I took time to reflect in January on the year that was in 2018, again reading through my goals with a temptation to place a tick next to those achieved. Actioned. Tick. And then move on to 2019.

Instead I stopped. Re-reading, the thought of a goal’s vs growth mindset entered my thinking. Many of my goals for the past 12 months were focused on personal growth. Serving others including my family rather than losing 10kgs or gaining ten new customers. They were ongoing yet measurable. Realising many of my goals seemed impact rather than effort based. Not trying to do more but rather increase impact whilst building genuine relationships.

I encourage you to do likewise. Begin this new year, wow where did two months go, by reflecting on 2018, questioning and measuring progress made, and determining the IMPACT you are having on your valued customers daily. Has your service style changed at all in the past 12 months? Are your customers happier and more engaged with your service, product and ultimately brand than 12 months ago?

We shouldn’t need the calendar to strike 1 January to trigger change. A new plan, new goals or new direction. In a progressive organisation, leaders are focused on a growth mindset with the aim of maturing staff rather than simply motivating them. Goals have a place. No doubt. But rather than just challenging our leaders for a better result, we must focus on changing the way our staff feel towards their roles, their organisation and their customers. The big question being “How do I surprise and delight my valued customers daily.” It all sounds easy yet know many of our staff simply come to work for the pay cheque.

Changing or rather shaping their outlook on purpose within the organisation takes time, great leadership and a clearly articulated vision. Staff are desperate to visualise where the organisation is heading and what it stands for. We as leaders just often forget to tell them. Taking time to paint a picture of the vision, create story-telling around the vision and spending time with staff one-on-one will have a huge and lasting impact.

The moment staff recognise what the organisation is trying to achieve, the likeliness of individuals buying into the vision greatly escalates.

Let’s use customer experience for example. How do we help our staff see that creating a unique customer experience is paramount?

1. Quality over Quantity – What measurements or KPI’s are your staff striving to achieve. As leaders what have we made as a priority for them in their roles. Often without meaning too we create goals that are focused on quantity and speed rather than great service. How quickly we can serve customers? How many people we can serve at once? How long did it take to achieve the desired outcome? Re-visit your expectations on staff and see where you have focused their efforts.

2. Genuine over Pleasant – If we want our customer experience to be great it must be genuine. How often do staff get complimented on forming genuine relationship with customers rather than it being seen as time wasting or over friendly and not being on task? As customers we all love genuine relationships and it is often the primary driver of us returning again and again.

3. Personal Mission Statement – Early in my hospitality career I was encouraged to create a personal mission statement, my reason for being. That mission statement still resonates some 15 years later and has served me so well over time. Encourage your staff to create their own mission statement. It will provide insight for you as their leader to better understand personal drivers and motivators and secondly it will allow them to reflect on WHY they do what they do daily. In an industry where creating customer experience is crucial, we want to hire and invest in staff with a desire to serve and help others. An outward focus. Not to mention it fuels our souls.

4. Define Success – A great question to ask team members is whether they can articulate what a ‘great day’ in the business might look like. There is a chance they have never considered this before. Assisting staff to better see how they connect their individual role with the greater purpose of the organisation is what McDonalds might call “the secret sauce”. Are we on mission? Once staff know whether their day had a positive impact on customers and fellow team members, they will identify aspects of that day to replicate for the future.

5. Willingness to Change – Organisations that encourage and embrace change have a higher likelihood of success. It’s a fact that change is here to stay. Sure, we won’t always make the right decisions as leaders however having a healthy appetite for improvement is a great place to start. Being a good listener helps this process. If we wish to remain relevant to our customers we must listen to their desires and then be willing to change to accommodate those very needs. Many call it “staying relevant”.

Great satisfaction comes from serving others. The opportunity to lead our team to that reality will in turn help our business thrive through creating brand loyalty with customers who enjoy the experiences we create.

There is no time limit on fostering and growing a culture that embraces change and encourages impact leadership. Above are some simple tips to ignite passion with your staff and give them a greater understanding of how their efforts contribute to a thriving organisation.

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