In this article, Prof. HC Ngambi gives us a glimpse into the road that Unisa’s College of Economic and Management Services followed in developing a Service Charter. This charter serves as an expression of the college’s commitment to its vision and the realisation thereof. It is also a tool to promote commitment to quality, service excellence and customer care.
by Prof. HC Ngambi
Professor HC Ngambi (DBL,MBA,MSM,BA,ITP,CIM,ACE Fellow), Executive Dean, College of Economic and Management Sciences, UNISA
AJH Building, Room 5-05, PO Box 392, UNISA, 0003 South Africa
Introduction Change usually brings about varying emotions in different people. Some embrace it, while others equally resist it, even if it may be for the betterment of the organisation in a long run. Institutions of higher learning are not immune to the negative effects brought about change.
When the Unisa College of Economic and Management Sciences appointed new leadership, resistance became evident. The major signs of this resistance and apprehension, based on the formal and informal staff satisfaction survey (CEMS dialogue meetings, Exco workshop, BMR and Makinor) results, showed that resignations increased and so was the number of early retirements. There were low levels of morale, motivation, commitment and drive to initiate things. It was also observed that there was lack of trust in management. As would be expected, there was ever increasing poor levels of customer service and declining productivity.
The newly appointed Management Committee of the college had, among other things, made a conscious decision to actively engage in service excellence activities, to facilitate and build a college culture that created a climate that values and empowered each member of the college and all its stakeholders.
In order to achieve this goal it was decided that the college needed to develop a service charter, which would be an extension of the Unisa Service Charter that sets the scope and standards of service rendered to our students, staff and stakeholders within the context of the values and core principles of the University’s vision to be ‘the African university in the service of humanity’.
This Service Charter was to serve as an expression of the college’s commitment to its vision and the realisation thereof through the continuous improvement of the diverse services rendered by the schools, academic departments, institutes, bureaux and centres. The service charter is based on four pillars, namely: