By Renie Cavallari

Products are commodities that can be duplicated; service is not! It drives customer loyalty and retention and a team that is committed to serving is aligned with the organization's goals… and with each other.

Your service culture goes beyond vision and mission. It speaks to your brand, strengthening or weakening your reputation, and defining your marketplace relevance accordingly. Market share is won and lost by how you treat your guests… how you serve. And how you serve is determined by your culture. What you value. How your team aligns to deliver above-and-beyond expectations. How much pride they feel in their work and where they work.

A culture of service begins with a desire to serve, both on the part of the organization and the individual. It is what you stand for. It defines your brand promise and ensures your team can deliver on it. Service culture should be an integral part of all your training (and coaching) and begins with a perspective to serve others. This creates a culture of substance as training delivers the skills and processes each person needs to bring your culture—and your brand—to life.

Our research for my latest book aspire… to shine showed 'serving others' as the highest ranked motivational switch. When we turn on our motivational switch, we have a deep desire to do something. Our motivations are as individual as we are and like us, they change with time. We set goals. We focus. We engage to reach those goals. And then we achieve them. How do we do that? We learn the real motivation behind the goal. We know we can't motivate another person so as leaders, we must work to understand what motivates each of our team members in the here and now. Then we must intentionally connect their motivations to their work so they actively participate in moving us forward.

The Aspire Motivation Model™

  1. Identify: Set a clear and specific, measurable goal. A goal without measurement is just a dream.
  2. Define: What is your motivation behind the goal? Why do you want what you want?
  3. List: Write down all the benefits. What will you receive when this goal is achieved?
  4. Visualize: There has got to be an emotional reward. How will you feel when the goal is achieved?
  5. Map: What are the steps needed for achievement? Step by Step. No skipping steps!
  6. Plan: Establish your timeline. What are the tasks? How long will each one take?
  7. Review: Block time each week to compare your pace and progress with your timeline. Be agile and revise the timeline as needed.
  8. Reset: Don't let setbacks set you back! When was guilt ever a motivator? Never! Hit the reset button. (Or begin the process again with a new goal when this one is achieved.)

Think of you and your team. If you don't know what motivates the people on your team (number 2, above), it is time to ask so you can align the goals of your team with the motivations of your people. An aligned team is a happy, high performing unit. And a high-performance team achieves goals, delivering results!

Now think of what we know from the research: that most people are motivated by serving others (my poll results showed helping another person or touching lives were the most common). When we serve, we raise our consciousness. Those who serve others shine the light on those they serve. Service to others enhances our alignment and builds our connection with one another so the impact is both internal and external. To read more, access the FREE Download of chapter 17 of my new book aspire to shine: Shine Through Service.

Shouldn't your service honor your guests? Serve with a perspective of caring and make a difference in someone's world, no matter how big or small. How do you serve? You can share how you serve by visiting the aspire website and you can see how other leaders shine through service as well.

I would welcome the opportunity to think with you around building a culture of service in your organization. Email me! [email protected]