SERVICE MOTIVATION

 

Definition

Creates and sustains an organizational culture which permits others to provide the quality of service essential to high performance.  Enables others to acquire the tools and support they need to perform well.  Shows a commitment to public service and influences others toward a spirit of service and meaningful contributions to mission accomplishment.

 

Importance

 

Service Motivation is at the core of the term “Public Servant” and epitomizes what the citizenry seeks from government employees.  It is evidenced in unwavering integrity and honesty, outstanding customer service that is delivered to both internal and external partners, and in commitment to the mission and role of the Agency.  A vital element of service motivation is personal responsibility on the part of all civil servants to enhance trust in the government.  Civil servants must provide outstanding service that is above ideological conflict, displays continuity, spurns the undue influence of special interests, and functions effectively despite the polarization of partisan politics.

 

How is This Competency Demonstrated?

 

Service Motivation is at the core of the term “Public Servant” and epitomizes what the citizenry seeks from government employees.  It is evidenced in unwavering integrity and honesty, outstanding customer service that is delivered to both internal and external partners, and in commitment to the mission and role of the Agency.  A vital element of service motivation is personal responsibility on the part of all civil servants to enhance trust in the government.  Civil servants must provide outstanding service that is above ideological conflict, displays continuity, spurns the undue influence of special interests, and functions effectively despite the polarization of partisan politics.

Elements of the Competency and Distinguishing Behaviors

 

Element

Distinguishing Behaviors

Understands, practices, and exemplifies a commitment to public service

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:

  • Demonstrates loyalty to the Government and citizens of the U.S. by fulfilling, “well and faithfully,” the highest obligations of service.
  • Demonstrates personal responsibility (accountability), outstanding customer service, unwavering honesty, high ethical standards, and a commitment to the mission and role of the Agency.
  • Embodies the integrity and ethics expected of a public servant.
  • Finds a sense of purpose in the larger mission and understands the larger context of one’s job, its implications, and consequences.

ADDITIONAL FOR FIRST APPOINTMENT & MID-LEVEL LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Communicates, and acts in concert with the understanding that public service has an ultimate responsibility to the customer, rather than the institution.
  • Assumes personal responsibility to engender trust in government.
  • Regularly, clearly and enthusiastically communicates to employees high expectations for good customer service.
  • Does not sacrifice trust and integrity to expediency, even under pressure.
  • Does not make inappropriate decisions for personal gain, to include career advancements.
  • Uses legal and ethical standards to help resolve issues of fairness, equality, and appropriate scope of services and approaches.
  • Maintains confidentiality and protects the privacy of employees, customers, and other members of the public.

ADDITIONAL FOR SENIOR LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Sets high personal and organizational standards for integrity and service.
  • Does not yield to pressures to act in ways counter to the spirit and letter of the laws of the U.S. or against the best interests of the Public.
  • Implements sound, research-based, program policy, programs and service that support the true needs of the citizens.

ADDITIONAL FOR EXECUTIVES:

  • Works to engender high levels of public trust in the government by exemplifying civic leadership
  • Employs open, transparent, and broadly participatory processes in decision making.
  • Works to ensure service that is above ideological conflict and undue influence of special interests.
  • Buffers important civic goals against political polarization.
  • Ensures that plans, resources, priorities, and human capital strategies reflect the organization’s focus on citizen-centered service.
  • Is willing to go out on a limb personally to persuade policy makers to support the direction most likely to achieve the mission of the Agency and the greatest public good

Writes convincingly for different audiences.

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:

 

  • Uses a writing style and vocabulary that is appropriate to the audience.
  • Solicits feedback on written communications regarding voice and clarity from those best able to judge appropriateness for a given audience.
  • Understands the advantages and limitations of e-mail to communicate with others and uses strategies to mitigate its limitations and resulting misunderstandings.
  • Avoids language which is too technical for the audience, or which others might misunderstand or find offensive.

