Governor Implaments New Customer Service Policy for All GovGuam Agencies

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Guam – The GOvernor’s Office today [Monday] announced that a new custoemr service policy is in effect for all GovGuam Agencies. The program will reward those who provide good customer service and discipline those who don’t.

A release from the Governor’s office states that the goal of the new policy is to:

1.     Improve customer service throughout the government of Guam.

2.     Accelerate the development of more online services

3.     Recognize and reward government workers who provide excellence in customer service

4.     Work to correct the few government workers who fail to perform their duties by warning, counseling and constructively disciplining them, and if they refuse to improve after that, by removing them from government service.

Read the new Customer Service Policy

The release from the Governor’s Office is printed in full below:

Customer Service Policy to Streamline Government, Excellence in service to be rewarded; Corrective action to be taken to address those who do not perform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2011

A new customer service policy is in effect and will be used to:
1.     Improve customer service throughout the government of Guam.
2.     Accelerate the development of more online services
3.     Recognize and reward government workers who provide excellence in customer service
4.     Work to correct the few government workers who fail to perform their duties by warning, counseling and constructively disciplining them, and if they refuse to improve after that, by removing them from government service.

Customer service is a hallmark of the Calvo Tenorio administration. The new policy, effective Friday, prioritizes customer service in the evaluation of employee conduct. Agency heads have been directed to monitor services to and communications with customers of the government. Agency heads are to recognize and reward employees who provide excellence in customer service. They are to initiate corrective action on the few who are found to neglect their duty to provide services to customers, with the goal of improving customer service.

New Standards to Be Included in Personnel Rules

The Governor’s Chief of Staff, Franklin Arriola, Friday provided baseline guidelines to all agencies. These guidelines include the answering of phones, responses to customer issues, handling of complaints and the overall provision of services. Agency heads have 10 days from Friday to tailor further guidelines on customer service that make sense for each agency.

These guidelines are to be submitted to Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Rose Ramsey, who will examine the guidelines and ensure they are in line with the Governor’s overall policy. Once approved, these guidelines will be submitted to processes that will incorporate the guidelines into each agency’s personnel rules and regulations, or similar document governing the conduct and rights of employees.

From the time the guidelines are incorporated, agency heads will be held accountable to enforce the guidelines fairly and aggressively.

PROA: Public Recognition of Achievements

The Governor’s Office is working on a new public recognition protocol to recognize and reward employees who perform well.

“I see the hard work GovGuam employees do every day,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “They’ve got tough jobs and really should be recognized and rewarded for their sacrifices. The most important asset of any organization is its employees. By supporting them, investing in their training and recognizing them for their achievements, we can truly make the government more efficient and productive. In the long term, this can save a lot of money as we cross-train more people to handle more services and build more capacity.”

Building Efficiencies into Government Service

“Coming from the private sector, I know people criticize government workers for the perception that the government is bloated and inefficient,” Arriola said. “The criticism is ‘Why borrow money when you can lay people off like what happens in the private sector?’ That’s truly an unfair generalization, because the great majority of government workers are good people who work hard and mean well. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t waste in government, and there aren’t areas ripe for streamlining. We agree. Rather than laying people off for the sake of saving money, we are going to make government more efficient and responsive by fairly and judiciously correcting the employees who are not working in the interests of the people. I really feel for the everyday hardworking GovGuam employee who goes about his or her work and does a good job. Their work is being burdened by the select few who do not perform.”

Arriola is no stranger to the field of customer service. He began training people in the field in 1998, by melding best practices into a program he created for his academic training regimen as a professor at the University of Guam. From 1998 to 2010, Arriola has trained thousands of employees and supervisors in both the public and private sectors islandwide and in the CNMI.

“I’ve visited many of the agencies and I see, from my experience in this field, that all these employees need is the encouragement, resources and training to make things better,” Arriola said. “Training is going to be key here. I know what the challenges are, and I’m very confident we can rise to these challenges to improve customer service. This is such an important facet to any organization’s success. Building efficiencies starts with good customer service.”

In the Meantime – Customer Service Hotline

Each agency should have existing guidelines on the treatment of customers. While waiting for the incorporation of new customer service guidelines into personnel rules and regulations, residents who feel mistreated will be able to call the new Customer Service Hotline.

The hotline will be functioning out of the Governor’s Office by next week. Residents who feel mistreated or underserved in the government, and have exhausted the complaint process within that agency, are encouraged to call the hotline and explain their point. Ramsey will work directly with agency heads to take corrective action, if needed.