I’m on a new journey.
A few weeks ago I joined a gym called Hard Exercise Works. It’s a cross-fit workout, and I love it! Which is shocking, because I am not an athlete, never have been, never thought I would be. Yet, I find myself climbing out of bed at 5am every morning (when I’m not on the road) so I can dress in my exercise clothes, feed and walk the dogs, check and respond to email and then head to the gym for the most intense workout of my life.
The other day, as I was struggling through a set called “Suicide Runs” – it hit me that what I love about Hard Exercise Works (or HEW) is the culture! There are 5 specific things the HEW coaches and participants do daily that have earned my loyalty.
What I have learned at HEW can also apply to your service culture.
- We start each morning going over the WOD (Workout of the Day). This is a two minute explanation of what we can expect to be accomplishing that day. Leaders in organizations with strong service cultures often start the day with stand-up meetings, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Great way to improve internal communication.
- The WOD plan is followed up by a “training” of sorts. A coach demonstrates each exercise and modifications that can be made to accommodate for all abilities. In a service culture, your team members must know what’s expected of them and then be trained in the knowledge and skills they need in order to deliver on those expectations.
- Throughout the workout, the coaches walk through the gym praising and encouraging each person’s effort. We’re all doing the same exercises – but at many different levels. Regardless of our strength or speed, the coaches know us by name, are encouraging and recognize each person’s effort! To build a strong service culture, get out of your office and look for the things your team members are doing right! Be the Chief Encouragement Officer – and they will want to get better and better at their job.
- The coaches also suggest adjustments when necessary. It’s their job to ensure we’re doing the best we can and performing each exercise correctly and safely. When it’s time to move to another level, they’ll let us know. The feedback is always given in a positive, encouraging way. When you’ve got a strong team and well defined service culture, your team will thrive on constructive feedback. It’s important to offer it (in most cases, privately and positively) to help your team members grow.
- The participants also cheer each other on! “Suicide Runs” consists of running to progressively distant marks as fast as possible for a complete set. In the case of last week’s drills, we had to do each set 5 times. I was the slowest one, and every single person finished before me. However, they stayed by the start line and cheered me on as I finished each set. You know you have a strong service culture when your co-workers are encouraging each other!
Are you setting up the day with standup meetings and defining common goals and expectations?
Do you ensure your team members get the training they need?
Are you recognizing individual and team successes?
Are you offering feedback that helps each person grow?
Do you encourage peer to peer recognition?
It’s amazing what people will do when you build a culture that inspires them!
Comment below and let me know what inspires you.
Donna Cutting is an in-demand keynote speaker and the author of two customer service books, including 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers: Easy-to-Implement Ideas to Inspire Loyalty, Get New Customers, and Leave a Lasting Impression (to be released Dec. 21, 2015)