Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive

January 8

We exist to serve others so they may better serve the world.®

Work Like You Own It! 2.0:

Energize it. Recognize it. Celebrate it.

By Dr. Bryan K. Williams, D.M.
September 29, 2010

Not long ago, I visited a well-known department store to buy a few items. I was armed with a list of carefully selected items that were on sale. When I got to the store, however, I realized that I left the sales paper at home. So I went to the store’s customer service desk to inquire about getting another sales paper. The first person I met said that he was on a break. The second person I met said that she was working in the storeroom and did not know about such things as sale papers. Finally, the third person I asked said, “Of course! Wait right here and I’ll get it for you.” He then ran (not walked) to a shelf behind a counter and ran back with a sales paper. He then asked me what I was looking for and when I told him, he did not just simply point the way. He then escorted me to the exact aisle and shelf that had the item I was looking for.  Afterwards, he asked if there was anything else he could help me with. I thanked him for his follow-through and professionalism, then told him that two of his co-workers apathetically disregarded my request. He promptly said the following…and I quote, “Allow me to apologize on behalf of my team and my company. That is not the level of service that we strive for.” Wow. I thanked him for working with passion, pride, and professionalism. He works like he owns it.

Encourage It

If you want more examples of your team working like they own it, the first thing you must do is encourage it. This means to regularly talk about what it means to work with vested interest in the company. People who work like they own it don’t just take up space on the team. The team is better because they are on it. These service superstars are the exact opposite of those employees who just do enough to get by..(I call those types of employees, the “bare minimums”…or BM’s for short).

You can also “encourage it” by soliciting examples of when employees have exceeded expectations. Then don’t stop there. Share those examples with the rest of their team. Excellence tends to encourage more excellence. Some companies are known for having an entire team of people who work like they own it. is renowned for their world-class customer service. A colleague of mine recently ordered shoes for her son recently from Zappos and after her son wore the shoes only twice, they began to fall apart. My colleague was rightfully upset, so she called Zappos to complain and get a refund. She was fully expecting the operator to be defensive. The exact opposite happened. The operator apologized, empathized, and thanked her for bringing it to Zappos’ attention. The operator then stayed on the phone with my colleague and suggested that she log on to her computer so they can both find another pair of shoes right then and there.

After finding another pair, the operator arranged to have the shoes shipped via overnight mail (complimentary of course). The operator also upgraded my colleague to VIP status. In my view, is a great service company that just happens to sell shoes. In like manner, your company can be known as a great service company as well. The key ingredient however, is to have a team of people who take great pride in their job and work like they own it.

Recognize It

“Recognize it” means to catch people when they are exceeding expectations and let them know you appreciate them for it. Your best staff (the ones who work like they own it) crave appreciation. They may not articulate it, but they NEED to know that their hard work and professionalism is valued. If not, they will either quit and leave or quit and stay. Neither option is favorable. Don’t just give a generic award, but rather customize the recognition to the individual. Remember, if you want your staff to engage their customers, then you must engage your staff. Find out what they like specifically. Personalize the recognition, whenever possible. If I enjoy going to the movie theater, then movie passes may be a great gift. If I enjoy a double caramel machiatto with skim milk and two dashes of cinnamon from Starbucks, then a gift card would be memorable.

Celebrate It

Make “Work Like You Own It” a company initiative. Even if you don’t use the exact term, encourage your team to “own” their work. Contribute ideas. Identify opportunities for improvement and be a part of the solution. People who work like they own it should be held on a pedestal. At that point, the manager’s main responsibility is to keep that person motivated. In other words, DO NOT de-motivate those employees. Encourage them, recognize them, celebrate them, then get out of their way and allow them to create exceptional service memories one customer at a time.

B.Williams Enterprise Updates: 

Recent Testimonial

Hello, Dr. Williams. Just wanted to follow up with you about your teaching sessions. It really impacted my professional life and I believe will impact my team. I have already purchased you book and video for myself. If they are as good as I think they will be, I am planning to purchase the combination for each of my managers. Thank you for the work you do!

