Is Great Customer Service Possible in Government? (part 3)

ImageSo here we are at Value #3.  In this series, we’re exploring the 7 key elements in Southwest Airlines seemingly superior Employee Engagement philosophy. Today, we’ll be thinking through the 3rd value they hold very dear – Rewards & Recognition.

The premise is that Southwest encourages employees to explore every possible option and rewards them for trying new ideas. Although they have a formal recognition process, one key item is that every member of the team continually encourages and pushes each other, not just the management.

How does that translate in the government? Good question.

As we talked about before, there are many legislated rules/regulations with which an employee must comply about virtually everything.  The climate itself doesn’t really promote exploration of new ideas but there are some employees and managers who refuse to bow to the way things have always been.

Think about it. Would you challenge the process if the process had been laid out in a policy or worse yet, a law? Would you encourage your team to think creatively when the environment says we should do things a certain way? I’d like to think I would but who knows.

I’ll leave you with 2 questions Jose gives us in his article.

Stop and think for a moment:

  • When was the last time your boss honestly and personally recognized your performance? How did you feel? Did his/her genuine recognition motivate you?
  • When was the last time you honestly and personally recognized the performance of your direct reports?

ImageHelp us out here.

What are ways people in the system could push this idea of rewards & recognition?

Money is out (pay is pre-determined via legislation). Budgeted incentives are out (the newspapers love to run stories of gov’t spending money on plaques/gift cards, etc.,).

Although SW is a low cost provider and keeps tight strings on the budget, they still deliver what most consider the best Customer Service experience in the industry.

What ideas do you have?  Can we promote this value in our government? Are you, as a taxpayer, willing to fund things like this to get better performance and creativity from your government employees?

2 thoughts on “Is Great Customer Service Possible in Government? (part 3)

  1. Pingback: Is Great Customer Service Possible in Government? (part 4) | The Thinking Leader

  2. Pingback: Is Great Customer Service Possible in Government? (part 7) | The Thinking Leader

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