Those in service-oriented fields are driven by their core values, which keep them on target. It can be easy to get bogged down and forget how much of a difference we really do make. As leaders, we need to take the time to remind employees, faculty, and staff that what we do has purpose, is worthwhile, and makes a difference.
The third principle of the Nine Principles®, Build a Culture Around Service, helps leaders achieve this. This principle ensures that thoughtful processes and procedures become the norm, ensures high-quality and caring environments, as well as helps us to invest in building relationships with every single employee. When we invest in relationships with those we serve, employees become self-motivated to do what is right, make a difference, and help the organization achieve its goals.
Service Excellence In Action
This principle, Build a Culture Around Service, recently came to life in the School District of Menomonee Falls when Wisconsin’s Superintendent of the Year, Dr. Pat Greco, shared a story that touched both she and her team. It also reminded our Studer Education℠ team of the difference we make.
During a recent snow day in the district, Tom Hintze, North Middle School’s Facility Foreman, and his team were asked to clear snow off the campus walkways to prevent further icing. However, even after this task was complete and they had the rest of the day off, they remained on campus. The team took it upon themselves to take advantage of the students not being in the buildings to do a deep cleaning and sanitation of all desks. We asked Mr. Hintze the why behind this remarkable action, and here’s what we found out:
The motivation to deep clean—it was easy. After the snow removal was done, we had extra time due to school being called off. Like many other schools, we have had a lot of illness in our school. Although we do clean desks and tabletops once a week, I just felt if we did it again we could help prevent some of the illness from spreading. It’s hard to find time to do extra things, and I felt this was more important than anything else I wanted to do.
This act was not only a demonstration of superb service excellence, but of the impact that passion-driven, self-motivated employees have on the success of an organization. We have found that when employees have this type of passion for the work they do, it is typically because their leaders continually connect them back to purpose. Great leaders do this by establishing relationships with employees, as well as having processes in place to recognize excellent work. Not surprisingly, here’s what we further learned from Hintze:
My communication with the administration here in my building and throughout our district is great! I talk to one of my administrators daily, if not more, and I can go to them anytime with a problem and we resolve it. The service excellence I strive for is not only set as a goal in the district, but I feel it’s something I want to achieve personally. I always want to be the best I can and I strive for that with my team. Every year we ask our staff to score us on a 1-4 scale and this year as a team we achieved a 3.9 average for my entire staff, which is amazing!
The positive feedback that Hintze and his team received reinforces their desire to continue to deliver outstanding services. Moreover, Superintendent Greco’s recognition of this team’s commitment to service excellence reinforces the district’s commitment to achieving organizational excellence.
Check out this article featured in Education Weekly about additional excellent work happening in the School District of Menomonee Falls.
Asti Kelley, Studer Education℠