Call for public services shake-up

first_imgHR in public services needs a radical overhaul to tackle the problems thesector faces recruiting and retaining staff. An Audit Commission report, Recruitment and Retention, published today callsfor HR to be given greater involvement at board and senior management levels toensure public sector organisations develop comprehensive recruitment andretention strategies. The study finds that although public sector HR is more ‘progressive’ andoffers better flexible working, training and development opportunities than theprivate sector, it fails to make an impact because the function is notstrategic enough. Keith Handley, immediate past president of local government HR body Socpo,agreed with the report’s main findings. “Too many authorities blow the trumpet about people being their mainasset yet do not even have a HR person on the management team,” he said. The report also identifies a need for improved monitoring of staff turnover,absence rates and job satisfaction, and advocates greater use of exit interviews– only a fifth of more than 300 ex-public sector workers polled in the reporthad ever had exit interviews. Other recommendations include reducing the number of targets to givefrontline staff greater autonomy and freedom to concentrate on quality ofservice. Trish Longdon, director of people development at the Audit Commission, said:”Staff feel overwhelmed by the unhelpful number of targets. These do nothelp staff to prioritise as there are so many of them.” Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Call for public services shake-upOn 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Embrace the Chaos and Reap the Rewards

first_imgHow do you back up your data? A decade ago, the question was an afterthought for IT directors, and they could answer it in 10 words or less. Today, the question is top of mind for CIOs and nobody in the organization has a complete answer. To deliver the answers that the business needs, the backup team must transform its approach and adopt a service-provider mindset.Backup has become a top IT priority because it can drive the business. Companies recognize the competitive business advantages of bringing together the right information and the right people. Therefore, they want their IT investments to advance their information infrastructure, instead of merely maintaining the legacy environment. Unfortunately, IT organizations evolve slowly to minimize risk (e.g. data loss). Enterprises with high-performance trusted backup solutions evolve more quickly because the rest of IT can move more rapidly, confident in their backup safety net. Backup has become a CIO focus because it can accelerate IT and business transformation.As backup has become more vital, it has also become more fragmented. Concerned about the performance and reliability of legacy backup solutions, individual IT groups have deployed point products to address their localized backup challenges. For example, most enterprises have DBAs, Virtual Machine (VM) administrators and storage teams run one-off approaches for some VMs, databases, NAS servers or remote offices. The result is chaos: snapshots, database dumps to local disk, replicas, Virtual Tape Library (VTL), cloud, legacy tape and multiple management applications. While countless IT directors swear that they’re the exception (“We’re a [insert term associated with hierarchical control] company. Everything is controlled by our central backup application.”), the stark reality is that absolute, centralized control is an illusion.Why do these groups diverge from the central backup offering? First, the backup team does not meet their needs. Second, unlike a decade ago, each group can create its own solution. The root of the problem is that the three core backup technical trends drive the divergence.Performance. Backup and recovery performance drives customer satisfaction. With more VMs, consolidated applications, billion-file NAS servers, and remote offices around the globe, backup teams struggle to maintain service levels. Since businesses are pushing IT to improve services, backup remains a critical bottleneck. In response, hypervisors, applications and storage systems have built tools to help optimize backup (e.g., VMware’s Changed Block Tracking, which can enable 10x better backup and recovery performance). Of course, if the company’s legacy backup application does not support the optimizations, the other teams will find point products that do.Visibility. VM, application, and storage administrators understand that data drives the business. They worry about not knowing the status of their backups. They complain that much of the time-critical restore workflow is out of their control. They want more visibility into their data protection and more control over restores. If the company’s backup team does not enable broader visibility, the other teams will deploy point products that they control.Disk Backup. When tape was the only viable backup media, centralization was required. Most application administrators didn’t want to purchase, manage, or attach tape devices to their servers. Disk, on the other hand, enables groups to create their own backup solution.The need for backup performance and visibility drives other IT groups to explore alternatives to their centralized backup team. Disk enables them to deploy those alternatives.To meet business needs and remain relevant, the backup team must adopt a service provider approach. Enterprises cannot allow backup to devolve into fragmented silos, but they cannot force their users to embrace substandard services. Therefore, backup teams must abandon the legacy backup model that alienates their customers. While many CIOs want to buy a “silver bullet” product or service that “solves” their problems, the first step is internal with their asking customers what services they want.First, they’ll learn that the teams want a central backup group for compliance, reporting, infrastructure management, etc. They just want fast backups that they can rapidly restore themselves.Second, they’ll find that their users want a variety of services across different applications – from traditional backup to backup storage services to centralized backup policy and catalog management.Once they begin to understand their customers, the backup team can adopt technologies that will help them evolve their environment. The first buying decision is disk backup. Immediately, disk can enhance the backup team’s service levels and organizational credibility. Strategically, since disk backup is one of three core trends, the backup group needs a reliable, flexible solution that will support the evolution to new workloads and workflows.Transforming the backup environment, the backup team, and its customer relationships takes time. Each day we see customers at all stages of evolution. An increasing number of backup teams, however, have already become service providers that help accelerate the business. For each of them, their transformation began with the service provider mindset.Sometimes, the best way to gain control is to let go… and embrace the chaos.last_img read more

