Mark Levy on Employee Engagement at Airbnb

Mark Levy is the Global Head of Employee Experience at Airbnb. His conference presentation centered on the employee experience at the San Francisco-based startup. I’m glad they started here because this talk really helped to highlight how service design is different from UX design. Service design isn’t just about designing the user experience; it’s about the employee experience too. It’s important to design for both halves of the equation.

Airbnb is an interesting edge case for this distinction because for a distributed hospitality company like Airbnb, the primary human touchpoint for users is not the employee but the host–which is really just another class of user. I’d like to see a presentation that focuses on the actual moments of truth between employees and customers.

I’ve visited the Airbnb offices in San Francisco and the focus on the employee experience (like Ground Control) can be a little off-putting to the uninitiated. I’m curious whether it’s possible to craft an engaged employee experience without inadvertently designing a cult.

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