Council Plan - Corporate Theme: Organisation
Corporate Theme: Organisation
Striving for Excellence
Wrexham County Borough Council is made up of 52 elected Members and is led by a cross-party Executive Board who are supported and held to account by five Scrutiny Committees. The Senior Management Team is one of the smallest and most cost effective management structures in Wales.
Services are currently provided and enabled by around 6,000 members of staff, but in line with the streamlining of managers this number has reduced as the Council has reshaped services and continues to become a leaner organisation in order to tackle the funding pressures we face.
The Wrexham Context
Each authority in Wales receives an in-depth Corporate Assessment once during a four-year period. Wrexham’s corporate assessment found that:
“Wrexham County Borough Council’s vision and ambition are helping deliver improved outcomes for citizens but some outdated arrangements may limit the speed of progress.”
The assessment highlighted the authority’s strength in its inclusive leadership, its financial management and other areas.
The Council has been working with a reshaping partner – PwC – for eighteen months to bring an expert external challenge to its plans to reshape the organisation to improve customer experience and respond to the financial challenge which is facing all public sector bodies.
How this theme was developed
This priority theme reflects the Council’s Organisational Development and Workforce Strategy, as well as the customer focus and consultation and engagement strategies.
The council at present do not listen to residents. They may ask your opinion but this is ignored if it is different than their own.’
I find it crazy that more things cannot be done online these days.’
The opportunity to influence decisions was a key issue for improvement highlighted by survey respondents, as well as one that has been raised by regulators.
Over seven thousand people contact Wrexham County Borough Council each working day for advice and information, to request services or to report problems. We recognise that the standard of service customers receive will influence their view of the Council and potentially of Wrexham the place. We also recognise that customer’s expectations are rising at a time when all Councils are striving for efficiencies. We aim to address these challenges by making the best use of innovative technology to deliver quality, cost effective services. We will invest in our on-line services creating a 24 hour Council, transform our services to make them simple to deliver and easy for customers to access and increase access to services through social media.
We will improve the way we learn from customer feedback, both positive and negative, and use this to improve services. We will also invest in our staff, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge to support customers and resolve queries at the point of contact wherever possible.
We will improve the way we engage with local people to understand their opinions, needs and preferences and use this information to plan and deliver effective, efficient and inclusive services. The 2014 National Survey for Wales found that only 18% of respondents in Wrexham feel they can influence decisions affecting the local area (which is a reduction from the 2013 figure) However, over recent years the number of consultations we conduct, and the number of responses we receive (to corporate consultations) has increased significantly. We will strive to improve the way we understand and respond to citizens so that people feel they can have a genuine influence on the local decisions that affect them. We will look to improve the way we give feedback to the public, and demonstrate how the results of consultation are used to inform decision making.
We will monitor our success through:
|Outcome Indicator||Comparison (Wrexham 2014/15)||Wrexham 2015/16||Target 2016/17|
|Sustain: Customer satisfaction with all Council services39||75%||80%||80%|
|Sustain: Percentage of customers who feel it is easy to access Council services||96%||
|Stretch: Grow the percentage of customers who are signed up to an on-line self-service account||-||4%||15%|
|Sustain: Percentage of respondents to the ‘national survey for Wales40' who live in Wrexham County Borough and feel that the that they can influence decisions affecting the local area||28%
(Wales average 2015)
|Improve: The gap between public expectation and perceived performance in relation to the Council listening to local people41||New indicator||37%||improve|
What we will do to support this priority objective:
- Continue to develop our on-line services providing full access to Council services 24/7;
- Promoting the availability of digital services and encourage customers to use these wherever possible;
- Reviewing customer services training and development opportunities available to ensure staff remain supported and motivated;
- Increasing the number of services for which the full customer process can be completed on-line;
- Continuing to improve the analysis and sharing of data received from customer feedback, complaints and compliments;
- Implementing the Councils revised Customer Service standards which focus more on outcomes than speed;
- Continuing to develop our services available through Social media;
- Prioritising the delivery of corporately significant consultations such as those that support the Council Plan and Reshaping programme;
- Continuing to offer a broad and increasing range of consultation and engagement opportunities for people to get involved and have their say;
- Improving the quality and effectiveness of these opportunities and giving everyone opportunities to get involved, particularly those who have previously been less likely to do so;
- Analysing and sharing the feedback we receive and using this information to shape Council services, policies and decisions;
- Communicating the results of engagement activities and explaining how the views expressed have impacted on Council services, policies and decisions;
- Evaluating the effectiveness of our engagement activities and using lessons learned to improve the way we engage in the future.