Credit union branch transformation begins with culture

first_imgOver the past few years, trade publications have been awash with articles and advice on branch transformation. This is an extremely important topic given the transaction trends we read about. With members coming into the branch less frequently, credit unions need to be poised to make the most out of each member interaction.As the story continues, we learn that the nature of the retail branch is changing. Its past role as a transaction venue is being supplanted (rightfully so) by a role as a solution and sales center.Think of it this way: If a member bypasses the credit union’s ATMs, web site, mobile app, and phone center and has the AUDACITY to walk into a branch, that member must need something that he or she perceives can be accomplished best in a branch. Common sense and research data reveal that those activities include resolving problems and “big ticket” sales.While online and mobile account opening are capabilities at the forefront of electronic service delivery, nearly two-thirds of consumers expect to open new accounts in the branch.Further, consumers have a pronounced preference for personal interactions when resolving a problem or receiving member support.There are lively discussions about branch layout, universal bankers, teller pods, and ITMs. Experts wax poetic about customer engagement and the motivations that customers have for coming into a branch. All of that is fine information and many institutions have done a great job transforming their branches, but the big issue is one of culture. Specifically, the big question is: Are your branch employees trained and prepared to address problems and discuss products as a financial authority?Without a well-trained, engaging culture, branch transformation – simply focusing on remodeling facilities – may fall flat. Said differently, the branch environment must support a culture in which well-trained, engaging employees work directly with their members to resolve issues, address concerns, and connect their customers with appropriate products and services. Four key activities are needed before embarking on a complete branch transformation journey:Cultural Assessment – Within the institution’s current environment, is the culture one of proactive member support? This is a question that requires candid self-analysis. It’s OK if the answer is “no.” That helps determine where the branch transformation process begins.Cultural Goal – What is the desired customer experience within the branch? This is a “blue sky” question. It’s important to think broadly and conceptually about this topic. There is a tendency to limit thinking to what happens in the current branch rather that what should happen if there were no preexisting conditions (see the next question).Branch Assessment – Is the current environment focused on transactions or member engagement? Frequently, traditional branches may put barriers (sometimes literally) between employees and customers. The institution must come to a good understanding of what does and does not support their cultural goals. This sets the stage for planning facilities that are aligned with cultural and member services objectives.Action Plan – The institution can plan and implement branch transformation most effectively once it understands its cultural condition, cultural goal, and the conduciveness of its branches in supporting the goal. Responses to these conditions may result in changes to hiring and training, branch staffing, technology and core processor decisions, and branch design-build (remodels or new facilities).Tremendous results are possible when these factors are properly balanced. Banks and credit unions that embrace a complete solution experience dramatic results.A bank in Middle Tennessee transformed its customer service culture and then transformed a very busy branch to support the culture. As a result, employee overhead was reduced, customer engagement and satisfaction were improved, and the payback on the investment was achieved in less than two years.According to FDIC reports, a community bank in the Southwest organically grew its assets from $1.0 billion to $3.5 billion in five years by transforming its customer service culture and supporting that transformation with appropriate branch designs.NCUA loan and asset data prove a credit union in Tennessee grew its loan portfolio by 50% in four years, and another in the Carolinas grew its book of business by over $100 million in a similar period, both by combining cultural and physical transformations. 298SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Hyche At LEVEL5, “Think Strategically, Build Creatively” is not just a tagline, it’s the culture. John Hyche guides the “think strategically” portion of LEVEL5’s services. In this role, John … Web: www.level5.com Detailslast_img read more

