Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive



Improving Customer Service with Competency Models

by Jim Hartigan
February 20, 2012

Successful organizations recognize the importance of customer satisfaction to their own sustained business success.  Leadership of innovative organizations knows they need improved selection, training, and certification in customer satisfaction skills to produce successful, customer-contact personnel.  Just one underperforming candidate in the critical, customer-contact role can be an expensive error, costing an organization in lost sales and repeat customers.  With the reach of social media, bad “word of mouth” can be even more damaging!

For this reason, many organizations express a desire to become “best in class” in customer satisfaction and establishment of a competency model is the first step in this journey.  The framework we use at Orgwide, depicted here, illustrates the relationship between four sets of interrelated human resource activities and the connection to a foundation in established Core Competencies.

To be clear, driving best-in-class performance requires development of a number of additional tools beyond validating each job family’s core competencies, including:
  • Interview Guides - Designed to identify candidates possessing the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a particular job family to drive successful performance
  • Job Knowledge Tests - Assessments should align with validated competencies required to be successful in that particular job to ensure team members possess the knowledge necessary to deliver the required business results
  • Performance Reviews - Performance reviews are essential to keeping team members motivated.  To maximize the value of performance reviews, you must measure team member performance against the certified core competencies required to be successful in that job.
  • Individual Development Plans - Coaching and the use of Individual Development Plans (IDP) are best demonstrated practices.  But how can you coach someone when you haven't confirmed the competencies required to be successful?  Align your IDPs with established Competency Models to improve and grow team member performance over time.
The foundation for all of these vital management functions is the development of a set of validated core competencies for each job.  At Orgwide, we follow a proven, five-step process listed below to develop Competency Models for our clients.
  1. Identify Top Performers - Identify incumbents in the position deemed to be most successfully completing the job family's tasks today.
  2. Determine Critical Success Tasks - Develop a list of "tasks" or job duties within the job family that are completed on a regular basis by incumbents and critical to overall success in the job.
  3. Conduct Success Factor Survey - Conduct a research survey of the successful job incumbents to rate the task statements by frequency and importance.
  4. Factor Analyze Survey Results - Rank-order the task statements based on the ratings from the survey.  Review and re-write the tasks based on expert responses.
  5. Validate and Publish - Provide a summary report establishing the psychometric properties of the analyses and publish the finalized competencies.
While organizations can spend into seven digits to complete this type of task, that level of investment isn’t necessary.  What is recommended is if you plan to use your competency model to make critical employment decisions, you should involve an experienced and reputable partner in the validation and creation of your Competency Models to reduce your risk.  Once you have established the proven core competencies of success in a given job family, you are on your way to developing the other manpower management processes to build sustainability into your business.  If your organization is ready to embrace Competency Models, give us a call or send us an e-mail to learn more.  Until next time remember, Take Care of the Customer, Take Care of Each Other, Take Care of Yourself.

About the Author:

Jim Hartigan, Chief Business Development Officer and Partner joined OrgWide Services, a Training/e-Learning, Communications, Surveys and Consulting firm in April 2010 after nearly 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, including the last 18 as a senior executive with Hilton Worldwide. Jim’s last position was that of Senior Vice President – Global Brand Services where he provided strategic leadership and business development and support to the $22B enterprise of 10 brands and more than 3,400 hotels in 80 countries around the world. His team was responsible for ensuring excellence in system product quality, customer satisfaction, market research, brand management, media planning, and sustainability.

Jim Hartigan
Chief Business Development Officer & Partner
OrgWide Services
165 N. Main Street, Suite 202
Collierville, TN 38017
office: 901.850.8190  Ext. 230
mobile: 901.628.6586

Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here  

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

Recent Articles:

The Easy Button, the Big Easy and an Easy-Bake Oven / Jim Hartigan / January 2012
12 Communications Resolutions for 2012 / Jim Hartigan / January 2012
Innovation Magic - The Secret Revealed / Jim Hartigan / December 2011
Communicating with One Voice / Jim Hartigan / November 2011
An Anonymous Tip to Opportunities at Your Hotel / Jim Hartigan / October 2011
When 'Because I Said So' Doesn’t Work Any Longer...Cross the CREEK to More Effective Persuasion this Budget Season! / Jim Hartigan / September 2011
Treat Me Like a Kid and I’ll Act Like One Too. Train Me Like an Adult and I’ll Show You What I Can Do! / Jim Hartigan / August 2011
I'm Not a Kid Anymore - So, Stop Training Me Like One! / Jim Hartigan / August 2011
Stop Treating Your Staff like Children and Start Training them like Adults! / Jim Hartigan / August 2011
Paper Anniversary for the Hartigan Files / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Financial Pundits Predict Increase In Audits of Hotel Training Programs?!? / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Hotel Problems Solved Once and For All (Part 3 of 3) Plan your work. Then work your plan. / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Hotel Problems Solved Once and For All (Part 2 of 3) Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? - The Route to Root Cause / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Hotel Problems Solved Once and For All (Part 1 of 3) / Jim Hartigan / June 2011
Trust - The Secret Sauce in Building Team Member Engagement / Jim Hartigan / June 2011
Stop Changing. Start "Doing It Differently" at Your Hotel! / Jim Hartigan / May 2011
You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play – Hotel Team Member Engagement takes Participation! / Jim Hartigan / May 2011
Employee-Engagement in Your Hotel; Communication Across the Generations / Jim Hartigan / May 2011
Hotel Team Member Engagement - Building Trust and Defeating the Robots / Jim Hartigan / April 2011
Have You Got What it Takes to be an "Over the Top" Hotel Leader? / Jim Hartigan / April 2011
Hotel Managers – Would you rather be Lucky or Good? The Orgwide Problem Solving Process beats a 4 leafed clover every time! / Jim Hartigan / March 2011
Hotel Management – What’s Love got to do with it? / Jim Hartigan / February 2011
Coaching Hotel Team Members the OSKAR Way - Not like training a dog! / Jim Hartigan / January 2011
Hospitality Employee Selection and the Venus Fly Trap – A Study in Floral Business Acumen / Jim Hartigan / December 2010
The Right Tool for the job makes all the difference in the world! / Jim Hartigan / October 2010
Restore Honor to Your Organization: Succession Planning…the Ninja Way / Jim Hartigan / October 2010
Measure to Manage – The importance of KPIs ... and vampires / Jim Hartigan / September 2010
For Everything There is a Season - Including Budgets / Jim Hartigan / August 2010
Say What? Listen, Learn, and Act–Why Guess, When You Can Know Redux / Jim Hartigan / August 2010
Why Guess When You Can Know - Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Workplace Surveys / Jim Hartigan / August 2010
Team Member Segmentation in the Workplace…or “If everyone brought potato salad to the picnic – it wouldn’t be much of a picnic!” / Jim Hartigan / July 2010
The Power of Effective Communication in the Workplace (and our Founding Fathers’ unrivaled Tweeting abilities) / Jim Hartigan / July 2010

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.