Meet HR GIG 9 Speaker; Tony Namulo, Founder + Chief Experience Architect at Tavalé

Tony Namulo, Founder of Tavalé, has influenced global brands like Apple and Microsoft with his two decades of impactful work in Asia Pacific and Europe.

Posted on: Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

Tony Namulo is a Founder and Experience, Innovation, and Success Architect at Tavalé, with two decades of impactful work across Asia Pacific and Europe. Tony’s influence extends to global brands like Apple, Bare International, Datacom, Fiji Water, Games Workshop, Microsoft, and The Wakaya Club and Spa. 

At Microsoft, Tony held diverse roles and played a crucial role in London, implementing Brexit response plans, shaping human capital policies, and driving a comprehensive skills development plan. 

Passionate about learning, Tony collaborated with LinkedIn Learning to support a skills campaign, aligning with the UK government’s mission to enhance digital skills and reduce exclusion by 2022. 

Tony’s commitment to knowledge-sharing is evident in his LinkedIn contributions, recognised as an expert contributor to “Empathy in Business,” an eBook by Microsoft in June 2020. 

Join Tony Namulo on his journey of turning empathy into bottom-line value, making a lasting impact in experience and innovation. 

Insights from Tony in our Q&A session:

What inspired you to join your profession?

I’ve always been driven by a passion for making a positive impact and helping others. This drive was further fueled by my travels, where I witnessed firsthand the inefficiencies and frustrations that affect experiences worldwide, for both employees and customers. Recognising the vast opportunity for improvement, I embarked on a journey to address these challenges and create better outcomes for all. 

Early in my career, I honed my skills in orchestrating unforgettable experiences at the prestigious Wakaya Club and Spa. Transitioning to a role at Microsoft, I leveraged my interest in technology and knack for simplifying complex concepts to contribute to both consumer and commercial projects on a global scale. My 16-year tenure at Microsoft served as a real-world MBA, equipping me with the expertise to collaborate with innovative enterprises and startups worldwide. Today, I’m dedicated to partnering with organisations to redefine their experiences and drive growth. 

Can you share a memorable experience from your career that has shaped your approach to EX/CX?

One of the most memorable experiences in my career was working at the Wakaya Club and Spa in Fiji, a luxurious resort serving high-end clientele. As part of the management team, I oversaw pre and post-guest experiences and helped ensure seamless, unobtrusive service during guests’ stays. This role taught me invaluable lessons, particularly about the significance of communication and teamwork in delivering exceptional service. 

I vividly remember the collaborative and supportive atmosphere among the staff at the Wakaya Club and Spa. Regardless of roles or backgrounds, we worked together effectively, utilising various tools and channels to coordinate tasks and share information. Our shared pride and dedication to our work drove us to surpass guest expectations consistently. Inspired by this culture, I was motivated to continue crafting unforgettable experiences in my career journey. 

In your opinion, why is the subject of “Building Bridges: Uniting EX & CX” important in today’s workplace?

I firmly believe that one of the critical aspects of creating successful experiences is integrating EX and CX in a comprehensive and cohesive manner. These two domains are deeply interconnected and mutually dependent, significantly influencing any business’s bottom line. When employees feel fulfilled and engaged, they are inclined to deliver exceptional service and products to customers, fostering higher retention and loyalty. Conversely, disengaged employees are prone to poor performance or departure, leading to decreased customer satisfaction and loyalty.  

I emphasise the substantial financial repercussions of employee and customer churn, which can severely impact a company’s profitability and longevity. Research indicates that replacing an employee can cost anywhere from 16% (for frontline staff) to 200% (for senior management) of their annual salary. Additionally, acquiring a new customer can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. By bridging the gap between EX and CX, companies can mitigate the financial ramifications of churn while bolstering their competitive edge and market share. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to CEO’s & HR professionals looking to improve the employee experience?

I have some valuable advice for CEOs and HR professionals aiming to enhance their EX and CX strategies. Taking swift action on employee feedback is paramount. Merely listening isn’t enough; companies must act promptly to demonstrate care and value for their input. Ignoring or delaying action can breed distrust and discontent among employees. 

Implementing a feedback loop—collecting, analysing, and acting on employee feedback transparently and promptly—is crucial. This fosters a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, empowering and engaging employees. Enhanced CX follows suit, as motivated employees deliver better service. I’ve collaborated with companies like Rio Tinto, DXC Technologies, and Taylor & Francis to implement systems for capturing, developing, and prioritising employee ideas, piloting, and implementing them globally at scale. 

Whether small or large, the principles remain the same. Utilising various methods like surveys, focus groups, and recognition programs creates momentum for desired changes. 

How do you personally stay motivated and engaged in your workplace?

I’ve always been ambitious and driven, continuously setting and pursuing new goals for myself. One of my personal aspirations is to establish my own charitable foundation within the next 18 months, focusing on improving digital and financial inclusion for those currently excluded from financial systems worldwide. I aim to leverage my skills and resources to make a positive impact, using technology to remove barriers for communities. By addressing this issue, I believe we can empower many more individuals to achieve their dreams and aspirations through financial literacy and independence. 

 

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