In an effort to increase connectivity and engender informal discussion among its employees, as well as attract potential job candidates, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group took the leap into Web 2.0 and rolled out a new internal social networking site called “KIMPTON!” (I Am Kimpton). The site, which launched in May, features stories and videos created by Kimpton’s employees, as well as staff profiles, interview tips and more.
Though the site initially was created mostly to offer prospective candidates a more intimate view of the company, IMKimpton.com has blossomed into a veritable knowledge-sharing vehicle.
“Our goal has always been to create an interactive online space designed for current Kimpton employees and job candidates,” said Alan Baer, senior vice president of people and information at Kimpton. “After a successful launch, we’re now focused on how we can enhance the KIMPTON! site in the coming months with interactive content [such as] links to social networking sites, blogs and more,” he said. “We also plan to continue to reflect the faces of diversity that embody Kimpton with multilingual videos, additional rich content and more employee stories.”
To keep the site fresh and the content useful, the company regularly taps its talent for more original videos, photos and stories. Topics range from “A Day in My Kimpton Life” to “Why I Love Working for Kimpton.”
The site is accessible by anyone, and the videos are hosted on YouTube so they can be viewed anytime, anywhere, Baer said. Employee response thus far has been positive.
“With our culture of diversity and inclusion, employee testimonials on IMKimpton.com speak to our target labor markets in a powerful and meaningful way,” said Dorian Oliphant, Kimpton HR director for Texas and Colorado. “In an era where virtual connections are de rigueur, Kimpton is paving the way.”
The site wouldn’t be successful, however, if its main premise weren’t fully supported by the company’s culture. Seeing as Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group is a collection of boutique hotels across the country, the company’s brand philosophy is that “every hotel tells a story.” Likewise, the organization stresses that “every employee at our hotels and restaurants has an equally unique story to tell,” according to the IMKimpton.com home page.
This inclusive culture undoubtedly inspires employees to feel comfortable communicating with each other, which in turn creates an environment ripe for knowledge sharing.
In fact, Kimpton incorporated some of the content on IMKimpton.com for training purposes.
“The greatest video that we have on there is from Jay Dixon, who is a host at the Poste restaurant in Washington, D.C.,” Baer said. “It’s heart-touching. I played it for a group in one of our trainings at our Kimpton Leadership Academy, and it really shows and underscores the genuineness and the caring of our people and how they relate to each other.”