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How to Build The 3 Pillars of Service Excellence Team Building

Looking to kick service up a notch? Utilize these effective team-building strategies to cultivate service excellence across staff.

A staff that functions like a team can mean the difference between average service and excellent service. The guest experience is strongly impacted by the way staff works together as a group. Cohesiveness and communication skills between employees – or the lack thereof – are almost always noticed by guests.

To build a team that provides excellent service to guests over and over again, management should make collaboration a fun and essential component of the work environment.

Coming together as a team is not an abstract concept that should be left for brief mentions in staff meetings. Teamwork instead should be intentionally taught with the proper training and implementation. Team-building research from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) suggests focusing on three categories for effective team-building training:

  • “Preparation” – Set the scene with clear objectives, then discuss what it all means.
  • “Execution” – Put new thoughts and ideas into action with group activities.
  • “Reflection” – Review what was learned and apply in reenactments and role play.

When combined into one cohesive training program, each step can produce a well-oiled machine that organically strives for excellence in their duties.

Prepare staff for success

A shared vision starts with exposure to values and goals. This is a time for the company’s culture to shine by exposing employees to brand values. In research on teamwork behaviors and team performance, it is suggested to gather staff in a “classroom-type setting” where ideas can be discussed and social support can blossom.

Start off sessions by encouraging staff to share what they value both personally and professionally. Reorganize seating so employees from different departments can interact with each other and share perspectives from their unique roles. Get started with icebreakers that boost familiarity and morale. Then shift focus to the company mission and ask staff how they can get behind a common team mission.

Excellent customer service usually results from a clearly defined company mission that permeates throughout a team. This is the phase to reintroduce – and possibly redefine – that mission. Staff may even think of new goals that should be considered. When each team member is personally invested and feels like they had a hand in shaping their role, it will surely result in increased motivation across the board.

Execute activities that engage

Once there’s been sufficient discussion and every team member feels understood, it’s important to build on that momentum and get staff actively engaged. There’s a range of workshop-style activities that can be used to ignite collaboration, especially icebreakers to help coworkers bond.

Then have employees write down examples of positive interactions they had with customers, then use sticky notes to group these experiences on a wall. In this exercise, it’s most important to focus on how those interactions made staff feel. Strong feelings connect team members and are often more rewarding and memorable than something like receiving a large tip from a guest. Organize shared experiences into different categories and ask staff to present to the group both positive and negative interactions with customers, as well as what they learned from those moments.

What about times when they felt proud? Include these moments in workshops, too, in whatever creative way that is chosen for presentation. The goal is to reinforce a shared vision, and then build on that vision to inspire employees through action.
Reflect on what was learned

Reviewing key concepts at the end of a lesson is something students are all too familiar with. The same should go for staff team building: Whatever is discovered and taught during discussions and activities should always be reinforced and consistently.

The most common way to reinforce key takeaways from team-building exercises is to apply them to real-life scenarios. Encourage staff to recreate guest experiences, maybe even calling on examples from previous team meetings. Have employees play the role of guests so they can continually produce empathy for different guest challenges. This will also allow staff to work out challenging or sensitive situations in a safe space. It also allows for coworkers to support their teammates when workplace frustrations are brought up within the group.

Apply team building for service excellence today

Diving into each category provides insights and activities that can promote a highly productive team. Rather than a random bunch of isolated individuals sharing a common space, team building can make a winning staff that invests in their time together and with guests. Extra compensation in the form of raises and tips can be a motivating factor for employee performance. But to ensure that staff members provide authentic, lasting connections with guests, it’s much more powerful to build a strong team that enjoys work through intrinsic motivation.

With a solid foundation and the right guidance, building a strong team will surely lay the groundwork for excellent customer service.