately serves the server, but is never guaranteed. That is the risk. People want instant gratification. The hope that you will return and bless them with future sales and goodwill is too far off.
But Hospitality is not concerned with its immediate self, nor its immediate gratification. Hospitality serves a far greater good.
Hospitality is grateful and generous. It does not expect a return. Yet, it knows from experience that the returns will come, and in far greater magnitude and level of loyalty than would without it. But, again, that’s a risk.
Risk we will as we endeavor to build these habits of Hospitality, both in our interpersonal behaviors and as we build features into our website to serve all who enter our marketplace.
Are we there yet on either front? Nope. But Hospitality and our other Values will be infused and enlivened and incorporated into everything we do.
Please tell us when we miss that mark, or, if you would, when we hit it. Thank you.