EKSG/EKSWC Trains Plumbing & Commercial Dept. Staff on Customer Service and Work Culture for Effective Service Delivery in the State

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…Facilitators also highlighted the objectives of the World Bank-supported 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project

Ekiti State Water Corporation (EKSWC) in conjunction with the State Government has organized One-Day training for Plumbing and Commercial Department staff across the 16 Local Government Areas of the State on the need to improve on service delivery while deploying innovative strategies to work culture and team bonding.

Key areas of focus for the Training include; Revenue for Ekiti State Water Corporation, Improved Work Culture at EKSWC, Mindset Change for Revenue Generation, Attitudinal Change, Team Bonding Exercise, and Role-play Sessions.

According to the Convener, Chief Executive Officer of Upshot Media, Mr. Mojeed Jamiu, the training is aimed at building the Psychological, Physical and Intellectual Capacity of Plumbing and Commercial Department staff of Ekiti State Water Corporation.

“The training covers;

He also mentioned that the training also help to inform stakeholders on current water projects being embarked upon by the state government with the support of the World Bank.

“This training is to reorient staff about the role and functions EKSWC in the 3rd National Urban Water Sector Reform Project. We also want to ensure that all staff recognize and acknowledge all stakeholder needs, concerns, wants, common relationships, interface and align this information in the provision of optimal customer service,” he said.

Communications Specialist on the 3rd National Urban Water Project, Mrs. Nancy Otabor, speaking on behalf of the State Coordinator, said that the project was initiated during Governor Fayemi’s first tenure as the Concept note was developed by then with the full support of the Governor.

“In Ekiti State today, the 3rd National Urban Water Project is working in about 14 communities in Ado-Ekiti as prototype project to get the feedback of the people and also see the viability of the project itself. This project is leveraging on the exisiting Ureje Dam and soon to be refurbished Ero Dam. Also on April 9, 2019, the Governor kicked off the Pipeline Extension project across all 14 communities of the state capital. We have also commenced the laying of transmission pipes from Ifaki to Ado-0Ekiti in places namely; Olorunda, Olorunsogo, State and Federal Housing, Ikigbisin along Afao road amongst others,” she said.

Mrs. Nancy explained the existing collaboration between coordinators of the project and the state government, saying that there is a strong working relationship with the government on ensuring a successful completion of the project.

“By the Concept Note, we have what we called Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) which collaborates with the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Lands and Housing to ensure we resolve foreseen hitches with communities and Telecommunication companies that are laying cables to improve network services like we are also laying pipes for water transmission,” she said.

The General Manager EKSWC, Engr. Mrs. O.A. Agbeyo discussed on the topic; Understanding the Ekiti State Water Corporation (the role, functions and organogram). She explained that EKSWC is the organ of the State Government saddled with the responsibility of harnessing, treating and distributing water for the well-being and economic growth of the state.

“According to the edict that created the Corporation published in Ekiti State Official Gazette No. 4 of 1997 and amended in 2012, following are the roles and functions of the Corporation in order to achieve a sustainable water system development in the State. The Roles and Objectives include; Secure for the present and future generations, as well as for commercial and industrial consumers, and efficient use of potable water produce for distribution to all residents of the state sufficient potable water for their health and well being,” she said.

She explained the functions of the Corporation as; Control and manage all water-works (water schemes) vested in the Corporation. Establish, control, manage, extend and develop water-works as the government may consider necessary for the purpose of providing wholesome, potable water for the consumption of the public and for domestic, trade, commercial, industrial, scientific and other uses. Ensure that adequate wholesome water is supplied to its customers in line with the International Standard for potable/safe water. Determine and charge water rate in respect of (c) and present it to the Board or any other agency designated for approval. Develop, maintain and beneficially exploit water resources both natural and artificial. Conduct or organize the conduct of research in respect of water supply, water development and matters connected therewith and submit the result of such research to the government for formulation of policy.

While discussing on the topics; ‘Our Work Culture in a Nutshell’ and ‘Small Group Interview: Changing the Culture Narratives’, Mr. Emmanuel Effiong-Bright who is a major facilitator of the event, engaged participants on the need to understand the EKSWC as a brand while having the knowledge of work ethics and culture.

