Staff engagement boosted

Article image - Staff engagement boosted Rosemary King, Wes Mountain, Nick Coburn and Boo Radley.

The City of Boroondara’s Customer Service team has received recognition for a program that has seen staff engagement increase by 50 percent in less than a year.

The team received an honourable mention at the Government Contact Centre Excellence Awards in Sydney in August, for a program based on Dr Peter Hart’s (Director of Insight SRC), Four Pillars of Engagement theory, which is replicable to any call centre operation.

Coordinator of Customer Service, Coleen Cartwright, said a lot of work had been done to adapt the theory but the results spoke for themselves.

“This year, the Boroondara customer satisfaction scores sit at 77 percent – seven percent above the state average – and the most recent mystery shopper scores show a 20 percent increase since 2012.

“This is huge achievement for us. Even though more work needs to be done, it’s great to see staff morale is a lot higher.”

An expert in industrial and organisational psychology, Dr Peter Hart provided the framework the team needed to implement the program based on his Four Pillars of Engagement: empathy, clarity, engagement and learning.

Ms Cartwright said Council has implemented an increased emphasis on staff education.

“We’ve been really focused on staff learning and development. Our team meetings have been restructured, with 70 percent of content now devoted to staff learning.

“Guest speakers from across Council come to our meetings and we hold refresher sessions on topical subjects.

“The other 30 percent is about team decision making, following a pair and share approach. This way everyone is heard and everyone is an equal; we also have deeper learning sessions each month.”

Several creative learning activities have also been developed which aim to be fun as well as informative, and have allowed the team to get to know the roles of other areas of Council.

“We really wanted our team to be happy at work and once we applied the learnings there was a real turnaround.

“We still have a long way to go, many teams in our organisation already have engaged staff – our aim is to become one of them.”
Dr Peter Hart said he enjoyed working with Boroondara to implement engagement strategies.

“It was great to work with a passionate group of people who understood that a team’s cultural behaviour and levels of engagement are the real keys to improving customer service.”