Service Excellence Initiative: A Year in Review

October 06, 2011

Barbara Burke
Barbara Burke gives her legendary service at the Bookmark Cafe. Photo by Laura J. Cole.


As the Service Excellence (SE) Initiative celebrates its first-year anniversary, it seems like the ideal time to reflect back on the Initiative’s preliminary accomplishments. From executing campus-wide staff training to the launch of the SE Ambassador program, SE committee members have worked diligently to keep the movement’s momentum going.

“I’m very surprised and pleased by the gains we’ve made in the first year,” said Steven Neilson, special assistant to the president and chair of the SE Committee. “If we continue like this for the next two to three years, Rollins will be a very different place. The catalyst for change has never been that ‘something is broken’ here at Rollins–far from it. Rollins has garnered national accolades and enjoys a prestigious reputation for its undergraduate and graduate programs, faculty and co-curricular opportunities. Service Excellence has always been about pushing the envelope, eliminating complacency and striving to be even better than we are.”

Seven sub-committees have recently compiled an overview of their first-year achievements. Here are a few highlights:

  • Six Service Excellence ambassadors were selected and appointed
  • The Service Excellence website was launched with features that include the “Service Scoop” blog, Manager’s Toolkit and news site.
  • Recognition tools, such as the online Wall of Acknowledgement and Electronic Recognition Card, were unveiled.
  • The SE Philosophy & Standards were incorporated into all non-exempt job descriptions.
  • Rollins’ Service Standards were added as competencies in the Staff Performance Review and Self-Review forms and all Rollins’ staff were evaluated against these competencies.
  • Nearly 100 percent of staff and administration have attended Service Excellence training sessions.
  • The Rollins on-boarding process was enhanced so that new hires are orientated and educated about the Service Excellence from the outset.
  • A Service Excellence video was produced for screening during each new hire orientation session.
  • Striving to Achieve Rollins Service Standards (STARSS), an ongoing series of workshops, discussion forums, speakers and events was launched.
  • More than 150 employees attended the first STARSS event on September 30.
  • To give the campus community the opportunity to identify and remedy obstacles that impede the delivery of excellent service, the Service Obstacle System (SOS) was unveiled.
  •  The Annual Service Excellence Department Award was created. Olin Library was the inaugural recipient.
  • A toolkit for hiring managers was designed to assist them in assessing and hiring candidates who demonstrate service excellence competencies and are best able to support and carry out our service philosophy and standards.
  • A baseline service survey, completed by 646 individuals on campus in the fall of 2010, found that 75 percent of departments received a customer service score above a 5.0, the minimum score deemed acceptable by the SE Committee. Those departments scoring below the acceptable service level have begun to receive specialized training and support in order to improve their score in the future.

For a comprehensive list of tasks completed by sub-committees, please click here.


By Kristen Manieri

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
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