39 Customer satisfaction measures satisfaction with services offered through the Contact Centre. The number of services provided through the centre has increased significantly over the last year. The target set reflects an ambition to sustain the improvement made on 2014/15.
41 This score is taken from the annual ‘What’s Important To You’ survey. Respondents are asked to rate the importance of, and their satisfaction with, key outcomes. The difference between the two ratings gives the ‘performance gap’- the higher the score, the greater the gap between public expectation and perceived performance. In this instance the average importance given was 82.1% and the satisfaction 45.0%, leaving a gap of -37.1%
Wrexham County Borough Council works to ensure that the people of Wrexham are supported to fulfil their potential and to prosper, but must do so whilst reshaping services to meet the unprecedented financial challenges ahead whilst prioritising the most vulnerable. To achieve this will require a leaner organisation, and employees who do their best work and ‘go the extra mile’ to deliver required services. We are reducing in size as an organisation, and will look to sustain current levels of staff engagement as we do by continuing to invest in our staff and their potential, both through specific training and our organisational development resource. We want our employees to have jobs that are worthwhile, jobs that inspire them and to understand how what they do contributes to the success of the authority.
To build an authority that delivers positive results again and again we nurture an organisation where employees feel valued. Feedback and challenge are seen as healthy processes and there is a commitment to listen and respond.
Good leaders create the environment for employees to be innovative in how we improve what we do and the outcomes we deliver for the people of Wrexham. In short, we create a passion within the Council for customer service within Wrexham. Employees understand their unique contribution to the Council and this inspires change, creativity and innovation.
We will monitor our success through:
|Outcome Indicator||Comparison (Wrexham 2014/2015)||Wrexham 2015/16||Target 2016/17|
|Stretch: Percentage of staff due to receive a PRCD42 who received one||92.9%||Awaiting data||100%
|Sustain: Level of staff engagement (Amalgamation of employee engagement measures taken from the staff survey)||61%||61%43||61%|
|Improve: The percentage of employees responding positively that ‘I have the opportunity to develop and improve to my full potential’||49%||52%44||52%|
What we will do to support this priority objective:
- Continue to develop and improve the workforce planning approach across the Council, ensuring we have appropriate staffing and skills in place to deliver services;
- Identifying and developing our high performers;
- Implementing and developing an integrated human resources and payroll system to improve and support the workforce planning and monitoring process;
- Cultivating positive staff engagement by developing our leaders and ensuring staff behaviours reflect the values of the Council;
- Providing our employees with the necessary skills and empowering staff to deliver excellent customer services to all our customers;
- Developing and implementing a reshaping programme to define the future shape of the organisation and ensure that the required revenue budget savings can be met whilst fostering a culture of continuous improvement;
- Reviewing and updating the Organisational Development and Workforce strategy to reflect the future shape of the organisation and support the Council Plan for 2017 onwards;
- Ensuring that sufficient HR capacity is available to support the organization to deliver both the reshaping programme and its priorities;
- Ensuring that all line managers have the capacity, capability and reliable data required to deal with routine workforce-related issues, particularly those related to staff sickness absence;
- Maintaining a positive and improving view of the Council amongst our key regulators and responding positively and promptly to proposals for improvement set out in the 2016 corporate assessment;
- Developing and implementing an ICT strategy which modernises our ICT infrastructure to support the reshaping programme and make it fit for purpose; minimizes traditional transactional activities to allow employees to focus on customer outcomes rather than back office business processes;
- Using technology to allow employees to easily communicate, share and develop ideas;
- Supporting and enabling the Council to achieve its duties under equality and human rights legislation and continue to improve workforce data across protected characteristics;
- Continuing the roll out of agile working principles for employees across the authority to enable improved outcomes such as increased productivity, greater flexibility of service and improved efficiency of office space;
- Building on the success of achieving the Gold Corporate Health Standard in 2015 we will achieve the Platinum Corporate Health Standard by 2018;
- Continuing to update the Medium Term Financial Strategy to show how the Council integrates its processes for developing future strategic priorities and allocating resources to them.