How to have a SERVICE culture

How to have a SERVICE culture

 

Culture.  You can feel it.  It’s embodied by the experience we have as employees, as clients or customers, as service providers…and it’s a tricky one to define.  But we all know when the culture is a good one, and when it isn’t.

Creating a service culture means more than what we “do”.  It’s how we “are”.  It speaks to our values, (and I’m not talking about the eagle picture on the wall of a meeting room with the word INTEGRITY underneath!) 

When a company takes time to define its values and outlines what those values look like when they’re embodied with observable and measurable behaviours culture has the best possible chance of actually being LIVED.  And it makes hiring, onboarding, managing and for that matter firing (for want of a better word) so much easier.

 

Recruitment:

When values are clear, potential candidates are either attracted or know well in advance what your organisation is about and what that means for them.  If they come along for the interview, then behavioural questions will reflect your “what good looks like” values based behaviours.  When values are aligned, it means that skills, experience, and qualifications are a bonus.  It helps you identify what really matters and who really matters.  Values can’t be taught but skills can be.  It makes sifting the wheat from the chaff simpler….NEXT!

 

On-boarding:

So you’ve found a candidate whose values align with those of your organisation, and who has demonstrated they have the skills and necessary qualifications and experience to join your team.  An on-boarding program that includes embodying your values means an expectation and clarification as to what that means for them in their role is achieved from DAY1.  Examples are all around them of others embodying the company values which reinforces how those values are demonstrated across roles, across the organisation

 

Managing

Nothing beats observation against criteria that demonstrates values embodied.  Leader observation and coaching, peer observation and feedback and self evaluation using the values behaviours are all a part of making living values a way of doing every day business at your organisation.  When people aren’t living or demonstrating your values, you have somewhere to go because the behaviours are clear….which leads me on to…

 

Firing

A values violation isn’t a crime, when it happens once and it’s been managed well with a direct and straight forward conversation. When there is a pattern of behaviour that is misaligned with values behaviours it makes the “moving on” discussion clearer. 

When considering what those values behaviours look like, consider that when enacted, the experience makes them obvious.  If a customer can describe the values they experienced in their interaction with one of your people, it’s working.

 

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