Challenges Municipal Governments are Facing During Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has presented challenges for everyone, and municipal governments are certainly no exception. Many cities have been forced to shut down their typically busy social and economic activities, placing municipal governments on the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis. An unprecedented requirement for staff to work remotely has introduced additional challenges for communications amongst staff, as well as between the municipality and the community you serve. Technology has become more critical than ever as a way to facilitate real-time communication and maintain trust amongst employees and with your citizens.
How Lack of Communication Affects Municipal Government
A shortfall in technology leads to problems in any organization, municipal governments included. Without clear and timely communication from management and the tools needed to perform, staff morale will naturally suffer. The potential impacts of this are numerous, undesirable, and mostly avoidable.
Poor inter-office communication can lead to high stress in the workplace. Many staff members will feel that everything on their to-do list is critical, resulting in anxiety and causing some to overwork themselves. Employees from diverse departments need to communicate well to collaborate on the municipality’s projects and activities. Insufficient or piece-wise communication can inform some employees while leaving others feeling uneasy and out-of-the-loop. To make sure all employees feel part of the team, a thorough and transparent approach to communicating across the organization is critical.
Lack of communication will regularly lead to unmet expectations. Citizens will feel under-served by their local government and, without clear and timely direction, workers will be unable to prioritize effectively. Tasks that are shared by multiple workers or across departments, for example, those involving customer service and operations, will be particularly difficult to complete successfully.
How Technology Can Help
Municipalities have recognized for some time the vital role that technology plays in their ability to provide quality services to their citizens. But the importance of de-centralizing service delivery, whether by choice or out of necessity, has never been greater. Below are a few ways municipal governments can use technology to improve their communication between citizens and across departments.
Enabling a Remote Workforce
A municipal software solution is the only reliable way to make sure that workers can continue to work effectively, and for the municipality to minimize disruptions from unexpected events such as the Covid-19 crisis. Cloud-based solutions are ideal as they are designed from the ground up to be accessible from anywhere, enabling real-time engagement for staff no matter where they are working from. Employees or contractors that work from remote or home-based offices enjoy the same capabilities as they would have in the main municipal office and satisfaction remains high.
Embedded and Automated Communications
Timely and accurate communication is perhaps the most critical aspect of excellent citizen service delivery, whether to the citizen or to staff involved in addressing an issue. From the citizen’s point of view, there is nothing more frustrating than reporting an issue and hearing nothing back for days or possibly at all. And without knowledge and a complete understanding of a prioritized task list that will inevitably change over time, staff cannot be expected to align their time allocation directly to the overall operational needs of the municipality. A well-designed municipal government management software solution builds the necessary communications directly into the business processes that they support. Unreliable out-of-band communication should and can be eliminated, and everyone can stay current on the latest information.
About Access E11
AccessE11 is an affordable 311 and citizen request solution that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Contact AccessE11 or request a demo to discover how we can help foster better communications, and improved satisfaction for your employees and citizens.