WLAX : After historic regular season, Orange preps for matchup with Hoyas in Big East tournament

first_img Published on May 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 When the final whistle sounded at the end of Syracuse’s 18-3 victory over Villanova, the celebration began. The Orange huddled around the Big East regular season trophy on the sideline for a team picture to commemorate the most successful regular season in SU history.But that’s already a distant memory for Syracuse. The Orange still has bigger goals to accomplish.‘As soon as the last game ended it was on to the next one,’ SU goalkeeper Alyssa Costantino said. ‘We’re just really focused on (Thursday’s) game.’Top-seeded Syracuse (15-2, 8-0 Big East) begins its quest for its first goal on the list Thursday at 8:15 p.m. against fourth-seeded No. 16 Georgetown (9-7, 5-3) in the Carrier Dome in the semifinals of the Big East tournament. The winner of that game will face the winner of the 5:30 p.m. semifinal between No. 2 seed Loyola (Md.) and No. 3 seed Notre Dame in the Big East Championship final Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Dome with an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament on the line.A season ago, the Big East tournament was do-or-die for Syracuse after a mediocre regular season. The Orange fell in the semifinals to the then-No. 9 Greyhounds, ending its season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis season, SU is among the top teams in the country, but the Big East tournament is still another step toward achieving its ultimate goal in the NCAA tournament.‘We’re treating it the same way as we did last year because you never know what’s going to happen,’ SU attack Michelle Tumolo said. ‘… Each game counts and is as important as the last one.’Syracuse came into the season aiming to win the Big East regular season and tournament championships while also contending for the national championship.SU attack Kailah Kempney said the conference tournament is just one more challenge for the team to prepare it for the NCAA tournament. This weekend could help decide the Orange’s seeding in the NCAA tournament.Syracuse is ranked No. 2 in both major polls and received a first-place vote in the IWLCA coaches poll. That, coupled with being No. 2 in NCAA Women’s Lacrosse RPI, has SU in position to likely claim the No. 2 overall seed in NCAA tournament if it can add the Big East tournament title to its resume.No. 1 Northwestern, who defeated the Orange in overtime in February, will likely earn the top seed in the NCAA tournament.But Syracuse is focused on this Thursday first.All season long the SU players have stressed taking one game at a time, only discussing the next game on the schedule.Right now, that game is against Georgetown in the conference tournament semifinals.Though the Orange blew out the Hoyas 22-11 when the two played for the first time on April 14, SU head coach Gary Gait expects this GU team to be different than the one Syracuse blew off the Dome field that day. Gait has told his team that Georgetown’s performance was one of its worst of the regular season and that the Orange should expect the Hoyas to come out with a vengeance.And he knows his team should take the field fired up, too. The regular season and all the success this team had is already in the past.It’s the postseason now, and Gait feels that alone should be enough to motivate his team.‘That’s over already,’ Gait said. ‘That’s the regular season. It’s tournament time.’[email protected] Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more