“At work, if you want to be rewarded, you need to ensure that you are valued at a premium rate. For this, you will need to cultivate, what I call, an “attitude of service”, at work.” -- SHANKAR R. SANTHIRAM

Before buying a car, you first have to decide how much money you have, or how much debt you are willing to accumulate in order to finance that purchase. Once you have determined this, your next course of action would be to identify a vehicle suitable to your needs and budget.

Let’s say your budget allows for a 2-litre sedan. In the marketplace, the price of cars vary enormously. As articulate as you may be, you cannot simply walk into a showroom that sells high performance German sedans and negotiate the price down to your budget, which may be for a mid-range Japanese model.

Both cars may ultimately do the same job, but their value is completely different.

The variance is accepted because the buyer of the expensive car expects it to perform at a higher level, demands that the after-sales servicing is top-notch, and the car commands greater status.

Similarly, at work, if you want to be rewarded, you need to ensure that you are valued at a premium rate. For this, you will need to cultivate, what I call, an “attitude of service”, at work.

What is this attitude of service?

Remember, that aside from your actual “customers” your boss and your team members are also your customers. If you want to progress at work, they need to start seeing you a “luxury sedan” worth paying top dollar for.

Let me share five attributes that will help you develop an attitude of service at work.

One of the main features of good customer service is being respectful of a client. The best service professionals never play down their customer’s needs, no matter how trivial they are. At work, respecting your co-workers and your bosses is crucial. You must be willing to treat other people politely and professionally, even when you disagree with their views.

The next thing is that you need to take pride in what you do. Being proud is not about being boastful. It means that you take ownership for the outcomes of your work. It also signals that you care about your contribution to the company. An excellent service professional takes interest in the outcomes of their actions and takes pride in doing things well.

The third attribute for you to remember is commitment. If you are committed at work, your value increases exponentially. All organisations need team members who are committed to the goals and initiatives that affect the bottom line. Outstanding service professionals show a willingness to do whatever it takes to fulfill the duties of their positions, and offer new ideas to make the company even better.

Next is innovation. If you are inventive, you don't shy away from trying new ideas. Your company needs people who think of new ways to accomplish tasks. In the service industry, the best professionals are the ones who can offer customers creative solutions. “I don’t want to hear what you cannot do; please tell me what you can do”.

Finally, you must be helpful. Having a cooperative attitude at work means you are willing to aid co-workers accomplish tasks that result in achieving the company’s goals. The more accommodating you are, the more others will want to be around you. This makes you a valuable partner for collaboration on new projects or assignments. The hallmark of a good service professional is certainly their kindness.

Just this past week, my wife and I saw these five attributes in action. We opted for a long weekend getaway at the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat in Tambun, near Ipoh. We had a fabulous time resting and recharging our proverbial batteries at this wonderfully discerning resort.

The most impressive part of our stay was that aside from the exclusivity of its villas, the natural geothermal spring, the availability of a great spa and all the delicious food, this resort is staffed by some amazing people.

From Rashid, the guard at the entrance to Yen at the front office and Vithia at the restaurant, as well as Shida the masseuse at the spa; they all exemplified the five attributes I advocate, above.

The team at Banjaran are capably led by a quintessentially passionate Italian, Alex Castaldi. Through his leadership, Alex has successfully infused his team with a remarkable level of professionalism.

They were always respectful to all their customers, regardless of nationality or race.

When they showed us around the resort as part of their welcoming procedure, I noticed pride filled their work product.

At one point during our stay, I had an issue with something, and the team’s commitment to solve my problem was apparent as they went to extraordinary lengths to be on top of things.

The innovations like creating a spa scrub with the ever popular Ipoh white coffee show me their service culture.

And at every step, every single member of staff was interested in being helpful to us.

If you cultivate an attitude of service at work, you will add value to your employers. Consequently, you will become valuable, just like Alex and his team at the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat.

*SHANKAR R. SANTHIRAM is managing consultant and executive leadership coach at EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of national bestseller “So, You Want To Get Promoted?”. The writer can be reached at shankar@eqtd.com

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