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With the first month of the New Year quickly coming to a close, it is essential that we don’t leave behind our New Year Resolutions.  We may have fudged a little already on our exercise plans, diets, or skipped a few chapters in that book we resolved to read but little mishaps don’t have to negate the goals of excellence that we have set for ourselves.  The same holds true inside your independent contracting company.  It can be easy to get discouraged if we don’t immediately see results overflowing from our fresh New Year goals. It is important to remember that a great deal of success comes from consistently performing our standards of excellence even if we don’t see instantaneous results as well as cultivating and maintaining a positive mental attitude.  Even the great artist, Vincent Van Gogh, practiced “the basics” in order to achieve masterpieces; he said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”

It is amazing what a team can achieve when they determine to bring together these two basic practices: maintaining your service company’s high standards of excellence and preserving a positive outlook.  Here are some important aspects that revolve around each of these two important practices:

-Building and Strengthening a Standard of Excellence– Company non-negoiables are the individual action steps that are compiled to comprise a business’ standard of excellence.  Keeping these action steps in the forefront of your team’s daily interaction and your overall business process is key to attaining great company cohesion, organization, and service excellence.  These non-negotiables cannot be fully created or established overnight, it takes several important steps to jumpstart a company’s consistent implementation of these steps:

Training– Through training, these non-negotiable action steps begin to take root and flourish.  If performed consistently overtime they become second nature and automatic skills.  When a team has the opportunity to see firsthand why and how these action steps create company success and employee success, then these steps won’t be viewed as monotonous and tedious; but as productive and constructive repetition that creates great opportunities for success.

-Accountability– Before any company team will value and uphold non-negotiable action steps, leaders inside the company must first demonstrate their consistent value and implementation of the steps. Company leaders and managers must first “own” these steps for themselves and demonstrate the importance through teaching by example. When leaders practice the standards they’ve put into place, team accountability can be developed and implemented.  Team accountability begins with thorough training on company standards and actions steps.  After training and clarification, a team will better understand the importance of the non-negotiable action steps and should then be held accountable for consistently upholding them.

Maintaining a Positive Attitude, Outlook, and Mindset-Maintaining a positive company attitude is important when cultivating success and service excellence.  At times, an optimistic outlook will be abundant amongst the company team but, inevitably, there will be times when a positive mindset and attitude will have to be rejuvenated through encouragement, motivation, and careful listening skills. Businessman and writer, Zig Ziglar, had this interesting outlook on maintaining motivation; “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” Here are two great ways to establish a positive company outlook on a daily basis:

Team encouragement– Encouragement and recognition are great motivators.  Many times, employees want to know that their hard work is appreciated and recognized by their team and especially by their leaders.  Leaders must possess the ability to sense the “temperature” of their team.  For example, when a leader feels team momentum is low during the “slower season,” they must possess the skills to motivate and reenergize their team as well as have the patience to listen to concerns.  Being a successful and inspiring leader hinges greatly on one’s ability to motivate and encourage others.  Lee Iacocca, great American businessman and engineer of the Ford Mustang, went as far as to say, “Management is nothing more than motivating other people.”

Listening-Encouragement can come in the form of a listening ear.  When a team knows that their leaders are willing to thoroughly listen to their needs and ideas then team members begin to feel empowered, collectively and individually.  However, it is a good rule of thumb for leaders to require every employee presenting an issue to come to the table with their concern as well as potential solutions to the problem– not just their problem.  Instating this type of standard creates a team that is more accountable, responsible, and better problem-solvers.  Being willing to listen to team members’ ideas and concerns can also shed light on new plans that could potentially bring your company successful results.

Attaining goals is a daily process composed of moment-by-moment decisions.  Keeping these goals alive and thriving relies on both maintaining your service company’s high standards of excellence through team training and accountability of non-negotiable action steps; as well as, maintaining a positive outlook through developing and growing leaders’ motivation skills and listening skills. Contact Service Excellence Training, early this New Year so we can work with you and your team on charting the right course of action to make this a productive, growth-oriented, and successful year! Thanks for following our weekly posts. Here at Service Excellence Training we turn learning into earning!

-Resource curated by Whitney Stewart of Service Excellence Training.