This blog post assumes that YOU, as a leader, understand the importance of building a service culture and your role in making it happen. If you are not sure, I strongly suggest you read this and this first.

Businesses and communities for years have developed countless theories and ‘best practices’ to either Get Employees Who Care (Service Recruitment – Building Block #3) or to Get Employees To Care (Rewards and Recognition – Building Block #5)

Most smart companies focus on hiring the right people and have put in place incentive programs for improving service.

Increasingly, compensations and appraisals are now being tied to % improvements in customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, repeat revenue per customer, referrals per customer, service recovery rates and many other such indexes.

Here’s the problem:

Employees don’t live in the world of index improvements. Many may not even understand it.

Once leaders declare the importance of service and tie incentives (financial or social) to index improvements, these indexes become external influences on employees’ daily behaviors.

There is frantic activity among employees and managers to improve these scores, provided the incentives are well designed.

These different activities and attempts at improving the scores are often random, uninformed and misaligned across the organization.

Resulting index improvements, if any, are typically marginal, erratic, unpredictable and difficult to reproduce and scale.

Leaders then feel the need to change something (quite rightly so) – they implement new incentives and programs (or even change the indexes) to Get Employees To Care – leading to further confused activity by employees and managers.

How do you get employees to care?

As leaders, you live in the world of indexes and outcomes. Your employees live in the world of tasks and actions, and people to people interactions.

It’s not natural or comfortable for business leaders to step into employees’ shoes and ‘meet them where they are’. But that is where they live, and where you need to meet them.

In the next blog post, we’ll talk about the four guiding principles to Get Your Employees to Care..

12 replies
  1. Mandeep
    Mandeep says:

    This is great to read, but again what do you measure to change the behaviour that matters? What proven measure has been used that is successful to measure that employees care?

  2. Kamran
    Kamran says:

    I would like to learn about developing leaders to become the True Leaders with leadership qualities. I therefore appreciate the tips and hints on this site which are helping me get perspective and take action to develop our exsisting leaders – and myself! – to a better leadership mindset.

  3. Milind Lokare
    Milind Lokare says:

    Could be a real boon if this method will get the employees to care.
    Really helpfull.. Thanks in advance.

  4. Sylvia Evans
    Sylvia Evans says:

    Here is what I have read. Employees relate to results they can understand pertaining to their job. Notice I said results not goals. The one key element that is missing in business is accountability. We talk about it but do we really understand how to make a culture of accountability. How can one be accountable for something they don’t understand. Think about it, our experiences drives our beliefs; our beliefs drive how we act or respond and those actions create the results accurate or not. It will be interesting to hear another viewpoint.

  5. Leandro de Almeida
    Leandro de Almeida says:

    It seems to me that it depends on how targets are set/balanced (e.g., focus on organization improvements or individual impact), how targets are communicated (are they clear and do employees know how to contribute?) and, ultimatelly, how efforts are coordinated within teams to support targets achievement. If targets are clear, agreed and actions/improvement plans are well coordinated, is there any major problem with them?

  6. Invinder Kaur
    Invinder Kaur says:

    One thing that I learnt and I am following for years; the word/acronym “CARE” itself holds a great meaning inside “Customers Are Really Everything”, one has to really show value towards its customers whether internal or external and results will follow without chasing them.

  7. Devanand
    Devanand says:

    I would like to know how it will work in an environment where there are no employees but instead a group of entrepreneurs that have come together for a common purpose. In these cases the energy has to to be kept high all the time so that everyone performs not just their role but beyond to achieve common objectives.

  8. efrona
    efrona says:

    I know a man that is a wonderful supervisor on an ocean oil rig. He often comes down out of his office and works along with his team. He gets dirty, and his workers have a lot of respect for him because of it. He said that it improves his workers’ attitudes. Also he feels like he’s part of their gang, which allows him to speak with them instead of at them.

  9. Aman Akash
    Aman Akash says:

    This is a great read. Of late the concept of “Meet Early Meet Often ” has been restricted to Customer Relations, but that holds true for your Employees as well. It’s difficult to measure Employee Behaviour, but as Shyam suggests, intent is a leadership indicator. So, the a way forward to develop “Employees Who Care” is by increasing the frequency of meeting these employees, discussing ideas and opening a channel for clear and precise communication. Looking forward for the next post.

  10. abby
    abby says:

    As with all successful behavior changes, absolutely make sure that the leverage is of value to those whose behavior you intend to change.

Comments are closed.