Saturday, June 8, 2013

Disney Way in Ottawa County - An Update

The second round of Ottawa Way – Disney Way Customer Service training was completed last week. Bill Capodagli, co-author of The Disney Way facilitated the training and was assisted by Laura Mousseau and Misty Cunningham. A lot of positive feedback has resulted from the training. Each month for the next year another 90 employees will go through the training. A total of 1,100 will be trained.

This phase of customer service training is intended to cause a cultural shift in that employees of all 33 departments, offices, courts and agencies will have experienced the same training and have a unified focus on the County customer service story, vision and customer codes of conduct. I had some interaction with the group by introducing the Four C Strategic Initiative on the first day and history leading to who we are on the second day.

I also sat in the “hot seat” with Treasurer Brad Slagh and Marcie VerBeek, Human Resources Director at the end of the second day to take whatever questions the group had. A very fair question was, “What comes next? Do the employees being trained wait for a year to begin implementing the cultural change, until all employees
have been trained? When will specific customer training tools be developed? Did the leadership really buyinto the training they received in November, because no changes have been implemented? Is it really okay to begin living this customer service vision?“

Great questions! Anyone who has been through the training can begin following the customer codes of conduct immediately. Almost every one of these can be positively impacted by each employee individually. The leaders didn’t implement change because we are working on a cultural shift not the program of the month. I committed to circling back with the leaders to explain some of the concerns expressed and to discuss how this will all roll out over the next year.

We are making one more call for members for the Customer Service Team and will get this group going soon. They will provide a communication link and forum for all who have gone through the process already and will research and recommend specific tools for
customer service. The cultural change will happen as more employees go through the training and practice the
customer codes of conduct.

Al Vanderberg, County Administrator, Ottawa County, Michigan

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