A Best Practices Report
REPORT DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
This report is intended as a best practices guide to world-class courtesy. The
organizations studied and visited demonstrated to the team numerous characteristics of
world-class courtesy at work.
In brief, the team's methodology in preparing this report was divided into four
segments: (1) secondary research, (2) primary research, (3) collection and
organization, and (4) final report preparation.
A kick-off meeting for all participating federal agencies was held at the study's outset
and speakers from The Ritz-Carlton and the Social Security Administration discussed
the important role courtesy plays in their organizations. General guidance from the
National Performance Review staff and the report team leaders regarding the report's
objectives, projected time lines, and expected level of commitment were also
This best practices report is a means of determining which businessespublic and
privateare doing the best job in the specific area of courtesy, and then assessing the
performance gap between the best-in-class organizations and your own. You should
then create action plans to move your organization toward-and beyond-the
The following questionnaire was used to gather data from the best-in-class
organizations identified during our primary research phase.
National Performance Review Field Questionnaire: World-Class Courtesy
Name of your
Approximate number of employees:
Employee unions? Yes No (Please circle the appropriate answer)
Name and telephone number of contact person for this
1. Have you ever been asked by another organization or group to discuss your views
on the concept of "courtesy"? Yes No
2. Is the concept of "courtesy" stated in your organization's mission statement or some
other document that directly relates to your organization's objectives? Yes No
If yes, would you please name this document(s), and, if possible, fax a copy to us?
3. Does your organization have a definition that pertains to the concept of "courtesy"?
If yes, would you share it with us in the space below?
4. Does your organization describe in some document the manner in which employees
are expected to treat their fellow employees? Yes No
If yes, could you fax a copy of this document to us?
5. Do you look for particular qualities when hiring that relate to a person's ability to
successfully interact with customers? Yes No
If yes, would you briefly describe your selection method(s), including those traits you
look for in potential employees?
6. Do you provide training to employees regarding "courtesy"? Yes No
If yes, would you please describe the type and frequency of training provided?
7. Who designs the content of your training?
8. How do you measure the effectiveness of your training efforts?
9. Can you approximate the percentage of your total training budget that deals directly
with improving courtesy to customers? _____%
10. Are you able to measure (either directly or indirectly) the impact your organization's
emphasis on courtesy has on the profit margin? Yes No
If yes, could you briefly state how this is done?
11. Do you use any of the following feedback mechanisms?
Customer surveys ______
Employee surveys ______
Customer focus groups __________
Employee focus groups __________
Customer complaint/feedback system ______
Employee complaint/feedback system ______
360-degree performance rating system ______
Other (please list)_____________________________________
If possible, would you fax us a copy of any of the above-mentioned surveys?
12. How would you define your organization's leadership style?
13. How do you feel the leadership style in your organization contributes to an
environment that promotes courteous behavior?
14. What employee empowerment strategies do you use to ensure courteous behavior?
We're specifically interested in how you empower your front-line employees when
dealing with the customer.
15. What types of employee rewards and incentives are used in your organization to
promote courteous behavior?
16. How are you able to determine if your rewards and incentives programs are
17. Please describe briefly any "lessons learned" that would help us better understand
the subject of customer or employee courtesy.
18. Please use the space below to include any other thoughts or comments you may
have regarding the concept of "courtesy" or this questionnaire.
Thank you for completing this questionnaire.