Groom and Nurture the ‘Right Attitude’

By: Ron Kaufman

In my previous blog post ‘Recruit for Attitude First!’, I championed the importance of prioritizing attitude over skills and experience when hiring, especially if you are looking to build a service culture.

However, the passion and enthusiasm from employees with the ‘right attitude’ is not a ‘given’ with a life-time guarantee. How do you retain these employees and sustain their passion for your company’s values and objectives?

First, let’s look at signs that an employee – even one who is initially highly enthusiastic – has ‘checked out’:

  • Absenteeism or opting out of company social events.
  • Decline in questions and curiosity about what’s going on in the company.
  • Drop in general levels of performance.
  • Observable body language and communications lack energy and enthusiasm.

It is easier for management to believe the problem lies with the employee. However, as a Service Leader, you should ‘Take Personal Responsibility’ and take proactive action. Besides, it is usually more expensive to hire someone new than to retain an employee who has served well and was recruited due to his ‘right attitude’.

So, what are three things Service Leaders can do to keep the ‘right attitude’ of employees going?

1. Frequent communication from leadership

An employee can lose interest if he realizes he is ostracized from certain information while someone else in the team is constantly kept updated. This employee does not understand what is happening within the company and he may have the impression that he is less valued or not being trusted with information.

Service Leaders need to ensure organizational information is shared regularly with everyone. Increase the flow of information through regular meetings – even ‘virtual’ ones. The spirit and belief that the team is working together as ONE cannot be substituted by e-mails and company portals alone. The human touch is essential in a service culture.

2. Praise publicly, especially for employees who are not as ‘visible’

It is easy to notice the loud high fliers and employees who have a direct impact on the bottomline of the company. What about employees whose ‘mundane’ contributions ensure the organization functions reliably everyday? While they do not burst into the organizational lime-light with a loud hailer, they keep the indispensible support functions going.

Don’t let the enthusiasm and passion of these employees slip just because what they do is not as ‘visible’. Find regular ways to acknowledge and appreciate them. And remember: money is not always the answer.

3. Present opportunities to grow personally and professionally

It is hard to maintain enthusiasm – even for employees who thrive on routines – if they go through a long period without learning or trying something new.

Make the effort to know each employee and provide opportunities for them to continuously develop and learn. Assign them a new responsibility or task, get them to attend a seminar or work with someone new. Be creative!

Motivation and retention efforts have to be continuous even if you have recruited the ’right attitude’. Such attitudes have to be nurtured and groomed – by you, the Service Leader!

This post was originally published on the Uplifting Service blog.