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Managing Performance / Setting Goals

Creating a High Performance Customer Service Management Team

Rosetta Carrington Lue asked:

Organizations today face a multitude of challenges; baby boomers fast approaching retirement eligibility, global economy, aging workforce, need for knowledge workers, war for talent, tight budgets, changing customer demographics, increasing health care costs, etc. This has left many organizations wondering how they will fill future leadership positions.

To be successful an organization must have effective leadership. Too often the people are promoted into leadership roles because of their technical expertise and/or tenure with the organization. What’s often overlooked is whether the individual has the ability/talent to lead. Leading is about building and maintaining relationships. To thrive in the 21st century, a leadership-mindset will need to be embedded in the culture of organizations and leaders groomed at every level.

To achieve this, an organization must align the employees’ efforts with the organizational goals, initiatives, and service delivery requirements. Productivity must be measured by results versus tasks. The expected results must be communicated up front to help employees focus their energy on activities the will help meet or exceed those goals.

Employees who are officially identified as leaders in their organizations such as managers, supervisors, team leaders, foreman, etc. must continually ask themselves if the tasks performed by their team will achieve the desired results. If no, it is the leader’s responsibility to stop the activity and refocus the group.

Where to Begin

Start by defining what the organization needs from its leaders (skills, competencies, level of business acumen). Then assess if the organization has what is needed in the right areas (do you have the right people in the right jobs, right now. Equally important is to gauge an individual’s desire to be a leader. If the manager doesn’t like being in a leadership role, then he/she is most likely to be disengaged therefore cultivating disengagement within their own group.

Once the skill gaps have been identified (by comparing organization needs to current leaders’ skills, competencies, etc.) one must ask: Can the skill gap be taught or is it a talent issue? Talent is a person’s natural gifts; we’re born with them. Skill is the ability to take knowledge and willingly turn it into performance (results). There is no quick fix to overcoming many of the leadership gaps. Leadership growth and development must be nurtured regularly. Talent on the other hand must be hired within the position.

Develop a plan for addressing the gaps within the leadership team. Skills may be developed using ongoing training and practical application of the newly acquired knowledge. Prioritize and focus on a few gaps at a time.

Congratulation, you are now on the journey towards a service culture of organizational performance excellence.

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