One of the toughest jobs of a manager is holding people accountable to good behaviors. One of the toughest jobs of an employee is to find out what constitutes good behaviors and what doesn’t. Having clear and defined Service Standards addresses both of these situations. Effective leaders ensure Service Standards are communicated and understood by all employees starting in the interview process, made part of job descriptions, and then followed up in the performance appraisal system. They give everyone a clear direction of which way the organization is going in regards to the delivery of service.
With clear Service Standards you can praise, coach, and reinforce them by relating the behavior directly back to the respective Standard. This gives the employee a specific reason as to why they are receiving the praise vs. “you did a great job today” which doesn’t let them know much as they did many behaviors in a day. Coaching and praising can be done in both private and public places. With public praise it allows other employees to see what behaviors are valued and lets the employee who is receiving the praise feel appreciated. If you know the employee is a very private person though, you may wish to share the praise with them in a one-on-one setting.
With clear Service Standards you can counsel or redirect employees whose behavior is not in alignment with the agreed to Standards. This gives the manager an objective reason as to why they are calling out the employee and the behavior. It takes away the subjective and makes it less personal. By having all employees adhere to the defined Service Standards, a cultural norm is created as to the level of service that is expected by everyone. It helps to create a seamless experience for the customer by the consistency that everyone is held accountable. Counseling should only be done in private with an employee. Its purpose should be to redirect the employee’s attention back to the importance of performing the Service Standard and its reflection on the culture of the organization.