In practice, many companies give promises that are too difficult to keep, which in many cases leads to service personnel underperforming in their tasks. This can easily lead to a downward spiral, and an emotional ‘poison’, which spreads from negative service interactions towards the rest of the company. In essence, this means that when customer-facing personnel cannot keep company promises, both customer satisfaction and personnel wellbeing are affected negatively. One method for avoiding these kinds of poisonous service encounters is developing co-active service leadership, where the factors affecting the employees’ motivation are taken into account.
The ServicePulse project pilots a co-active service leadership tool (myötävaikutteisen palvelujohtamisen työväline), which measures the motivation of personnel to keep company promises. ServicePulse represents the discourses of the personnel, and is based on a humanistic logic of leadership. Two large Finnish companies and one SME have participated in this project. Both quantitative and qualitative methods have been used, the former as a survey, and the latter as dialogical workshops with both employees and management. The aim of the project is to assess the applicability of co-active service leadership, and to gather experiences from using the tool.
Helena Liewendahl, PhD (helena.liewendahl(at)hanken.fi)