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How Cultural Competency Helps Your Bottom Line with Seema Jain


When Seema Jain worked for Marriott, she started an innovative program called Culture Day. The premise was to train employees on the customs and needs of customers from various cultures. Culture Day was a huge hit and helped Seema and Marriott realize that cultural competence leads to cultural confidence. Today, Seema joined Gerry for a discussion on how cultural knowledge can drive sales and improve the guest experience. Tune in for more.

 

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Full Show Notes:

“It’s an ROI. Like in any business, you invest in cultural competency. Not only will it help your bottom-line results, it can increase your employee engagement and increase your customer satisfaction.” – Seema Jain

Some brands know how to build strong relationships with diverse and multicultural guests better than their competition. Marriott is one of those brands that learned to leverage cultural knowledge to drive sales and improve the guest experience. When employees are trained in cultural competence, they have an opportunity to meet guests where they are. Cultural competence leads to cultural confidence.

Seema Jain is the former Director of Multicultural Affairs at Marriott International and currently working as a consultant at her new company, Seva Global. Seema is our guest this week on A Seat at the Table and discussed how operators can improve their financial results and guest experiences by focusing on “the differences that make a difference.”

Listen to the episode to find out what you can do to make your business more culturally competent. 

  • (04:10) – Marriott Culture Day
  • (10:42) – Understanding the why
  • (13:35) – Hotels vs. restaurants
  • (15:20) – Investing in cultural competency
  • (18:00) – Seva Global
  • (21:20) – Starting the conversation
  • (23:22) – Resolving issues in America

Seema Jain has years of experience with helping companies become more culturally competent when engaging with people from different backgrounds. Seva Global’s customized services include cultural trainings (virtual or in-person), webinars, presentations, speaking engagements, and consultations.

In her past role as Senior Director, Multicultural Affairs at Marriott International, Seema had responsibility for developing tools and resources for Marriott associates and hotel properties to enhance cultural competencies to better serve the company’s broad diversity of guests and customers

A Seat at the Table is hosted by Gerald “Gerry” A. Fernandez, the founder and President of the MFHA, an educational non-profit organization that makes the business case for developing cultural intelligence in the workplace. Gerry has been recognized for his decades of work in educating and advocating for the business benefits of cultural diversity and inclusion in the foodservice & hospitality industry. Gerry was honored in the Nation’s Restaurant News 2018 Power List among “the definitive list of industry leaders who are not only setting trends today but also shaping them for tomorrow.”

You can find more information about the MFHA on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

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Podcast episode production by Dante32.

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