Why have those higher ed institutions that have implemented a culture of service excellence been successful? Three important reasons:
1. In a culture of service excellence, students and faculty feel they matter and belong. This is critical because students learn best where there is mutual care and respect. This is a part of the environment created in a culture of service excellence.
2. Employees want to sense being connected to something bigger than their job tasks. Service excellence clarifies the vision of the true purpose for each individual’s role in the organization.
3. Everyone associated with the college or university feels a sense of community. Parents, visitors, vendors, high schools, local elementary schools, businesses, etc. are all bound together with an atmosphere of student accomplishment.
A few success stories:
High Point University in North Carolina. They have shown that when a university is completely focused on student success and created an environment where everyone is involved and engaged in that success, great things do happen. Increased applications, increased enrollment, increased graduation rates of more than 11%, the funding to double their faculty, and leaping from #15 to #1 in the US News and World Report rankings.
Another successful college that has focused on a culture of service excellence has also seen its rankings rise. Rollins College’s ranking in the 2020 edition US News and World Report of Best Colleges of Regional Universities South is now #1. They received 100 out of 100 key criteria points. Rollins College has been completely focused on the success of their students and they recognize the overall service excellence culture is fundamental to everything else.
College of Central Florida. Putting in place a set of Service Standards to define the service culture, College of Central Florida chose the acronym of PRIDE to remind everyone of the importance of their culture: Professional, Responsive, Informative, Dependable, and Engaged. Measuring employee performance with these Standards, they have seen a 22% increase in student satisfaction.
A culture of Service Excellence creates a place that everyone wants to be a part of. It’s worth the effort.