Finding the “right” staffer in the development and building services arena who fits not only the professional qualifications, but also the “feel” and “new attitude” you are trying to create during process improvements may seem like a near impossibility. The other scenario is the new staffer that is trying so hard to fit in that they are absorbing all the bad habits of the entrenched staff and are not grasping the new development processes as fully as you would like, making the shift to the new that much more difficult. The Human Resource function is so much more than filling a position; it’s making sure you have the correct tool or resource for the job.
A City change agent’s reflection on their experience……
We have undertaken significant improvements to the development processing system. No matter how good a plan is to address customer service culture issues ….we found that the plan did not meet expectations. We had good intentions by having full participation by a Staff Action Team, made up on representatives from departments, to develop and move improvements forward. We also had executive management and political leadership say that change MUST come or else, however, the truth of the matter is that unless the culture is changed from both top down and bottom up, the plan WILL NOT work.
Making significant improvements in the development processing system is a very difficult and risky venture from the perspective of the staff members involved in the effort. Staff (and customers) are being asked to change old habits and embrace new ideas for providing information and processing permits or applications. As an individual, you could be leading an improvement team or you may be asked to participate as a contributing team member. So, how can you optimize your participation in the improvement effort? How can you be viewed as a contributing team member?