Hiring Fans First Employees

June 27, 2024


Jesse Cole, the visionary behind the Savannah Bananas, shared the innovative approach his company takes to ensure a captivating customer experience by first focusing on employee engagement. According to Cole, the journey starts from the very first interaction with potential employees. The hiring process at Savannah Bananas consists of three unique steps designed to assess not just the capabilities but the cultural fit of candidates.

Once hired, employees are welcomed in a celebratory and personalized manner that includes costumes, favorite breakfasts, and even family photos, ensuring their first day is unforgettable and setting the tone for their future at the company.

Cole also emphasized the importance of empowering employees to make impactful decisions. He shared a poignant story about Barry Aldridge, a former intern and now Vice President, who exemplified the “Fans First” philosophy by creating a memorable experience for a grieving family, thereby turning them into lifelong fans of the Savannah Bananas. This story not only illustrates the depth of the company’s commitment to its values but also showcases how these principles are instilled from the onset of an employee’s journey.

This approach has fundamentally transformed the traditional business model into one where employees are treated as the first and most important fans, creating a domino effect that leads to extraordinary customer experiences and loyalty. Cole’s leadership underscores a powerful message: when companies put their people first, they are not just building a team but cultivating a passionate community that champions their brand far and wide.

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