It’s always fun to present at internally hosted Service events.
You know – those events that most service-oriented organizations hold once a month or quarter to give out Staff awards, reiterate the Service vision and help & inspire Service staff – especially Frontliners – to keep up the great work.
After years being invited to deliver short & impactful ‘bursts’ of Service inspiration – and sitting in as a Guest at these events – I’ve come up with a short list of suggestions to make these terrific events even better.
1. Are you suffering from ‘stale air’ syndrome?
Most big organizations suffer from ‘stale air’ syndrome.
Imagine you host anywhere from 2 – 6 Service events a year for your high Performers or other specially selected Team Members.
If there is little change in format, little change in the Speaker line-up (invariably most if not all Speakers are internalEmployees), too much focus on organizational messaging (stop with the preaching already) – you end up with a dull affair.
Especially dull for the high performing Team Members who tend to qualify for attendance at all such events
By the way – compliment letters are (almost) always nice.
But try and get a bit creative on the Awards that you give out at such events – there are a lot more possibilities besides tabulating up compliment letters and giving out Pareto-style awards.
It’s clear that Awards aren’t working well when the same people win over and over (which gets boring for everyone except the Winner perhaps).
In my old Contact Centre days we used to give out awards such as “Best Tone of Voice in the Month” or “Most Improved in Attitude over the Quarter” – not just the usual He Who Got The Most Compliments Awards.
Our point was to ensure that we recognized results, improvement and effort – and not just call out the same names over and over.
Advice: Mix it up – change the theme, the flow, implement new and different Awards and/or consider external Speakers at such events – so that people look forward to more than just the free food that you’re likely to have out.
It’s never a cliche to suggest that you ask your attendees at such events what they would like to see in future events!
2. Don’t lose perspective on the purpose of your Service event(s)
Use your Service event to focus on Service.
Now’s not the time to introduce new HR policies, discuss organizational restructuring or spend time on other non-Service related matters.
There are almost always better formats to use for these types of things.
Advice: Stick to Service at your Service events. There’s always a lot to share here (tip – Customer Experience is often deeply misunderstood – teach CX if you’re out of ideas!)
3. Have a good hard look at your Service vision – it may be time for an overhaul
There are still really boring Service visions out there.
Something like GST (Greet, Smile, Thank) should be stickers on cash registers – not a shared vision goal.
Acronyms in particular can be grating.
A = Apple, B = Banana – yes we get it.
Cute does not equal inspiring.
If it’s not inspiring – then perhaps it’s time for a refresh.
I see some organizations spend more effort (and money) on refurbishing their offices as compared to sitting down a crafting a Service vision that inspires people.
Customer expectations have gone up – if you’re not keeping up you’re automatically falling behind.
Advice: If your Team Members (or you!) find that your Service vision has seen better days – perhaps it’s time to sit down and craft a new and meaningful statement and/or set of principles that can inspire.
4. Consider a plan for learning
When training budgets are tight, Service events make great venues for learning & sharing as well as recognition.
If you plan to host more than 1 Service event at your organization in a year’s time – why not consider putting together a plan for learning?
Allow the Events to build on each other – so content from Event #1 should flow smoothly to content at Event #2.
We’ve even given out homework assignments at Event #1 which we addressed at Event #2 – thereby creating a real framework for learning & application.
If you tender for external Speakers for such events – consider an annual Tender that covers multiple events – when real learning takes place people want to come – and not just for the free food!
Advice: Approach learning at Service events with the same rigor that you would apply to a training or certification system – don’t just look at these as ‘one-off’ events – for some Team Members this may be the only real ‘training’ they get!
I hope these 4 tips are helpful and thanks for reading!
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