By MaryAnn Monroe, Director of Customer Experience, HighPoint Global
Since 1985, the first week in May has been designated as Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW). While we should appreciate and recognize the work of public servants every day, this week was designed to call special attention to the federal, state, and local government employees who work the hardest and whose work isn’t often recognized.
Public service can be a challenging career path. Employees who work on the front lines and interact with citizens every single day can face significant barriers to success and employee satisfaction. They often work with outdated technology and in siloed communication channels. They may not have the most up-to-date information to pass on to citizens and they are not always able to solve complex problems within a single contact. Further, employees may not feel valued for their contributions.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the passage of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act—the last time the federal government significantly overhauled the civil service system. To commemorate this anniversary the Partnership for Public Service and the Volcker Alliance are holding a town hall-style event on Wednesday, May 9, to discuss ways in which an “outdated federal personnel system” can be modernized. In addition, there is growing momentum within the federal government to improve citizen experience (CX) with government as a whole. The new administration has prioritized improved CX as a cross-agency priority (CAP) within the President’s Management Agenda (PMA).
As managers look for ways to improve CX within the agencies they lead, they should keep in mind that the most effective changes come when leaders themselves demonstrate a shift in behavior, elevate their focus on improving employee and customer engagement, and prioritize CX in tangible goals and priorities. Once the change happens at the top, the rest of the agency will follow.
As a prelude to Public Service Recognition Week, nearly 100 government and industry were recognized in the Service to the Citizen Awards on May 2. This inaugural celebration honored many who have demonstrated leadership in providing citizen-centric services, and public servants who have made significant strides. Many public servants were recognized for their efforts to improve government services while processing passports during the 2017 surge; designing and deploying FEMA wireless networks during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; focusing on internal customer experience within their agencies; working to reduce default in student loans; and many, many other examples.
HighPoint is proud to join in the celebration of the federal, state, and local government service employees who work so hard to deliver exceptional citizen service. We celebrate your success and thank you for your dedication.