18 Nov Leadership: At your Service! (Part 2)
Back in the days, the Flying “A” Service sign symbolized a Texaco gas station that delivered individualized car service to the customer. A friendly greeting (knowing customer names), checking oil and topping fluids, wiping windows clean, tires filled, and personal gas pumping were the hallmarks of a full service station. Station owners and attendants knew they had the power to create customer loyalty. All from service.
Great service influences the customer to return for business. As it is with managers who lead with personalized service to their employees; developing long-term loyalty, presence, and engaged results.
Service is best described by circadian giving, careful listening, supporting, developing, and encouraging employees to utilize their strengths. Not by reactionary fault-finding and fixing weakness. It’s coordinating the power of strengths as deployed in assigned work roles. Managers unearth, cultivate, and harvest the finest qualities radiating from people – for the benefit of their vocations and improving the bottom line for the company.
Managers lead by delivering self – with boundless care – to enhance the performance of their teams. They proceed forward – pointing employees to determine the best direction for desired valued outcomes. They help their teams by ushering the members to appreciate the strengths of others. Servant led managers enjoy interacting and investing time to help employees prosper and grow.
I had offered several suggestions in Part One. Here are five more “real time” serving ideas I have seen positively work in a corporate environment:
· Dialogue honest, uplifting and equitable feedback on a frequent basis. Listen, respond, and play to their strengths and manage weaknesses. Ask employees to rate your effectiveness. Solicit critical feedback without fear of retaliation. Gallup’s Q12 is a well utilized realistic measuring stick.
· Listen for divergent thinking from those who oppose your initiatives. Put self-interests, lofty titles, control thresholds, playing politics, and protected egos aside. Avoid being defensive. Welcome conflicting viewpoints and find common ground. Honor fresh viewpoints and solutions at staff meetings.
· Help employees attain their work goals – celebrate when achieved. Bring-inbreakfast. Sponsor a BBQ. Offer up sincere praise when you see or hear a “strength” in action. Applaud employee company anniversaries – brag about their contribution. Send recognition through social media. Send “thank you” notes to homes and express their value to the organization. It’s most valuable when you communicate and connect the excellent work with a sense of personal and company purpose.
· Encourage team members to invest in their strengths or improve skills by attending a seminar. What ideas can they bring back to improve the organization? Stay connected, meet, and follow-up after training classes – to integrate new learning. Set goals based on their new knowledge together.
· Participate in a community project to help the less fortunate. Involve your teamwith the selection. Ask HR where your team can assist a non-profit organization. Take pictures and post on social media.
Employees are exceptionally diverse with knowledge, skills and talent and respond to management messages differently. Appreciate each team member’s situational filter and how they optimally operate and complete their work. This takes management insight, understanding of company culture and aligning strengths for the right roles.
Pursue humility and be aware of the needs of people around you. Set an example of selflessness. Doing service reaps stronger commitment, respect, confidence, engagement and inspires employees.
People deserve your best service everyday.
Flying “A” service!