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Citizens first through Service Excellence

Presented by Zoran Postic
in Governance

Vaughan’s commitment to mission drives both Service Excellence and staff engagement

Better serving our citizens is part of our mission. Our mission statement here is: citizens first through Service Excellence. And what Service Excellence means to us is: staff are really important and they need to be engaged. We also need to be thinking about different ways to deliver our service – so operational performance. We’re all being strapped with minimal tax increases and going further with the dollars that we’re entrusted with. And of course, ultimately, we want to provide a great citizen experience for the communities that we serve.

Those three things – staff engagement, operational performance, and citizen experience – are really what Service Excellence is about. And these things are interdependent; you can’t not invest in your staff and think they’re going to care about your citizens or that they’re going to think about delivering the service a little bit different.

We developed a Public Works playbook, and we have two key objectives around staff engagement. One of them is to make our people a priority through health, safety, and wellness. What this means is we have people that are coming into work … and we have arborists that have chainsaws, we have people that are in big pieces of equipment. We want to make sure that the way they arrived is the same way they go home or even better.

Digital Connections book cover

The other one is to make sure that we constantly are investing and engaging our staff in creating a great culture. This isn’t just something that we measure every two years through a staff engagement instrument. We want to do this every single day by making sure that our people are important, making sure that we’re doing things differently and better, and people are bringing forward innovative ideas.

And we ended up winning an award – a professional development award for the Vaughan Innovators Program, which was all about bringing our staff forward so that they would look for different ways to deliver the service and make sure that we’re hitting on our citizen experience.

The last piece really is about our citizens, and we have this thing that we want to make sure we create “wow moments” by making sure that we provide our citizens with services that are safe. So whether it’s drinking water, whether it’s clearing snow and ice off of our roads – that they have a clean community, meaning that our parks are well-manicured and groomed, the litter’s picked up, and that our community is beautiful. We have all kinds of horticulture programs here and shrub beds and that kind of stuff. These things are vitally important. And without the support of our Mayor and Members of Council, and without the support of all of our staff – understanding what we get paid to do – it wouldn’t be possible.  MW

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You can find the full show notes for this episode, as well as the audio podcast for download, at: https://www.municipalworld.com/podcasts/vaughan-citizens/.

Municipal World Insider and Executive Members: You might also be interested in Mark Mullaly’s article: Learning to let go: How COVID-19 has highlighted municipal capacity for reinvention. Note that you can now access the complete collection of past articles (and more) from your membership dashboard.


Zoran Postic, Deputy City Manager of Public Works for the City of Vaughan, was a recent guest for an episode of the MW Presents Podcast. This is an excerpt from that conversation.

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