S.E.R.V.E: Empower Yourself, Empower Others and Make a Difference

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Home > Articles > S.E.R.V.E: Empower Yourself, Empower Others and Make a Difference

 S.E.R.V.E: Empower Yourself, Empower Others and Make a Difference

Seow Bee Leng | Today's Manager
March 1, 2018

Be empowered to serve with joy and love. Be yourself, be your best self to S.E.R.V.E.TM and you will shine.

S.E.R.V.ETM (Significance, Efficacy, Relationships, Variation, Extra Mile) engages the mind and heart in driving empowerment for service excellence. It provides the shared responsibilities and commitment to engaging our customers, colleagues, and stakedholders.

What will enable you to make decisions in your areas of responsibilities and demonstrate commitment and accountability for the desired results; and what is holding you back from doing so? Let us pause and explore the questions of “What?”, “What Else?”, “So What?”, and “Now What?” to be empowered for a healthy service culture.

Empower Yourself
To empower oneself, service professionals are invited to embark on a journey of self-discovery to find significance in one’s work of service and build a sense of efficacy to perform one’s service roles. Creating value in customer experiences and the sense of passion to serve with joy sustains one in the journey which lies ahead. As we reflect on 2017 and usher in 2018, a new year of hopes, opportunities, and possibilities awaits.

Service professionals can find pockets of me-time to rediscover their inner strength, realise new aspirations, flourish with new discoveries, and rejoice in a new year of ‘wow’ encounters. Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Let us go forth and autograph our service work with excellence and pride. Having the sense of personal competence to perform the service, we can confidently say: “I ‘can’ and I ‘will’ put in the effort to create a great customer experience.”

Empower Others
To empower others, service professionals are encouraged to develop relationships that generate trust and influence the variation of the service chain. We must frequently come together with great internal customer service at the workplace. Inter-departmental communication and cooperation is not to be taken for granted. Excellent service comes from staff who enjoy what they do and do together because Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM)! Such happiness is contagious and this builds a mutually beneficial service culture through participation, active engagement, and having “serious fun”. Intra- and inter-teams reach their milestones faster when they communicate more clearly, and involve everyone in a focussed effort to serve the demands of customers. These things do not just happen; they are intentional. Relationships are built and strengthened with daily pre-work morning briefings, fellowship over tea-breaks, and rallying everyone in the service chain for the service work. Clear expectations are set. Gatherings in informal settings provide opportunities to openly ask questions, share quick wins to replicate success, and identify new best practices for sustainability. Two heads are better than one. When you have an idea, you will want to bounce it off others to get their opinions. The emergent strategy, creative destruction of your original idea, or actionable takeaways can be rejuvenating. Time and energy need to be invested for such great conversations, but nothing will go to waste.

Make a Difference
You are empowered to make a difference by going the extra mile to challenge assumptions and explore new ideas with openness. Service excellence is the result of inter-dependent employees working cooperatively to achieve desired outcomes. Front-line service employees are dependent on backroom support to meet customers’ requests. Mutual respect and appreciation that avoids taking internal customers (colleagues) and external customers for granted goes a long way. An impact can be made for not having urgent last minute emergency requests as the norm. Such common but unreasonable demands to “hijack” priorities and question shared services colleagues to immediately meet our requests should not be the norm. The workload can be stressful, but having everyone working together to make a difference through our service work makes it more enjoyable and fun.

The happiness derived from serious fun creates extraordinary moments. A guest had earmarked pages in the vacation reads at the hotel room. The next day, he was pleasantly surprised to see that the service staff had slipped in bookmarks for him. Another customer made a passing remark about how lovely the hotel coffee table centerpiece was. Guess what? She found a stalk of the same bloom on her room service tray later. Going the extra mile for the customers to surprise them certainly raises the service evaluation to the “delight level”. It takes the spontaneity of the staff to pay attention to details. Much of the joy at work comes from like-minded people who intimately connect, discover, and dive deeply into great conversations that we could shape, co-create, and participate for the “serious fun” to make a difference.

Our professional and personal development in driving empowerment for service excellence can be a creative, invigorating, and satisfying experience. Service professionals are entitled with a new badge with the three letters C.E.O.! You are the chief experience officers, believing that the service you deliver makes a difference.

Be empowered to serve with joy and love. Be yourself, be your best self to S.E.R.V.E.TM, and you will shine!


Dr Seow Bee Leng has extensive service excellence training experience with corporations (private and public sectors), academic institutions, and non-profit organisations. Her interests lie in helping service employees enjoy service delivery, value-add, and create meaningful connections with their clients. She is the author of S.E.R.V.E.TM : Empower Yourself, Empower Others and Make a Difference.


Copyright © 2018 Singapore Institute of Management

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Today's Manager Issue 1, 2018

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