Meeting the needs of citizens and the community

I read a really interesting article on client service entitled “What happens when you really meet people’s needs” by Tony Schwartz on the Harvard Business Review blog. Takeaways for me:

  • employees understood the goal or what success looked like and could explain how their role/actions fits within that goal;

Do all public servants understand their role? How their actions contribute toward the priorities of their Division, Department or even the whole of government priorities?  Public servants are the instruments of implementation for government policy but it seems too often they don’t understand why they do what they are doing.

  • employees were trusted and given specific delegation to fix problems; and

Often is seems that the accountability of the public sector is paramount and delegations to fix things are set at to high a level.  The result? Poor client service and a front line with no delegation or ability to fix things that should just be fixed.

  • regular times to connect with each other and reconnect with the goal through examples.

Such a powerful and simple tool: taking time to reconnect with the goal and work through examples that team members have actually experienced provides a great opportunity to learn, to improve service delivery. The public service is all about serving the community and it should be leading the way in terms of what citizens expect from a government. regards, Jason A public servant since 28 June 1999.

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