How much do you trust your people to do the right thing?
Consider giving every person on your team a budget—$1000 a year? $200 an incident? and challenging them to spend the money to make things right, to create efficiency, to delight.
If the CFO freaks out, invite her to meet with each employee at the end of the year to hear how they chose to spend the money. $5 extra to park close enough to the airport to not miss a flight. Giving an unhappy customer a refund on the spot. Buying a subscription to an inexpensive web app that dramatically decreases customer service time…
At the Ritz-Carlton, every single employee (even the maintenance folks) has a budget of $2,000 per guest to make things right. On the spot, without asking.
Without a doubt, the guest is blown away by this rapid response. A caring person who, instead of saying, "I'll have to ask my supervisor," just makes it right. But even more important, I think, is the effect of trusting your people. You've already given them the keys to your brand, you've already made them the face of your organization—isn't it time to trust them enough to do the right thing?