Over the years, both the public and private sectors have pivoted towards enhancing the employee experience.
Undoubtedly spearheaded by the pandemic and the subsequent Great Resignation, employers are considering how better to engage employees. To build trusting relationships that lead to reduced burnout and increased satisfaction, while also increasing productivity and retention.
For local governments in particular, there’s been a greater focus on the impact employee experience has had on levels of service for their communities. After all, you can’t modify the citizen experience without first making changes to the employee one.
In this article, we’ll unpack the importance of employee experience for local governments and how permitting technology, as one of many key areas within government administration, can take your employee experience to the next level.
The Importance of Employee Experience For Local Governments
According to Harvard Business Review, “engaged employees perform better, experience less burnout, and stay in organizations longer.”Although historically the topic of employee experience most commonly refers to the customer and business relationship, the benefits can be applied to the public sector.
Today, local governments are more engaged with their citizens than ever before. Roles have expanded and local governments have become more involved with community-facing activities such as inspections, local planning, child care, and so on.
However, before municipal staff can offer an exceptional experience to constituents, they themselves must be empowered. Aside from building a safe and inclusive work environment, employees must also be armed with an innate understanding of those being served, their needs, and how internal teams can work together to resolve them.
This is where technology emerges as a way to help municipal staff understand the unique needs of the citizens they serve. In developing a sound employee experience, governments must consider ways to alleviate mundane tasks, streamline constituent communication, and build confidence.
Especially during a time when processes are pivoting to digital mediums, providing employees with the right technology offers a malleable opportunity for them to feel more connected, knowledgeable, and empowered.
How ePermitting Technology Impacts Employee Experience
Now that we understand why it’s important to provide a great employee experience, it’s time to focus on the how. In this section, we cover specific ways permitting technology can positively impact the employee experience.
Reduced Frustration From Manual Processes
As mentioned in a previous article, one of the biggest frustrations for administrative staff is incomplete permit applications.
Not only are they a massive drain on time, but resolving income permit applications is tedious and can negatively impact employee morale. This affects not only municipal staff, but citizens looking for a seamless application process.
Using a digital solution, employees are less bogged down with having to repeatedly check each application’s completion and be more confident knowing that the permit application has been submitted with all the required information. It reduces the time spent going back and forth, compiling information, and using checklists – greatly reducing the frustration caused by manual processes.
Support Hybrid and Remote Work Flexibility
Digital permitting, or ePermitting, provides the flexibility that staff wants in today’s work environment. With the right cloud-based permitting solution, municipal staff can work from the comfort of their homes while maintaining or even increasing their productivity and overall, have a higher degree of employee satisfaction.
Digital permitting solutions empower employees to provide great service by offering the flexibility of a hybrid work model or keeping the team fully remote. Given the need to be prepared for any situation in today’s world, moving towards a digital permitting solution provides flexibility for your organization’s unique needs both today and in the future – something that manual or paper-based processes lack.
Each step of the permit application process involves sifting through several documents and spreadsheets that make their management less than ideal. Manual processes can take away from the employee’s valuable time and ultimately backlog applications, causing stress for both the employee and the citizen who is applying.
Using a digital solution can eliminate manual data entry and consolidate documents into a single location. Sorting and managing applications become more streamlined and allow employees to do more with their time, increasing productivity and enhancing staff capacity.
Greater Cross-Department Transparency
Included in the permitting process are administrative staff, managers, inspectors, and contractors, all coming together to approve, amend, or deny a permit. Transparency, or lack thereof, is a cross-department frustration that hinders the employee experience and can contribute to inter-departmental collaboration issues.
Imagine waiting days or weeks to get approval from an inspector on-site regarding a permit application. Now imagine a citizen calling in to ask about their permit application status. Without direct insight, things can escalate fast and add unneeded stress for all parties involved.
In the above scenario, a digital permitting solution can save the day. Specifically, a solution such as PSD Citywide Permits can provide real-time transparency across departments with the ability to see all tasks, notes, and schedules associated with any given permit application.. As an example, inspectors on duty can change the status of an application while they’re on site. If an inspection is rejected or deficient, they can attach any relevant documentation or notes to support their reasoning. This is then instantly updated in the system so that all parties can see the real-time status, greatly improving the overall transparency of each application across all departments.
Faster Application Processing
Time spent on application submissions influences the employee experience greatly. If an employee spends hours on a single application, it can impede their motivation and overall lead to a lower sense of accomplishment and morale.
With manual submissions, the average time municipal staff spend processing an application varies based on whether the citizen has submitted all of the correct information and documentation. However, with a digital-based permitting solution, only applications with all required fields can be submitted. Staff doesn’t have to go through strenuous and time-consuming back-and-forth processes with constituents.
Further, since the system connects all parties in real-time, the speed of processing is increased. There is no longer a need to manually update others once something has been completed. The system can show the status of each step in the process in real-time, greatly reducing back and forth and increasing the speed and efficiency of cross-departmental communication.
When you improve processes, you enrich interactions with citizens – ultimately enhancing the employee experience. Your employees connect with your citizens regularly, which means your employees will mirror your citizen’s experience. Happier citizens impressed by a fast and easy-to-use application process are likely to bring a more positive and collaborative demeanor when working with your administrative teams.
Using a digital solution can make life easier for municipal staff and citizens. From the moment an application is submitted to managing fees, everything is streamlined and both the citizens and employees can feel confident in the process is better and more satisfying to undertake.
By using digital solutions to streamline and improve your employee experience and using technology to alleviate heavy pain points, you can ultimately help them to be more satisfied and energized – who in turn create thriving citizen experiences.