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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - THANKS FOR THE REMINDER

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Good customer care is hardly a new concept for councils to grapple with. Nevertheless the National Consumer Council...
Good customer care is hardly a new concept for councils to grapple with. Nevertheless the National Consumer Council's report (LGC, 23 April) does no harm in reminding us that staff need people skills.

As with many issues of organisational culture the community has to start from the top. If staff do not witness an approach by politicians and senior managers signalling that customers are important they are unlikely to follow suit.

As for moving those on who do not cut the mustard, why not? If you give people the opportunity, training and development required and they still find the people we serve an inconvenience in what would otherwise be a perfect job it would not be unreasonable to take decisive action.

The reality is we have a lot of brilliantly committed staff who do fantastic jobs with communities, so it is only a short step for learning organisations to transfer some of that gift to others.

Let's not get too bureaucratic about setting up wads of competencies. Let us lead people through learning and development, seek continuous improvement and thank the NCC for the reminder.

Alan Warner

President, Society of Personnel Officers

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