In the Infosurv Insider Blog, we have been writing about the Service Profit Chain, a model of management that integrates employee engagement, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and business operations to increase profitability. Now, we all know that profitability is a good thing and something all businesses need to achieve. It follows then that if, as an individual manager, you can demonstrate your connection to increased profit, you too will benefit by improving how you are perceived throughout the organization. But often, in many areas of management, it is difficult to see a clear connection between one’s actions and overall profitability, especially when the metrics are not purely quantitative.
Many organizations are silo-driven and communications, much less cooperation, between those silos is not the norm. The Service Profit Chain lays out the fundamental linkages that must be created between employees, customers, and operational silos, and those linkages then naturally lead to the metrics that must be developed to measure progress. Implementing the Service Profit Chain philosophy in a bureaucratic, hierarchical, siloed business organization takes great leaders.
Happily, these linkages align with developing the skills of – and to be perceived as – a great leader. According to ivy Exec, there are five skills you need to reach the C-suite. Here is how the Service Profit Chain can help you develop leadership skills and get the attention of senior management:
- You can think strategically and create a sense of direction for an organization. The Service Profit Chain demands integrating employee issues, customer issues, and operational issues. Business strategy requires the same higher-level, Big Picture thinking. Those managers who initiate this philosophy will definitely be viewed as strategic leaders who can create and motivate everyone to follow the same direction.
- You surround yourself with talent and develop talent. The Service Profit Chain needs employee engagement to allow proper implementation and overall success. Engaged employees develop and grow in their jobs, and within the organization. By developing and growing the talent necessary to implement the Service Profit Chain, you make sure you are surrounded with great talent that will push you to be better as well.
- You lead innovation and manage change. Think about it: your hierarchical, bureaucratic, siloed organization is going to be transformed into an employee-led, customer-driven, operationally optimized organization. Innovation and change? You got this!
- You’re able to manage laterally. Silos cannot co-exist with the Service Profit Chain philosophy. To implement this philosophy, you must reach across the aisle to bring a united vision to disparate departments for a shared purpose. Part of this is accomplished by creating the appropriate metrics that require cooperation. But metrics alone will not create true cooperation. Communications and diplomacy will be required to bring about effective interdepartmental relationships.
- You have executive presence in handling difficult issues. What is executive presence? According to Forbes, “The ability to project gravitas–confidence, poise under pressure and decisiveness—seems to be its core characteristic, according to more than two-thirds of the executives surveyed. Furthermore, communication—including speaking skills, assertiveness and the ability to read an audience or situation—and appearance contribute to a person’s perceived executive presence.” Implementing the Service Profit Chain philosophy, by its very nature, requires that people change, and people, by their very nature, don’t like change. Being able to handle the inevitable discomfort and conflict with poise and confidence will help you hone your executive presence. (The Service Profit Chain also relies on constant feedback, so you will have a good handle on your effectiveness as well.)
So, whether your goal is an office in the C-suite, or just your next promotion, leading your company to implement the Service Profit Chain can help you gain the important skills you will need on your journey. The fact that it will also help your company’s employees, customers, and bottom line is icing on the cake!