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Business, Facilities Management, Winning New Business

Can the Private Sector Deliver Public Services?


Like most people who work with large companies we don’t want to get involved with politics in our working lives.
So I’m not going to waste time talking about the philosophical issues here, but I do feel very strongly about one thing I have seen myself.
We work for lots of companies who do deliver aspects of public service already. So I suppose the simple answer to my question is “yes”.

But my point is this. Part of the argument against private involvement in public services is that the private companies always have profit rather than service as their main objective.
But I have personally met hundreds of people who work for private companies in many many different aspects of public service – in schools, hospitals, and myriad council services.
I have never met one who wasn’t trying to do a great job. In fact I’ve met many who’s enthusiasm and dedication to their job made me proud of the service being provided, and slightly ashamed that I didn’t feel I personally lived up to their ethos. Some of them were in management, but some were the people who keep your local hospital clean, or mend your roads, or build your new school.
A builder said to me the other day that handing over the keys of a brand new Primary school had been the proudest day of his career.
A cleaner told me that her job was, “all about delivering a service to the patient” and she really meant it.

If you read about how to motivate people to do a good job you will discover it’s very complex. Rewards and incentives produce complex results. What is universally true us that people love to feel like they’re doing a good job, and feel even better if they feel what they do matters.

So you decide if how you think public services are best delivered, but please don’t argue that the people that work for private companies are any less able or motivated to deliver than those directly employed

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About gristpresent

Presentation, Q&A and Engagement Coach. We help you win more business. Also BAFTA-winning film maker. See our new site www.grist.co.uk

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