Specialized Workshops on Timely Topics

We’ve designed these specialized workshops to address timely topics and each is ½-day in duration. We suggest that you pick the two workshop topics listed below that your staff needs the most work on and have your employees complete one in the afternoon of the first day and then the morning of the second. You could also combine these with topics from either the Municipal Leadership Academy or Customer Service Program to customize your training approach. Your staff will leave these workshops energized and full of new skills and ideas for being more productive and professional.

Course descriptions follow:

Telephone Customer Service

For many citizens the only contact they have with their local government is over the phone when they have a question or complaint about a service they receive. It is thus imperative that they have a good experience with your people who answer the phones.

Learn to properly transfer, put on hold, use voice mail, and interact with citizens over the phone.

Find out how to handle customers unhappy with your automated telephone system.

Practice using proper voice and other communication techniques.

If your people are professional in handling difficult situations over the phone, they create the proper image for your local government.

Best of Customer Service in the Public Sector

For those who want an overview of customer service rather than an in-depth program, we’ve taken the best of our 4-part customer service program and packed it into an intense ½-day workshop.

  • Explore he foundation of effective customer service—excellent communication skills.
  • Learn the importance of attitude in dealing with both your internal (co-workers and boss) and external customers (the citizen).
  • Focus on the unique challenges you face in providing exceptional customer service in the public sector.

Providing exceptional customer service is the one activity that can improve the citizen’s perception of local government more than any other. It makes the citizens happier with the services they receive and the employees happier with their work environment.

The Exceptional Municipal Assistant

The success of any department and its manager depends on a capable assistant. Whatever their title may be, administrative or executive assistant, secretary, receptionist, office manager; the person who assists the manager is vital to accomplishing to the team’s mission.

  • Communicate more confidently and effectively with a variety of people in a variety of circumstances.
  • Learn proven techniques to manage both your time and your manager’s time.
  • Develop skills for a professional partnership with directors, managers, supervisors, and elected officials.
  • Discover how to cover for your boss in a professional manner.

Exceptional municipal assistants strive for excellence in every aspect of their work, making their managers even more effective and the office environment more professional.

Building, Planning, Zoning, Engineering, and Code Enforcement

Citizens and contractors who interact with the building, planning, zoning, engineering, and code enforcement can be some of the most challenging. Whether you’re the engineer leading the team or the building inspector approving permits, it’s easy to get burned out and overly methodical in your approach.

  • Develop tact and sensitivity and find better ways to say “no” when it’s required.
  • Learn new techniques that use professional guidance to develop a “partnership” with the customer.
  • Practice real-world customer service scenarios that will help you calm down irate contractors.
  • Solve problems professionally with citizens unskilled or unfamiliar with building codes, zoning ordinances, and permit processes.
  • Learn innovative strategies for handling the variety of personalities that come your way.

You’ll spend less time handling tough situations and get much better results. The customers will respect you more and you’ll be confident in handling whatever comes your way.

Reducing Stress in a Municipal Environment

In a municipal environment, living in the fish bowl of citizens and the local media and also getting along with your co-workers can raise anyone’s stress level. While you may not be able to change your environment, you are not powerless in your goal of enjoying each work day to the fullest.

  • Identify the factors that are really causing you stress and learn how to get control of this stress in a practical way.
  • Learn how to balance competing and complimentary priorities with ease.
  • Find ways to keep your stress level down while still handling difficult co-workers and customers professionally.
  • Learn in an open and relaxed atmosphere how you and your co-workers handle your challenges and how you can all handle them better.

You’ll leave the workshop with more practical methods for keeping the workplace organized yet fun.

Internal Customer Service in a Municipal Environment

In your organization there are other departments or employees you rely on in order to do your work. Whether it’s the finance department taking care of your billing and payroll or the receptionist handling your phone calls, you really need all departments providing great service to each other to achieve the best results.

  • Learn how to provide other departments with a high level of customer service.
  • Overcome inter-departmental or inter-personal conflicts making your organization inefficient or ineffective.
  • Create an internal customer service culture in your organization so you can confront difficult issues in more productive ways.

Get each department and employee working together and trusting each other so that both the employees and the citizens can benefit from the improved service provided.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict is a tough reality of any work environment but it can also be an opportunity for improving employees, managers, and the organization. If you ignore the conflicts, they may destroy the camaraderie and morale of your organization.

  • Come and learn to appreciate how people handle conflict differently and how best to approach others in a conflict situation.
  • Learn proven techniques for more effectively communicating in stressful situations and for finding creative solutions to complex problems.
  • Practice resolving hypothetical conflicts in a relaxed and fun setting.

Make your next conflict become an opportunity for real change and higher team performance.

Life-Family-Work Balance

This introspective and highly participative workshop explores the elements of a balanced life and how to better handle the major trends and challenges of our times.

  • Learn and practice new techniques and skills to help you truly enjoy your personal, family, and work life and have them all “working” together.
  • Find out how to benefit from your life skills strengths and take advantage of the many life resources available to you.
  • Discover how to embrace the changes that come along in all areas of your life, so that you’re much happier and successful in each of your life’s roles.

No matter what stage you’re at in your personal, family, or work life; this workshop will help you discover new insights about yourself, your family, co-workers, manager, and friends.

Eliminating Harassment and Discrimination

Now—more than ever—both managers and front-line employees must understand that there's far more to workplace harassment and discrimination than just sex. Is your organization prepared for this changing world? It seems as if, every day, the EEO and the courts expand the definition of harassment and discrimination. In this changing environment it's difficult to know—or understand what's allowed and what's not allowed at work.

  • This brand new training program breaks ground by dramatically illustrating the many possible areas for workplace harassment and discrimination.
  • Workshop participants will gain a new understanding of how to create a harassment- and discrimination-free work environment.

By knowing well the most common forms of harassment and discrimination--and many are surprised it’s not just sexual harassment and discrimination--your managers and employees will learn how to avoid the costly lawsuits and low morale that can damage even the best of organizations.