If you are like most businesses with employees, you run into the challenge of motivating your team. Often, both decision makers and employees try to solve the problem with a raise – more money. But, if you goal is exceptional customer service and you need to motivate your staff to be more engaged, you might consider taking a page out of the Steve Jobs’ handbook. 

There is a lesser-known story of Jobs that just may help you motivate your employees in a way you have yet to consider.

Jobs was able to convince the president of Pepsi, John Sculley, to leave the lucrative global company to join his start up, Apple. He didn’t try to lure him with more money, more exciting products or even a bigger and better brand. Apple was a very young company, and Sculley would have to be crazy to leave Pepsi for Apple…but he did. 

Why? Because Jobs focused on Apple’s mission. After weeks of trying to convince Sculley to join his company, they were sitting on a balcony overlooking Central Park and he said to Sculley, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world?” 

Jobs gave Sculley a mission worth his time, talent and commitment. Sculley left Pepsi, and the rest is history.

What mission are you giving your staff beyond the paycheck? Great customer service tends to flow more naturally when accompanied by a mission-based culture. If you are creating a healthy community culture, then you are fostering an environment where people know they are making a difference in the lives they encounter. 

I’ve had the good fortune of assisting Harley-Davidson with their customer service efforts. They understand how to give their team a mission beyond their paycheck, especially at the retail level. You may know that Harley-Davidson does a lot to benefit military veterans. What you probably don’t know (because they don’t advertise it) is that Harley-Davidson retailers send free care packages of their brand swag, such as wristbands, handkerchiefs, etc., to deployed service men and women overseas.

There are multiple benefits to this kind act. Of course, a soldier getting free swag keeps their brand top-of-mind and also provides something to remind them of home. But, this program, along with other community events, also helps keep Harley-Davidson employees connected to a mission – a mission of caring for Veterans – rather than just working for a paycheck.

If you were to ask a Harley Davidson employee what they like about working for the iconic motorcycle brand, it’s likely you’ll not only hear about the products they sell, but also about their mission to serve veterans. 

Having a mission mindset is a great motivator. What mission beyond the paycheck are you giving your team members?

Michael Barnett is the author of Customer Relationship Imprinting and founder and president of Six-Sided Service. He can be reached at [email protected] or (949) 245.0300. For more tips on achieving exceptional customer service, visit www.sixsidedservice.com.

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