Thought leadership

 The public sector is under fire from many quarters. This includes swingeing government spending cuts, an effective wages freeze, and criticisms of a command and control leadership style with lack of public sector employee trust from the CIPD.  

New research also shows that more than one in three customer complaints in the past year in the public sector simply have not been resolved – and of those that were resolved half of customers dissatisfied with the outcome

Add to this a predicted NHS £30billion black hole in finances by 2020 – and then another damning report d on high death rates at 14 NHS trusts and the public sector is truly one under fire from all sides.

Yet on the other side of the coin a recent report from KPMG suggests that the public sector is showing the private sector the way forward when it comes to use of social media both for its employees and its customers.

Indeed the public sector is proving to be increasingly innovative and imaginative in the ways in which it engages with its stakeholders in the light of tough economic conditions when budgets are being continually scrutinised and cost savings are high on the agenda. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention

All of these issues and more were discussed at the Customer Engagement Network’s first Customer Engagement in the Public Sector Directors Forum, sponsored by HGS and Ember, which took a close look at the public sector and how it is engaging its internal and external stakeholders, and focussed on some of the ground breaking best practice that is helping establish the public sector lead the way when it comes to customer service and engagement.

The call for a new public sector conversation with customers and employees came from Martin Rayson, divisional director HR and OD and London Borough of Barking and Dagenham in his opening keynote address.

Other speakers at the event chaired by Customer Engagement Network editorial director Steve Hurst   included: Paul Mckenzie, Principal Consultant, Ember services who delivered a London Borough of Merton case study; Jonathan Milbourn, Head of Customer Services, Harrow Council; Andrew Benfield, Head of Government Programme, Energy Saving Trust and Rob Irons, Director of Public Sector Services, HGS; Derek Williams, Chairman, WOW Awards; Lisa Sibley, Employee Engagement Manager, Essex County Council; James Milner, former Head of Contracts & Programmes BBC now director Ember PS; Rita Lawrence, Head of Organisational Development, Medway NHS Foundation Trust; Joanna Hannam, Head of Customer Services and Communication, Norfolk County Council and Joseph Williams, Manager, Technical and Change, The Carbon Trust.




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