The city of Kerrville is committed to continuous improvement in order to provide citizens with high quality service — a belief that is the driving force behind the city’s creation of City University in September of 2017.
With offices located on the second floor of the downtown parking garage, City U offers four educational tracks to city employees — Technology, S.T.E.P, Leadership and Innovation — all of which are designed to equip employees with basic skills, technology and leadership abilities.
By offering a robust in-house training program, the city is also able to invest in the development of employees without all of the costs of travel and registration fees associated with traditional training opportunities.
The Technology track focuses on the use of business software, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher and others.
The S.T.E.P. track (Standards, Tone, Expectations and Pace) focuses on reinforcing organizational core values. Courses include Foundations of Customer Service, Telephone Skills for Excellent Customer Service, How to Get Things Done, Habits of Success, Workplace Ethics and other courses addressing timely issues facing employees.
The Leadership track takes up where the S.T.E.P. track leaves off and is designed to augment a strong managerial workforce. Courses like Strategies for Keys to Effective Meetings, Establishing A Purpose, Taking a Risk, Capacity Building for Innovation Through Employee Committees and Customer Service for Managers are all intended to build on an employee’s managerial strengths.
Finally, the Innovation track is designed to empower employees to search for cost-savings opportunities within the city utilizing Lean Six Sigma training and other best practices borrowed from the private sector.
As noted by Guillermo Garcia, the city’s executive director for innovation, Lean Six Sigma provides “a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects (waste and inefficiency) in any process.” Given that government services involve a lot of processes, there are great opportunities for more continuous improvement.
City employees enrolled in the city’s Lean Six Sigma program have already generated significant savings for the city in just the first year of training.
Cost savings have come from multiple projects conducted by employees closest to the inner workings of departments throughout the organization.
While most of these savings have been “soft” in terms of saving time, they are allowing employees more time to perform other duties and improve the customer experience.
The Innovation track also takes advantage of webinars offered by the Alliance for Innovation to access emerging innovations in local government from across the nation. In addition, this track includes business plan training around the Baldridge framework, which encompasses proven leadership and management criteria for high performance.
To conclude, by investing in an empowered workforce, the City continuously strives to serve the community efficiently with effective and responsive services.
This is both our short- and long-range commitment to you, our valued citizens.
Mark McDaniel is the city manager for the city of Kerrville. He can be reached at 830-258-1110 or by email to email@example.com.