This blog post assumes that YOU, as a leader, understand the importance of building a culture of service excellence and your role in making it happen. If you are not sure, I strongly suggest you read this and this first.
Businesses and communities for years have developed countless theories and ‘best practices’ to either Get Employees Who Care (Service Recruitment – Building Block #3) or to Get Employees To Care (Rewards and Recognition – Building Block #5)
Most smart companies focus on hiring the right people and have put in place incentive programs for improving service.
Increasingly, compensations and appraisals are now being tied to % improvements in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, repeat revenue per customer, referrals per customer, service recovery rates and many other such indexes.
Here’s the problem:
Employees don’t live in the world of index improvements. Many may not even understand it.
Once leaders declare the importance of service and tie incentives (financial or social) to index improvements, these indexes become external influences on employees’ daily behaviors.
There is frantic activity among employees and managers to improve these scores, provided the incentives are well designed.
These different activities and attempts at improving the scores are often random, uninformed and misaligned across the organization.
Resulting index improvements, if any, are typically marginal, erratic, unpredictable and difficult to reproduce and scale.
Leaders then feel the need to change something (quite rightly so) – they implement new incentives and programs (or even change the indexes) to Get Employees To Care – leading to further confused activity by employees and managers.
How do you get employees to care?
As leaders, you live in the world of indexes and outcomes. Your employees live in the world of tasks and actions, and people to people interactions.
It’s not natural or comfortable for business leaders to step into employees’ shoes and ‘meet them where they are’. But that is where they live, and where you need to meet them.
In the next blog post, we’ll talk about the four guiding principles to Get Your Employees to Care..