Thursday, 25 July 2013

contributing to Service Excellence

Employees working in the service domain whether in the hospitaliy industry or the manufacturing  face a lot of challenges.One such challenge is to maintain the same motivation  to serve day after day even when the activities have begun to feel repetitive and  hardly any compliment is forthcoming  from the customer (particularly internal) who on the contrary seem to be easily critical.

In such a scenario, over a period of time the personnel working in the canteen, transport, medical & other areas tend to slip and complaints come in regarding rude or inconsiderate behaviour.As a response to this situation, the VP(HR) wanted me to design and roll out a training program for employees in  HR, particularly General Administration.

To me this was an opportunity to include all the  concepts that I hold dear and have discussed in this blog.It was decided to link the content to the core values of the company- customer, collaboration ,people & challenge(Globality being the fifth value). Under 'people' aspects of developing rapport (using NLP as a tool ) and building trust was discussed. The content under ' customer' included identifying all your customers, their needs & expectations and coming out with ideas for providing a 'Aha moment. Under collaboration similar execise was done to identify the peer departments & their needs/expectations and how they can be met to enhance rapport was discussed.
A session discussed the challenges & difficulties faced by the participants in their own individual areas of work followed by a session on handling stress and remaining calm & composed  under pressure using  the Emotional Freedom Technique  (EFT).The tapping  tecnique was practically taught to the participants.They were also drawn attention to the need to keep their self esteem levels very high in order to work effectively in this role.

Towards the end, appreciative Inquiry (AI) exercise was done wherein the participants shared before the whole class, stories of the time when they felt on top of the world while at work or while  engaged in an  intense activity. (see the post on "On the Appreciative journey"  for the methodology adopted) . Key qualities were picked up from these stories by the participants  which they said they would like to emulate/replicate  in the course of  their present work.

Finally, we made positive affirmations based on the high points identified and a mind programming exercise was done (see the post on Mind Reprogramming)  to install these in the minds of participants in an alpha or meditative state.Studies have shown that any activity we do continously for 21 days becomes a habit & part of our system.Thus whether we smoke for 21 days or exercise for 21 days it becomes natural to us. I advised the participants to do the mind programming exercise for 21 days . I also offered to handhold & take them through the exercise everyday for fifteen minutes  for the next 21 days which they accepted.

At the beginning of this post we discussed as to how maintaining excellence in service is a big challenge with a number of constraints that need to be overcome by an employee  every inch of the way.Any contribution however small from us  Learning and Development could tilt the balance between  success and giving up. In the great  Indian epic Ramayana, there is the instance of everyone contributing to the big task of building a bridge for Rama to cross over to Lanka to save Sita. A squirrel was found weting itself, rolling on the sand and then taking it the point of the planned  bridge to add the sand that had stuck to its little body-. Even the squirrel according to its ability!
In the same manner, we should all endaevour to contribute our mite to this wonderful cause of excellence in service for when it happens consistently, brings cheer to many and benefits the organization in more ways than we can understand or imagine..

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