Getting to the root of community’s dissatisfaction and pave a clear roadmap for improved relationship

Getting to the root of community’s dissatisfaction and pave a clear roadmap for improved relationship
The Client:
Key Consultants: Mira Shennan

Overview

A local council was experiencing increasingly low levels of community satisfaction with the services across the organisation, and particularly with its Statutory Planning Services unit. A very vocal community was dissatisfied with the customer service of the statutory planning unit, raising concerns that the team’s service delivery was not citizen-centric.

A man’s home is his castle. As such, a service delivery unit with direct influence over people’s homes, and a community’s strategic growth is bound to be a bone of contention if not managed well. Add to this inconsistent service levels and a lack of transparency, profound impacts on the community’s satisfaction are felt.

Lifting the lid on these ‘symptoms’ and several causes become apparent: a team’s lack of purpose and vision, coupled with a lack of capacity in senior staff to sufficiently manage the team as well as unclear processes and inapt systems, have deep impacts on the team’s culture and the staff’s capability to serve the community. Further, if these are not supported or guided by strong leadership the outcome is poor community engagement and communications.

This was the case for a Victorian local council who Grosvenor assisted to reengage the community and start rebuilding a relationship based on mutual respect and trust.

How We Helped

This project was only going to succeed if stakeholders came with a desire for change and an open mind.  Our stakeholder engagement expertise meant that we achieved high-levels of buy-in and renewed belief in the future of the Council’s services and communications, and ultimately, the future of the relationship with the community.

Grosvenor conducted consultations with team members from the Statutory Planning Unit as well as external key stakeholders to gain evidence for the review and clear the air of present frustrations. This started the process of building a clear commitment to the community for a new way of engagement by the Council.

We took a detail-oriented and flexible approach to ensure that all stakeholder’s views were heard and key issues understood. By doing so we were able to see a clear way forward for the Council and provide clear, tangible and implementable recommendations.

Key tasks in our methodology included:

  • collecting a range of internal data from the Council
  • conducted benchmarking of selected comparable councils
  • one-on-one consultations with selected internal and external stakeholders
  • multiple focus group with all Councillors
  • designing, distributing and analysing a community survey
  • conducting a Public Forum that was accessible to all members of the Council’s community

Results

“I would like to congratulate your team on the quality and accessibility of the draft report, you have all done an excellent job!  The report will be extremely valuable. The recommendations section is excellent, I particularly like the prioritisation matrix. Again, thank you for undertaking an exceptional job!” The Council’s CEO

We developed tangible and practical recommendations, which were then prioritised and placed on a clear roadmap, outlining key actions, a timeline and milestones.

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback on the review by the CEO, the General Manager and the Councillors. All key stakeholders found our report very accessible and could clearly see the future focus of the Council to create a positive change and improve community satisfaction.

When we met with the client one-month post project completion, our recommendations were already being implemented by the team in a collaborative fashion, including a dedicated staff member responsible for progressing the associated action plan.

The benefits of the project that accrued to the client from our involvement included:

  • a genuine commitment to change by all staff
  • a clear, practical roadmap for implementing the changes and achieving an improved relationship with the community
  • better positioning to achieve the organisation’s strategic goals and improve the statutory planning service delivery.

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