 

ADDITIONAL FOR FIRST APPOINTMENT & MID-LEVEL LEADERS AND ABOVE:

 

  • Writes performance agreements, position descriptions, and other HR documents that accurately describe expectations and uses language that can be easily understood by the employee.
  • Uses written communication effectively as a management tool to supervise and mentor off-site employees.
  • Understands when face-to-face communication should be used instead of writing and uses the channel most appropriate for the message, not merely the one that is most convenient.

 

ADDITIONAL FOR SENIOR LEADERS & EXECUTIVES:

 

  • Creates a written voice that is personal, visible and recognizable and that inspires trust and commitment among employees and stakeholders. 
  • In the face of challenges to policy or strategy, writes convincingly for continued stakeholder support.

Inspires and enables others to be service oriented.

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:

  • Serves as a personal model of service to others.
  • Is trusted by others.
  • Is a good citizen in the workplace, of the U.S. and of the global community?
  • Treats others with respect and fairness and openly, consistently challenges bias, intolerance, and incivility.
  • Defends what’s right with courage and fortitude.
  • Is involved in activities and groups which enhance the quality of the workplace, is involved with Agency-sponsored community projects and takes a leadership role in own community.
  • Acts in a manner that welcomes others’ questions and invites others to seek help
  • Mentors junior colleagues and new employees.
  • Neither participates in nor condones offensive or discriminatory behavior.
  • Takes on a fair share of the work.

ADDITIONAL FOR FIRST APPOINTMENT & MID-LEVEL LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Practices “servant leadership” within the organization and encourage employees and work groups to practice a similar role in their relationships with internal and external customers.
  • Helps employees get beyond obstacles.  Does not allow the shortcomings of policy or resources to halt the work of the team.
  • Actively combats the roots of employee burn-out, disillusionment, and cynicism.
  • Does not confuse service with workaholism.
  • Counsels and assists others to find a balance between commitments to the Agency and to their community and family.
  • Enables employees to focus on and fulfill service commitments by finding and allocating resources and other needed support.
  • Ensures that rewards are allocated for outstanding service to the public.
  • Sets unit goals and develops procedures and standards dedicated to serving internal and external customers.
  • Is able to convince others of the need for change in order to fulfill the service mission.
  • Creates a workplace culture that fosters performance, pride and purpose.
  • Focuses all employees on improving service.
  • Helps all employees connect the organization’s mission to public service.

ADDITIONAL FOR SENIOR LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Through demonstrated expertise and commitment to common goals, is recognized as trusted advisor and partner to the customer.
  • Cascades strategies to employees and teams to build shared understanding of the links between policy, programs and public service.
  • Rigorously monitors customer satisfaction and applies these lessons to improving services.

ADDITIONAL FOR EXECUTIVES:

  • Communicates the public service vision of the organization.
  • Rewards service to the public, to include championing and supporting employees who volunteer in the community

Demonstrates responsiveness to the needs of all stakeholders.

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:

  • Leaves stakeholders feeling they have been heard, understood, respected and well served.
  • Demonstrates empathy for stakeholders.
  • Understands and responds appropriately and flexibly to the differing needs of diverse internal and external stakeholder groups.
  • Gives clear explanations using plain language to clarify needs and interests with stakeholders.
  • Ensures that referrals of requests or issues are made to the most appropriate organizational resource and that contact instructions are clear and accurate.

ADDITIONAL FOR FIRST APPOINTMENT & MID-LEVEL LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Consults with internal and external stakeholders by gathering feedback to develop an understanding of their needs and changing requirements/uses to ensure service provided meets their needs.
  • Interacts effectively with external stakeholders to understand how they operate and uses this knowledge in achieving results.
  • Supports personnel-, training-, procedural- and technological strategies that ensure competent, reliable and appropriate service and products to others.
  • Maintains clear communications with stakeholders.
  • Avoids bureaucracy, jargon and red tape in service to others.
  • Uses input and feedback from customers and team members to anticipate and make improvements in customer service.
  • Suggests different approaches for customers with diverse needs.
  • Works closely with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that all perspectives and interests are understood, and to encourage them to make their own contributions to policy and process.

