At the AfterMarket conference last week, Si2 moderated  executive circle on finding and Keeping Great Service People.

For most of us who have run a Service Organisation, the motivation of our people is one of the key factors that will make us successful. We thought it would be great to set up a forum where managers at the conference could share their experiences of what has made them successful in this area. Over two sessions approximately 20 or so service leaders shared their thoughts and experiences. Here is a short summary of their key ideas broken down to three key elements.

  1. How to achieve happy and engaged people
  2. How to ensure a regular pipeline of management talent
  3. Best practices in speeding up the hiring process for New external talent


Profits come from loyal customers who feel they get value because of excellent services and products. Excellent service operations are developed through engaged employees. Here are some of the comments on how managers increase engagement with their people:

  • Deep on-boarding(sometimes up to 6 month induction programme) and on-going education to understand how service people contribute to the business and instill the right DNA in the organization
  • Set up projects with cross-functional teams to cut across silos and ensure a greater appreciation of all the functions in the business. This also help create more informal networks & foster team spirit
  • Constant communication through newsletters etc of the role and success of service in the business. It help give people a sense of purpose and pride
  • Use visual images to inspire, communicate and ensure your message is relevant
  • Use Performance management/objective setting in a way that is consistent with the culture and objectives you are trying to achieve
  • Create visibility of performance measures and achievements
  • Use of technology such AR for training to demonstrate that service is becoming an interesting place to work.
  • Public acknowledgement from the CEO/leaders that services contribute to profitability.
  • Well-structured career paths and progression

Securing the Talent Pipeline

Due to the localized nature and size of service organisations, developing the service leaders of tomorrow requires significant amounts of forward planning and patience. Across the two groups, it was surprising how many companies do not build succession planning into their talent management processes. Here are some of the key points that were raised:

  • Plan for high performance and be prepared to take risks with people (with support)
  • Use assessment centres/coaching before promoting to ensure the best chance for success
  • Ensuring the right quality of Talent into your dealers to deliver great service can be greatly aided through formal educational and certification programmes.
  • Ensure a pipeline of talent comes into your organization by partnering with local educational establishments to provide students with job experience or short ‘stages’. The ones you like, you can make an offer of a job.

Hiring New Talent

Not the preferred option for developing talent, but in a world where technology and expectations are changing rapidly, it is often the best way to quickly assimilate new capabilities and thinking. We discussed three high level guidelines managers should follow to find great people quickly.

  1. Make sure the job description you develop meets both the internal company needs and for the recruiter is geared to the language of social networks.
  2. Working with professionals who deeply understand your business environment and needs, will be far more effective in terms of time and candidate quality.
  3. Close teamwork between client and recruiter has been shown to significantly reduce the time it takes to identify great candidates.

If you would like to know more on hiring talent or finding a new role, then see the Si2 Career Hub

Nick Frank is Managing Partner at Si2 Partners, a consultancy helping clients leverage services to win in industrial markets. Nick is an expert in Service Transformation, specifically helping organisations use technology to find new value within their customer’s value chain, facilitating bootcamps to help teams solve challenging problems, and business assessments to kick start the change process