Archive for May, 2011

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

I spent Tuesday morning at the Senior Managers’ Conference, talking to members of the Wider Leadership Team and the Operational Management Team and I wanted to share some of the feedback with you.  Deputy Leader County Councillor Ian Parry kicked off the morning talking about our achievements in the past twelve months.  He reminded us that the way we are approaching things in Staffordshire is impressive and innovative, and we are starting to turn heads.

I was also pleased that Gareth Morris, head teacher of Flash Ley Primary school was able to join us to speak about the work that is going on, not only to improve the school but also to include the local community.  He was particularly inspiring when talking about the leadership approach he had used to help his staff team implement change.

Overall it was a very positive morning, and I hope your managers will take time to feedback some of the points we discussed.

I was pleased to kick off the latest round of Your Voice sessions last week.  It is always good to hear about what is important to you, how you think things can be improved.  Something that came out strongly in the previous round was that you wanted to hear more detail from your managers about what is going on, and in response we are about to set up a new Team Brief – look out for this in June.

Customer focus

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Our two long bank holiday weekends are now behind us and, like most of you, I’ve been busy back at work.  I hope those of you that took some time off have taken advantage of the great weather (apparently one of the hottest Aprils on record) and enjoyed the break.  I am also mindful that many services in our organisation are 24 hour operations, and I know many of you have been working phenomenally hard over the long weekends.  If that included you, thank you for your hard work.

I was very pleased to see the launch of our new website, which looks great and is far easier for customers to use.  We have taken the opportunity to replace very out of date software and to install a system that will help us be a lot more customer focussed and enable people to do far many more things online.  New features we are developing include an online diary for registration, enabling customers to book birth, death and marriage appointments and order family history certificates on line at a time that suits them rather than having to call us in office hours.  This is just one of many online services we intend to develop over the next year, based on customer feedback.

I am also very pleased that the work has come in on time and on budget – a fantastic achievement for all those that have been involved in the project.  If you haven’t taken a look at the website yet, you can do so here.

Finally, I just wanted to say how sorry I was to hear of the recent death of two of our county councillors.  My thoughts are with the families of Councillor Barrie Mycock and Councillor Peter Beresford at this time.