ADDITIONAL FOR SENIOR LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Strives to understand, at the broadest level, the changing issues, needs, and perspectives that impact the welfare of the citizen-customer. 
  • Discovers the needs of the customers through research and study.  Goes beyond “handed-down” knowledge and assumptions.
  • Looks for information about the underlying needs of others, beyond those expressed or recognized initially.

ADDITIONAL FOR EXECUTIVES:

  • Makes policy and program decisions which are aligned with the needs of the public and are made only after considering the full impact of these decisions on the public.
  • Champions those issues most likely to make the most significant contribution to public service.
  • Acts on independent, but factually-based opinions, if these approaches seem to better meet the customer’s actual and long-term needs.
Takes personal responsibility for providing friendly, cheerful, helpful service. 

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:

  • Goes the extra mile to satisfy demand within the scope of own skills and authority.
  • Provides effective, responsive and timely service.
  • Holds self accountable for meeting objectives and keeping commitments by following through.
  • Takes personal responsibility for dealing with and/or correcting customer service issues and concerns; is efficient and responsive.
  • Follows through on customers’ questions, requests, and complaints.
  • Gains customer confidence through competence, good communications and trust.
  • Corrects problems promptly and without becoming defensive.
Is a responsible steward of the nation’s welfare and resources.

FOR ALL EMPLOYEES:

  • Uses own time and other resources prudently and appropriately to further the goals of the Agency.
  • Understands the role of taxes and appropriations in the funding of operations and acts in general as good stewards of all public resources.
  • Practices efficient, effective procurement, management, application, utilization and monitoring of resources (including property, people and financial) to achieve effective service.
  • Understands accountability in terms of results, not rules, and measures work done in output, not seat time.
  • Actively maintains high quality skills and cutting edge knowledge.
  • Seeks out opportunities to maximize resources.

ADDITIONAL FOR FIRST APPOINTMENT & MID-LEVEL LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Measures the risks of innovation and tests against the public good and Constitutional rights.
  • Addresses poor performance among team and group members.
  • Ensures the integrity of accounting and performance data through good data collection and analysis systems.
  • Ensures appropriate oversight and control over hiring practices, procurement and contracting.
  • Practices decision making tools that are proven to help distinguish among choices in ethical dilemmas and in weighing risk.
  • Assumes responsibilities for risks taken and actions embarked upon when direction is ambiguous.

ADDITIONAL FOR SENIOR LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Looks for long-term benefits to the customer and adjusts approach, policy and resources accordingly.
  • Focuses the efforts of the organization on the needs of the ultimate customer, rather than on issues or tasks that seem urgent, but which are actually less important, and sometimes, even counter-productive.
  • Takes a long-term perspective and weighs true value for the public vs. just mere efficiency.

ADDITIONAL FOR EXECUTIVES:

  • Shares insights and research findings in tactful, but persuasive ways to ensure that resources are aligned behind initiatives that truly benefit the citizens of the U.S.
  • Expends resources to ensure an adequate evidence base is available to support plans and decisions.
Works with internal and external stakeholders to create a shared vision of service. 

FOR SENIOR LEADERS AND ABOVE:

  • Takes full account of appropriate issues, their interrelationships (across organizations) and their implications for achieving the Agency’s mission to the Public.
  • Works to establish and make clear connections between and common interests among effected groups and to help the discussions get beyond positional understandings of needs and wants.

ADDITIONAL FOR EXECUTIVES:

  • Sees service from a systems perspective and works to align all stakeholders’ efforts towards integrated programs, shared knowledge, and mutual understanding of common interests.
  • Partners with internal and external stakeholders in a way that enables them to see long term benefits and to find initiatives that best fulfill the Agency’s mandate of service to them.
  • Promotes policy, programs and perspectives that serve the best interests of the people of the U.S., rather than serving the organization.

 

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