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September 12, 2002 Service is Number 1 for support sector



by Barbara Black

The Office of the Vice-Rector, Services, is launching a major drive to improve customer support with a video presentation to all its employees.

The video comes from SST Communications, a Chicago theatre company that specializes in employee training programs. It’s a lively session of advice, inspiration and role-playing, enacted before a small but appreciative live audience.

At one point, an actor playing a disgruntled employee laments, “All the gung-ho that got me named Employee of the Month three times is gone. It’s the same old job — the same administrative goofballs, the same faculty, the same complaints, over and over again. And as for the students . . .” That ought to raise a few smiles of recognition.

Approximately 600 employees will watch the video in four sessions on October 1 in the D.B. Clarke Theatre. Later in the month, a dozen workshops on customer service will begin for administrators and a selected 10 per cent of the staff, of whom half will be front-line service personnel. They will be encouraged to go back to their workplace and share what they’ve learned.

The workshops will be led by trainers, all employees in the Services sector, who themselves are being trained by Noel-Levitz, a company specializing in university administrative support. The trainers-in-training are Beverley-Ann Morris, Enza de Cubellis, Tanya Poletti, Cheryl McKenzie, Louyse Lussier and Myriam Champagne.

The workshop subjects range from how to deal with difficult situations to stopping the “office runaround” of information. These workshops will be offered on a continuous basis to all Concordia employees.

Vice-Rector Services Michael Di Grappa explains this undertaking by saying that the university’s current intense growth will make special demands on support staff, and this is an ideal way to prepare for it.

“Working to become Canada's best university requires building and renovating our facilities, and providing well-defined, expertly delivered services to operate and maintain them,” he said.
“Through Service 1, we aim to deliver the best service possible to all our internal and external customers, and at the same time, demonstrate our commitment to the personal growth of every Services sector employee.”