Alex Fedorow
Director of Operations, Shinn Enterprises

About the Author

Dr. Bryan K. Williams is the Chief Service Officer of B.Williams Enterprise, and the author of Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar. Bryan’s passion is world-class customer service, and has facilitated workshops and delivered keynotes all over the world for various companies.  He speaks on a variety of topics related to service excellence, employee engagement, and organizational improvement.  As a consultant, Bryan works closely with companies to design, develop, and implement sustainable service strategies. His company’s online store includes a growing collection of customer service products that are well-suited for your training library.


Order Bryan’s new book and other resources
 at the B.Williams Enterprise Online Store

Find more resources relating to service excellence at <> 

Also on the website, you can subscribe to the official B.Williams Enterprise emailing list.  You will receive announcements, newsletters and other excellent resources.

-We exist to serve others so they may better serve the world


B. Williams Enterprise, LLC 
Phone: 240-401-6958 

EngageMe - Your #1 Source for Customer Service Products


Also See: World-Class Service 101: Know the difference between meeting and exceeding expectations / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / July 2010

Service Superstars Part 2: Treat them like they own it! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / June 2010

Make each touchpoint memorable: Cha-Ching! / Dr. Bryan K. Williams / April 2010

Service Superstars: Work like you own it! / Bryan Williams / February 2010

Complimentary resources from Bryan K. Williams and B.Williams Enterprise! Begin 2010 with a focus on world-class service. / January 2010

Service Ambassadors: The Key to Providing World-Class Service / Bryan K. Williams / November 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 3 / Bryan K. Williams / September 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 2 / Bryan K. Williams / August 2009

5-Star Employees - Part 1/ Bryan K. Williams / July 2009

Engaging Service: 22 Ways to Become a Service Superstar / Bryan K. Williams / July 2009

Complimentary tele-seminars with Bryan K. Williams in July! / July 2009

Building a Team of Living It Employees / Bryan K. Williams / June 2009

World-Class Service: What if every employee served like a concierge? / Byran K Williams / March 2009

5 Star Leadership: What Does It Take to Be a 5-star Leader? / Byran Williams / February 2009

5 Stars vs. 4 Stars: What’s the Difference? / Byran Williams / January 2009

Complimentary training with Bryan Williams / January 2009

The 7 Principles of EngageMeTM is now available! / Bryan K. Williams / November 2008

Hiring and Engaging a World-Class Team / Bryan K. Williams / October 2008

Great Ideas for National Customer Service Week 2008 / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service Part 3: Company Service Standards / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service Pt. 2: Personal Service Standards / Bryan K. Williams / September 2008

Delivering World-Class Service: Function vs. Purpose / Bryan K. Williams / August 2008

Guest Problem Resolution 101: Power of the Follow-Up / Bryan K. Williams / June 2008

7 Principles to Fully Engage Your Customers – Part 2 / Bryan K. Williams / May 2008

7 Principles to Fully Engage Your Customers / Bryan K. Williams / April 2008

I Am a Service Professional™ / Bryan K. Williams / March 2008

Engage Every Customer…One Touchpoint at a Time / Bryan K. Williams / January 2008

Engaging Service Part 2: It’s All About the Culture / Bryan K. Williams / December 2007

Engaging Service Part 1: Not Just for the Chic / Bryan K. Williams / November 2007

Service Excellence: A Destination or a Journey? / Bryan K. Williams / October 2007

National Customer Service Week is Coming Soon - October 1-5, 2007 / September 2007

National Customer Service Week is Coming Soon - October 1-5, 2007 / September 2007

Engage Me…the Voice of Your Customer / September 2007

Customer Engagement: Where do we begin? / Byran K Williams / August 2007

Engage Me…the Voice of Your Customer / / August 2007

B. Williams Enterprise, LLC Launches Engage Me…  the Voice of Your Customer / August 2007

To Engage…Listen to the Voice of Your Customer / Byran K Williams / August 2007

To Engage the Guest, You Must Engage Those Who Directly Serve the Guest / Byran K Williams / July 2007

Three Service Rules: The Golden Rule, Platinum Rule, and Double Platinum Rule/ Byran K Williams / June 2007

The Greatest Bellman I Ever Met… / Bryan K. Williams / April 2006

Sorry to Say…But Some People Should Not be Serving Other Human Beings / Bryan K Williams / October 2006

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.