NIIT then launched a contest called IGNITE and tracked the number of “New Ideas” submitted by each department. Tapping into an appetite for competition, employees quickly generated more than 2,000 ideas to improve service inside and outside the organization. This avalanche of creativity was followed by a second contest to measure “Number of New Ideas Implemented”, which led each department to identify the ideas with greatest potential. Finally, a third contest was launched to measure “Value Created for Customers”.
At a company-wide awards ceremony the CEO said proudly, “These value-creating initiatives helped us create stronger bonds between customers and our teams. Today, customers are more likely to select NIIT in good faith and without going through a multi-vendor selection process. In short these new ideas and initiatives have changed customer perception of our service in a very positive direction.”
Building a strong and sustainable service culture takes time. But leaders often want to know much earlier if their efforts and investments are working.
So what is the first thing you can measure to see if your service culture is getting stronger? Higher profits? No. Those show up only after you have provided better service. Higher customer satisfaction scores? No again. Those scores lag behind the service you deliver. Increase in customer compliments? That’s closer because compliments are usually given immediately after great service. But is there something you can measure even earlier to see if your culture of service improvement is improving?
Yes, there is. You can track the number of new ideas your service team generates, and then how many of those ideas are put in to action. In fact, focusing on traditional scores like satisfaction, loyalty, and sales will lead people to focus on the lagging effects, rather than the originating cause.
One company getting this right is NIIT Technologies in India. NIIT serves the Fortune 1000 with a variety of cost-saving services. But customers today want more savings; they also want value-adding advice and recommendations.
So NIIT created a bold service vision, “New Ideas, More Value”, to stimulate innovative thinking about service improvements for customers, and supported this vision with a company-wide cascade of service education, workshops, town halls, and communications.
Participants of Daughters of Tomorrow & Uplifting Service workshop “Transforming Lives and Relationships through Service Mindset”
According to a new study conducted by researchers at Catalyst and Harvard Business School, companies with more women at the senior level may be better practitioners of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). They found that companies with more women board directors and corporate officers contributed significantly more charitable funds, on average, than companies with fewer or no women in senior roles. This study also indicates that companies with more women leaders are not only more committed, on average, to corporate social responsibility – they are more likely to develop higher-quality CSR initiatives.
I am sharing this not to advocate that we promote women to senior management roles so they can do more CSR. Neither am I discriminating between men and women as working professionals. I simply want to celebrate the efforts of women in service to community as well as to their companies. So, thank you women for your taking personal responsibility, contributing to social wellness of the community, and opening doors for others to serve. “Bravo!”
“Serving Those Who Serve Others” is the Uplifting Service approach for our CSR contributions to society. We do this by partnering with non-profit organizations to deliver uplifting service education for their employees and their clients.
Last week, my colleagues and I facilitated a workshop on “Transforming Lives and Relationships Through Service Mindset” for Daughters of Tomorrow (DOT), a non-profit organization serving women from low-income families through skills training, job bridging and other support programs to help them break out of poverty through employment. We enabled them with practices and tools to look more professional and engage successfully in job interviews. We taught them to visualize the interview from the hiring manager’s point of view using our “Perception Points” principles and approach. Among 22 participants in the class, only three currently hold a job, while the rest are actively seeking employment. You can imagine what a joy it was knowing that what we shared in those few hours will help these women take them a step forward to gain employment and greater well-being for themselves and their families.
UP Team Jacqueline Chia, Palak Mhasde, Madeline Lim, Jocelyn Low
I especially appreciate my three wonderful colleagues who took a Friday night out of their busy family schedules so they could make a difference in someone else’s life. These women all have full-time jobs. Jackie is our office manager, Palak is one of our personal assistants, and Madeline is our finance manager. And they all have children. Without professional facilitation experience, aside from teaching their children and a few joyful hours training with me, they were each willing to move out of their comfort zone. “It feels good to be able to help others. We are not trainers by profession, but we do what we can and feel good doing it.”
If you are a working woman who aspires to contribute to society but has trouble finding the time, I encourage you to begin with small steps. Choose an organization near by or online in an area of service you truly care about. You don’t need to give an entire day or a weekend. Start with an hour a week, one day each month, or a weekend every quarter. If you do this consistently over time, rather than over-committing yourself all at once, then volunteering will become part of your routine, and you will feel the full joy of contributing in service to others in your life. Our community is large and there is always room for volunteers.
So, come on! Let’s get to work, and let’s make our world a better place together.