And that needs to be reflected in the way you manage who gets to play on your team.
Step number one, when we are trying to create a service dream team, is having the right people on the bus. There are two parts to this: recruiting and developing.
Before we explore those two aspects further, let’s just take a look at why this is important. The name of the game, when we are running our service company using the Service Profit Chain framework, is employee loyalty.
In this context, loyalty has two dimensions: retention and attitude.
So, if we want to keep our best people and ensure that they continue to have that world-class, can-do-attitude, we need to be careful not to take away their job satisfaction.
How to Insult Your Best People
Ask them to work alongside an idiot!
Nothing demotivates a great service provider as much as having to work with a colleague who is not performing or, even worse, is blatantly annoying our clients. And if you – their manager – are not seen as doing something about what is obvious to everyone, one of two things will happen.
1) They will leave the team and find a place to work where they are sure to work with other star performers. (This is one of the secrets to Ritz-Carlton’s success, in my opinion – the best service people want to work there. Why – because they know they are going to work with the best in the industry.)
2) They will reduce their efforts so that they match the underperforming colleague.
In either case, your customer will be at the receiving end of a lousy service experience.
So, when we look at the best companies in a given service category, we always see that they are picky about who they hire. They do not adhere to the warm-body principle, “As long as they have a pulse, we’ll take ‘em,” to the extent that they prefer not hiring to hiring someone they are not 100% sure fits. And ‘fit,’ in this instance, is about values and attitude – not about skills.
Deal with the Bad Apples
Secondly, great managers do not put up with bad performance. If someone is not performing, they are coached. And if they are not seen to be making an effort to improve, they will need to go.
Great service organizations play to win – consequently, they have no room for players who are not performing – it’s that simple.