This client applied for an internal role within Centrelink and gained a job interview. A 3-page document was prepared addressing six criteria (the standard five criteria contained in the APS Integrated Leadership System, and an extra one criterion focused on the management of customer service operations). The six criteria averaged 360 words in length. Following are excerpts from three of the six criteria addressed.

Shapes strategic thinking:

As the Jobseeker Claims Network (JCN) Senior Practitioner at the ZZZ site, I set in place strategies for the provision of ongoing training and support to ensure the success of this site. I specifically identified strategies and implemented plans to improve performance within the JCN team which focused on consistent approaches, improving efficiencies, and setting goals to provide a convenient service focusing on end-to-end finalisation of claims. The strategies and actions implemented included:

  • Rotating staff through a local Customer Service Centre (CSC) site for half a day in order for staff to gain a better understanding of the new claims process.
  • Organising speakers from consolidated teams that were utilised within the JCN process (for example, Participation Solutions Team, Compensation Team, Social Worker, and Assurance of Support Team). This would allow for a better understanding of the process and how they support our outcomes.
  • Facilitating and encouraging ongoing feedback from local CSC sites thereby ensuring our processes and outcomes were supporting our common goals, whilst promoting the ongoing improvement of Service Delivery within Centrelink.

Overall, I was able to effectively inspire and motivate staff by communicating in a clear and concise manner on how their work directly enabled our team to achieve results in line with our strategic directions.

Develops and maintains valuable relationships:

When dealing with staff, I am proactive in taking the time to consult with them in order to understand their needs and concerns. In one particular instance, I was aware of a staff member who was disengaged and not adhering to directions in relation to procedural changes that had been implemented. Subsequently, this had an negative effect on the dynamics of the team as a whole. I facilitated discussions with this staff member to identify the issues he was facing. From these discussions, I determined the staff member was unchallenged in his role and that he was aware other staff members were provided with opportunities to manage portfolios. As a result, he believed he was not being offered the same opportunities. At our next team meeting, I raised an agenda item to discuss further portfolios that we could implement into our team that would have a positive impact on managing our work more effectively. This resulted in the staff member being given the opportunity to manage a portfolio that he had in effect initiated. Subsequently, the staff member became engaged and productive and went on to display more positive behaviour at work.

Demonstrated capabilities managing responsive and relevant customer service operations in an environment characterised by changing business and customer expectations:

Previously acting in a Team Leader capacity, I streamlined and implemented the front-of-house model, which ensured customers received an efficient and effective service at every contact. The key challenge faced in implementing this change process was to effectively manage the increase in the number of customers requiring our services due to the economic downturn. The XXX site was used as a trial site for the front-of-house model. To achieve this goal, I undertook the following actions: placed front-of-house staff at the site’s entry point to directly meet and greet customers; implemented a computer in the waiting area to monitor the front-of-house area; advised customers that they could also undertake their business via the on line services; and updated relevant forms and associated documentation. Implementing these change strategies ensured every customer entering our premises were immediately greeted and directed to the relevant area: either reception, the participation line or placed in the virtual waiting room. By having these set queue management practices in place and through continuous and vigilant monitoring, customer traffic was effectively managed and a streamlined approach to service delivery was facilitated. Overall, this front-of-house model played an instrument part in reducing customer aggression; positive feedback was received from both customers and staff. Furthermore, this resulted in my site meeting national standards for queue wait times.

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Annie Cerone