Recognition and Reward: Fueling the Fires of Service Success

Recognition drives the human engine.

—Leonard Berry

Texas A&M University

“Catch somebody doing something right today” is an admonition that succinctly captures years of managerial wisdom and a ton of behavioral science research. It has special meaning and import for the service management effort. If you want people in your organization to think and act in customer-oriented ways, seek out ways to catch them doing just that, and reward and recognize them for making the effort.

It is a reasonable and rational guideline, a precept hard to disagree with—and one more easily broken than kept. The biggest problem, of course, is that in the modern service workplace most managers seldom ...

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