Monday, February 14, 2011

And Become Better People

What did it take for a service provider to be recognized by Fortune Magazine as the #1 service company in the country, for 10 years running? 

C. William Pollard, past-CEO of ServiceMaster, knew that having top service workers would take more than simply hiring, sending them off to training, and then hoping for the best:

Much of our business may be classified as routine and mundane.  We do such things as clean toilets and floors, maintain boilers and air-handling units, serve food, kill bugs, care for lawns, clean carpets, provide maid service, and repair home appliances.  We also provide professional services, such as caring for the sick and elderly and providing employer-based child care.

Our task is to train and motivate people to serve so they will do a more effective job, be more productive in their work, and become better people.

These comments were part of a larger article by Pollard about his commitment to the principles of Servant Leadership, and how it created success for his teams.  Most managers could have written the same words as above, yet may have stopped just short of including the final four words.  Pollard knew the importance of including them.

He knew that having the best housekeepers in the country would require looking beyond their technical skills - and that having employees' engagement never happens by accident.  He knew that gaining workers' commitment - not just compliance - would require his managers to bring them into the mix as whole persons, recognizing their legitimate needs for continued growth and success.

And there we find the success of a Servant Leader approach for domestic estate managers: helping your staff to become better people.