If you want a culture where everyone takes ownership and addresses issues before they become problems, then you must take an honest look at how people have been empowered. When leaders get clear on service recovery, they can lead a truly empowered organization. What I mean about getting clear is summarized here.
- C: Connect service recovery goals and objectives to your organization’s mission, vision, values, and strategic plan
- L: Leadership supports service recovery and models by conducting regularly scheduled rounds
- E: Everyone is empowered and encouraged to take action when needed
- A: Accountability is clear among managers and staff
- R: Reliable systems are in place to support the individuals at all levels
If senior leaders aren’t CLEAR, service recovery efforts won’t gain traction.
With clarity, staff will have better direction and knowledge of what is within their authority. As simple as that sounds, it is rarely executed. I was in one organization where the CEO talked about individual empowerment and openly promoted the staff taking ownership for the good of the organization. The problem was that some of the directors and managers would actually take disciplinary action against employees for taking “liberties” with service recovery efforts. Staff members were frustrated and confused, and the CEO was left scratching his head and wondering why service recovery wasn’t more successful. It wasn’t until he and his senior leader team got CLEAR that they were able to engage, empower, and encourage staff to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason.