Okay, we talked yesterday about the possibility of customer service in government. Southwest Airlines was our starting point and we’re visiting the 7 key elements of Southwest’s success in the white paper by Jose Luis Romero. Let’s get to it.
Value 2. Employees come first.
“To our employees: We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer.”
Sooo, yeah…that’s an easy one. From what I’ve seen, the stable work environment is beaten to death (tenure, seniority, property rights, etc.,) and the rest of this paragraph may as well be in Swahili.
I guess you could argue that the opportunity is equal in the government…as in no one gets it…but lets talk about why that is. Maybe, it’s that government leaders know taxpayers are fed up with spending and don’t want to spend money on “staff development.” Maybe, it’s a deficiency in leadership where they don’t see the value? Maybe, it’s that they’ve fought before, only to find out that the local newspaper blasts them for wasting money on “sending XYZ employee to New York” (Nevermind it always leaves out the part about the trip saving the organization $x based on what they learned).
“Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness…” Do you think that happens in government? From my perspective, some do encourage. Personally, I can say we are always encouraged to innovate from our head honcho, even though some people in the organization might want to throw water on changes.
The point of all this, however, isn’t to tell you how things ARE in the government, it’s to get your ideas on how things CAN BE (notice, not should be) different in the government.
So, how can a person working in the government show that employees come first? Does it even matter? Should they come first?
We’d love to hear your thoughts.