TAVARES — Lake County Government recently appointed 50 of its employees as “ambassadors of change,” who are charged with initiating process improvement in customer-service operations.
A new class of Lake County-employee ambassadors learns the steps of process improvement.
Earlier this year, Lake County Government launched a countywide program titled FOCUS, which stands for “Fulfilling Our Customers Through Unbeatable Service.” The FOCUS program began with helping employees to understand their role in fulfilling the County's mission statement: "To Provide Excellence in Service." The required training courses for all County employees was organized by the Office of Employee Services & Quality Improvement and taught participants six core skills of customer service: Flexibility, Communication, Respect, Empathy, Expertise and Initiative.
The focus on process improvement program is an extension of the FOCUS program as ambassadors are tasked with process improvement in customer service. Using the six-step wheel approach, ambassadors are asked to identify problems in work processes, analyze the issue, find potential solutions, select the best possible solution, implement a solution and then analyze the change.
“First and foremost, we’re hoping the focus on process improvement program will produce meaningful service improvements for our customers,” said County Manager Cindy Hall. “In the long run, I see our ambassadors saving the County money by finding and implementing new efficiencies in operations.”
Each department and division is assigned an ambassador. Most of the representatives are line employees who can easily pinpoint work processes that need improvement. When processes that cover several County operations are identified as candidates for improvement, ambassadors from each operation will team up to find a solution.