“Our Work Culture is the character and disposition EKSWC. It is what makes our organisation distinct. It is the sum of our values, customs, views, exchanges, conducts, and outlooks.

“A positive workplace culture is a culture that: Other workplaces want to be like, drive engagement, affects performance, impacts happiness and satisfaction, attracts talent, and is newsworthy. A positive workplace
Encompasses; Workplace, Practices, Policies, Leadership, People, and Management,” he said.

He continued that Workplace Culture is the environment in which work takes place. “It is not just physical; it refers to the things that happen in the physical space. It can affect productivity either positively or negatively. It can and should be created. He said that the Workplace Culture anchors on leadership, attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, values, interactions and traditions.

“The biggest mistake organizations make is letting their workplace culture form naturally without first defining what they want it to be,” he said.

Speaking on ‘Small Group Interview: Changing the Culture Narrative,’ Mr. Emmanuel outlined questions to be addressed as; Can you recite our Vision and Mission Statements? What would you say was your saddest day? What’s the EKSWC GOAL? What has been your happiest day at EKSWC? Does anyone share the same opinion? What things would you retain?, amongst others.

Speaking on Customer Service and Revenue Flow for EKSWC, Mr. Ekundayo Mayowa explained the need for members of staff at all levels to understand the essentials of a customer to the growth and development of a business.

“A customer is a party that receives or consumes products (goods or services) and has the ability to choose between different products and suppliers. Types of customer are: Internal customer; is a customer who is directly connected to an organization, and is usually (but not necessarily) internal to the organization. They are usually fellow staff of the
Corporation, BOD, Directors or any other person who has direct affiliations to the organization. An external customer of an organization is a customer who is not directly connected to that organization. They are the regular customers that come to make purchases or any other transactions,” he explained.

Mr. Mayowa also explained the wants of a customer namely; the customer wants to be treated as a king; He wants his time to be managed properly; He wants value for his/her money; He wants a seamless service delivery. One that will not stress him/her; Let the participant also suggest.

“Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest,” he said.

He noted that treating customers the right way, increases advantages such as; Increase sales, Customer loyalty, Self improvement, Career progress, and Positive brand projection.

Mr. Nkem Ogbuaku, a Banker and Communications Specialist, discussed on the topic; ‘The Revenue Conscious Mindset’

He explained that Revenue Conscious Mindset at EKSWC without mincing words is actually a business mindset, a way of thinking that enables us to see problems as opportunities, and then turning those opportunities into a business.

“Ideas that will drive a revenue conscious mindset involve doing the hardest thing is usually the thing you should be going after. Chances are nobody else is, or at least very few people are. You have to go in the same direction with small day-to-day decisions, as well as big actions,” he said.

EKSWC Specialist on Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr. Ayedun Oladipo, the Principal Engineer for EKSWC delivered a situation report on current activities of the Corporation.

Issues discussed include; Salaries and Wages, Administrative, Repairs and Maintenance, Capital, BEDC Expenses, Diesel Expenses, Chemicals and Consumables amongst others.

He submitted that the present situation in the sector is not healthy. “Comparing the Total Revenue Generated and the Revenue Generated from Bill, we see that a lot more revenue comes from other sources such as tanker etc. and not from the Bill (N 3,665,507.5) for 2019.

“However, there is hope with the current IDA intervention and investment.
We must not allow the investment to go down the drain. If we all agree to take up the challenge, WE CAN create a new water corporation,” he said.

Discussing on Role Play, Mr. Emmanuel Effiong-Bright explained that the aim is to help staff of the Corporation prepare for unfamiliar and challenging situations. It helps us to explore how others would likely respond to different approaches. It gives a feel of what will likely work and which will be counterproductive.

“Each role play shall follow the steps below: Step 1: Identify the Situation. To start the process, gather your group together, introduce the problem, and encourage an open discussion to uncover all of the relevant issues; Step 2: Add Details; Step 3: Assign Roles; Step 4: Act out the Scenario; Step 5: Discuss/Present What You Have Learned.

“Team Building Exercises include; Communication Towers, Water Works, and Team Skating,” he said.

The overall outcome of the training was able to position the staffs on the need to assume self-leadership and take charge in the EKSWC by being responsive to the brand they will become real Influencers and fundamental contributors to building the Ekiti State Water Corporation brand.

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