Improvements to Programs and Creation of New Initiatives Allow College to Help Organizations Thrive

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Customer-based initiatives, maintaining service excellence and improving business efficiencies are the bedrocks of a group of enhanced and expanded programs currently being offered by SUNY Orange’s Business Solutions and Professional Development Department.

Changes to existing programs, along with the implementation of new initiatives, are a direct result of feedback from local businesses and healthcare providers. This past spring, chief executive officers and presidents of the 16 largest healthcare organizations in Orange County attended an Industry Forum at the College. Participants were asked questions about emerging workforce trends, training needs, opportunities to partner with the College and any other opportunities to support their efforts to successfully meet the challenges facing healthcare organizations in Orange County today.

One major theme that emerged from that Industry Forum was the difficulty organizations face in sustaining their service excellence programs. Although created through an Industry Forum of healthcare professionals, the College’s new programs can be easily modified to become applicable across all business models.

“While many organizations have been successful in identifying strong service excellence training programs and providing initial training to their staff members, many have also found that sustaining these initiatives is far more challenging than implementing them,” said Donald Green, coordinator of the Business Solutions and Professional Development Department. “We’ve taken several steps to prevent this from occurring, one of which was a revision to our Service Excellence program. The other was the creation of a new program called Implementing a Customer-Centric Culture.”

The customer-centric culture program presents organizational leaders—CEO’s and executive-level decision-makers—with the essentials for implementing a company-wide strategy that focuses on customer assistance and satisfaction. The program involves a four-way partnership between the in-house management team, the executive management team, staff members and the College’s Business Solutions staff.

With the help of the College’s Business Solutions personnel, participants will assess their organization, review their specific requirements for a customer-centric strategy and then begin a step-by-step implementation of the program.

Additionally, SUNY Orange has bolstered its Service Excellence training program through a series of steps aimed at helping organizations sustain their training beyond the initial implementation phase. Program enhancements include follow-up training sessions as part of the overall training package, the creation of an “Ongoing Self-Training Toolkit” that organizations may use to continue their service excellence focus and the development of training tools designed specifically for “middle managers” so they may support and sustain the program within the organization.

“Businesses have told us they are finding it difficult to sustain programs in the months following their initial training, so we’ve designed what are called ‘key takeaways’; kits and other items that will reinforce the training for managers and employees alike,” adds SUNY Orange President Bill Richards. “We believe the initial training seminars make a significant impact, but it is also vital that there be substantial carryover into day-to-day operations over the long term.”

The Business Solutions staff has also revised its Supervisory Skills Training Program to better prepare management personnel for rigors of long-term commitments to service excellence.

The Business Solutions and Professional Development Department provides training and professional development programs for businesses as well as individuals interested in upgrading their marketable skills. The department is one of the premier providers of business consulting, training and career advancement in Orange County.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940