Leaders Found Less Than Proficient at Leading Others—

Would it be fair to say that an important part of leadership has got to be the ability to lead others?

Yet, in a survey published by Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), only 45% of leaders are rated proficient at this by their boss.

Wait a minute, are you saying that more than half of the European leaders out there aren't considered by their boss to be good at leading other people?

Yes. Exactly.

If that's not shocking, then it's at least seriously thought-provoking.

But the sad fact is that it correlates well with the Gallup surveys that say that more than 60% of our workforce are not particularly engaged in their job while 23% are actively disengaged. To a large extent, engagement is a function of leadership.

These are depressing stats. To me, it just confirms that there's a serious challenge out there to improve our leadership capacity.

CCL recommends three ways to improve that situation:

  • Challenging assignments that offer opportunities to practice new skills in the...
Continue Reading...

ETC is at the Heart of your Employee Experience.

A few years ago, MIT Sloan Management Review ran an article entitled Designing the Soft Side of Customer Service. In it, the authors argue that regardless of whether we are talking about a pizza delivery or a complex consulting agreement, emotions are lurking under the surface and that our job is to make those feelings positive.

If we are aiming to create the optimal customer experience, we'll need to start off by examining the kind of employee experience that's going to be the foundation of the customer experience.

A miserable employee is not going to provide your customer with a breathtakingly positive emotional experience, no matter how much you train them.

But this isn't just about the full employee journey from recruitment to exit interview. As team leaders, we need to focus on the day-to-day experience as well.

We have looked at endings, consequences and psychological safety in previous posts. In this blog post, let’s take a look at what else we can learn from the...

Continue Reading...

No Fear—It's the Foundation of a Great Team.

In the previous blog posts, you've been looking at the employee experience. If you buy into the whole concept of the Service Profit Chain, it makes perfect sense that creating a great employee experience will help you create the best possible guest experience.

Then, let’s explore another element of the employee experience.

At the basic level, people have a need to feel safe. Only when you feel safe can you do your best work. If you feel anxiety in some form, your system directs your resources toward coping with whatever you feel as a threat. At a deep level, you try to answer the question: fight, flight or freeze? Obviously , none of these modes are conducive to producing great customer experience.

When you dissect great customer experiences, most of them are the result of one of your team members deciding to do something different in a given situation. The guest’s situation does not fit the script and there's a need for an improvised...

Continue Reading...

Employee Experiences and Why You Need to Focus on Consequences

In the last blog post, you looked at how progressive organizations are focusing on managing their employee experience as a way to ensure the best possible customer experience. From the Service Profit Chain‘s point of view, this makes perfect sense.

You can create super sophisticated employee career journey maps, but you could also only look at what a day looks like on your team from the point of view of an employee experience. What are the emotional highs and lows in a day? You looked at how managing positive ending has a huge influence on how the whole day is perceived.

In this blog post, have a look at why managing the end of the day is just as—or maybe even more—important than managing the start of the day from a motivational point of view.

A reasonably accepted definition of motivation is a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

That reason—called the activator—for doing or not doing something can come from...

Continue Reading...

What Drives A Fabulous Employee Experience?

For a while now, progressive service organizations have been focusing on the customer experience. It's well-established that the way customers perceive the total experience is crucial to getting their loyalty—and at the end of the day, loyalty is the magic path to profits and growth.

But only the most advanced companies are looking at the logical consequence of that thinking: How are you managing the employee experience? If you're familiar with the Service Profit Chain, this line of thought won't come as a surprise to you.

At the end of the day, the customer experience is a reflection of the employee experiences. It then makes perfect sense to start looking much more closely at how you're managing your employee experiences.

There are different ways you could approach that. You could look at a classic journey map over the life span of employment. What is the pre-employment experience, such as recruiting, among others? How does the on-boarding flow? What is the...

Continue Reading...

The Big Leap from Team Member to Team Leader

In the previous blog post, you looked at how the first-time manager (FTM) is often neglected when it comes to training and development. In this blog post, you'll start identifying some of the challenges that the FTM has.

The scenario is quite the same in most types of service organizations. Due to a promotion or an organizational shuffle, you often find yourself needing a supervisor or team leader on one of your customer-facing teams. You are busy. The position needs to be filled fast so your first reaction is to look at the team and see who you have that could jump in the role.

Who gets promoted to their first managerial position?

Often you find who you think is the right person for the job. The criteria used to evaluate this is typically the person’s performance. You pick a high-performing team member with a lot of personal drive. On top of that, you choose someone who is well organized. In short, it’s a...

Continue Reading...

How Are You Supporting Your First Time Managers?

We have on-boarding programs for new employees. We train front line staff in all aspects of customer service. We also have development programs for executives. But what about for the first time managers (FTMs)?

The FTM is typically an employee who is doing well in a specific function. They get the job done. Because they are doing well, they get noticed and promoted to their first managerial position. They become some version of a team leader.

Virtually from one day to the next, their job context changes dramatically.

What type of training program are you offering your new FTMs—programs that will help them cope with this new situation?

Well, if you're like most organizations out there, you probably aren't offering much.

In terms of situational leadership, the classical mistake is assuming that because someone is good at one thing, they will automatically also be good at the next thing you ask them to do.

But being a high performer in your functional area doesn't...

Continue Reading...

A Manifesto for Great Service Leadership

I believe that—

  • Customer loyalty is the key to building a great service business with growth and strong profits.
  • Marketing is not a department. It is the way we do things consistently, touch point by touch point, day after day.
  • Employee engagement drives exceptional customer experience.
  • At any level, the team leader is crucial to engagement. Most managers, including the CEO, are also team leaders—never forget that.
  • Good managers are not automatically great team leaders. Being a great team leader is a learned skill.
  • Bad leadership that is not addressed is the invisible drag that slows growth and profits.
  • Bad team leaders represent a considerable hidden cost. They cause increased staff turnover and decreased customer satisfaction—the kiss of death in the service business.
  • Bad team leaders spend far too little effort in coaching their managers on the leadership aspect of the job. Bad team leaders assume that their managers will work it out, which is a common but...
Continue Reading...
Close

50% DONE

You're almost there!

The team assessment will be on its way to your inbox as soon as you press SEND. In the mean time, continue to the next page in order to learn more about how you can use this instrument.