Innovation Exchange

Tomorrow's Support Services


Key activities

Benefits and impacts


Tomorrow’s Support Services (TSS) will deliver £5m savings through more efficient and effective support services. Phase one brought some 2,700 support staff together under one organisation. Phase two now focuses on new ways of working through establishing functional delivery teams, sharing best practice and delivering process improvements which enable reductions in workload, rebalancing of work and provide staff opportunities to develop new skills and move into different roles.


To date £3M savings are on track to be achieved through successfully making the necessary changes to how work is delivered to maintain service levels without the need to replace staff that left the council.

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Themes: Service Transformation and Workforce Planning and Management

To objectives of TSS were to:

  • Set out our four year service plan and focus on delivering key priorities.
  • Change our operational delivery model, and align it to a functional delivery model to cover; finance, human resources, customer service and business support.
  • Identify new ways of working and process improvements to reduce the demand for work effort.
  • Engage with our managers and staff to drive a change in culture.
  • Invest in a new client management team who act as the voice of the customer.
  • Set up a team to focus on coordinating strong operational governance to make sure each team has a risk register and defined business continuity plans.
  • Establish a process for performance coaching conversations will all staff.
  • Offer staff opportunities for development, through setting up a top talent programme, providing opportunities for staff to move into different roles to broaden experiences and offered additional training.
  • Have an internal communication strategy which includes the leadership team communicating face to face with all our staff at least four times a year.


To implement the project we:

  • Set up a balanced scorecard approach to ensure we deliver sustainable changes. The scorecard measures our performance against our key commitments in terms of service delivery.
  • Engaged employees with an internal communication and engagement strategy to include, Employee Voice (online ideas forum), Stand up catch up communication sessions, Insight (staff newsletter), managers’ briefings and managers’ and employee forums.
  • Engaged clients through regular and measured account management meetings.
  • Empowered our staff to make changes which deliver process improvements and efficiencies – through a cultural change of changing the way we work.
  • Conducted business analysis to identify opportunities for redesigning ways of working and processes.
  • Set up performance measures, for example, defining platinum services in consultation with services, to enable better operational decision making on resources and priorities.
  • Set up a governance model and identified a dedicated project team for each area to help co-ordinate service transition including: planning engagement and communications, system changes, and control of budgets.


To deliver the planned savings we:

  • Engaged and involved staff to submit ideas about changing how we work through Employee Voice - online ideas forum.
  • Set up staff Lean teams to review ideas for improvements and involve staff in changing and streamlining processes.
  • Brought like work together by reorganising the city centre work and people into four main functions. Teams doing similar work are now working together to streamline processes to take work out.
  • Implemented an area hub model where like work will come together and be delivered from geographical areas to support driving efficiencies and taking work out.
  • Implemented many larger scale projects to reduce work.

Making best use of resources – changing the way we work

  • Savings of £3 million are already on target to be delivered.  Over the next five years the programme is expected to save the council over £5 million.
  • Our functional delivery model for shared services across Customer Business Services is to bring like work together in both the city centre and areas to deliver sustainable services for the council.
  • Over 90 people are leaving the council every year and do not need to be replaced because workloads are being reduced and reorganised across CBS to maintain services.
  • Over 110 ideas for process improvements have been implemented by our lean teams to reduce and rebalance workloads.
  • To deliver the targeted savings we reorganised city centre support services (over 500 staff) into the three main functions: finance, business support and customer services.
  • Area support services will be reorganised into area hubs, to bring like work together, to deliver more efficient support services and savings.
  • We are working with new partners to help design and deliver solutions, for example, Capacity Grid, to introduce a performance toolkit.  This will allow us to focus on improving the way work tasks are organised and provide better real time management information.
  • We are delivering projects to make improvements to services and deliver savings, some examples are below.


Pupil absence support line. In the function of contact, we are piloting a new pupil absence reporting telephone line in seven schools.  The aim is to reduce the volume of calls to schools and the admin workload, so staff can focus on supporting the school’s priorities. This will also improve management information for head teachers. Due to the success of the pilot we are now working in partnership with Education Services to look at rolling this out across all schools.


Cash for kids (CFKs). The project streamlined the administration process for CFKs, and replaced cash with Paypoint vouchers.  It is now easier for Parents/carers to collect the cash as they can do this by going to a PayPoint retailer 24/7. This also reduced the costs and resource time for both CBS administration staff and SWS fieldworkers.

Staff engagement and development - 2200 staff joined CBS in 12 months

  • All staff have been introduced to the performance coaching programme.  This helps CBS to identify the skills of the new workforce and identify what their development needs are.
  • When we get involvement right, over 80% of staff are satisfied and proud of what they do. More than half of our staff are satisfied with involvement and engagement in CBS.
  • We have provided around 1,212 development courses to staff within the last 12 months.
  • Over 900 ideas have been submitted by staff in Employee Voice.
  • 110 people, almost 5% of CBS staff are working in a different role than before.


Service delivery and client satisfaction

  • All council Services have agreed service agreements for platinum services and have a dedicated account manager and senior operational contact.
  • Services continue to be delivered at or above existing standards, for example, Council Tax collection rates have been improved and currently running at the best collection rate ever.


We have developed our shared service model by researching best practices and involving new partners to design and deliver solutions to drive improvements. We are organising our work by functions across CBS, and our aims are to: increase productivity, introduce more flexibility to how we deliver support and create more opportunities for innovation and sharing best practice.


By creating the same model for shared services across CBS we can continually look at ways to bring like work together in both the city centre and areas to deliver sustainable services for the council.


Our approach to shared services has already been shared with other local authorities and public bodies in information sharing workshops hosted by CBS. We recently hosted, in partnership with Deloitte, an event to showcase our shared services capabilities within the council.


Staff involvement

To involve staff in shaping the future of CBS and to continually look at different ways to reduce and rebalance work we have implemented our lean strategy to start to embed new ways of working. We have involved staff in generating ideas and improvements by:

  • Setting up staff driven lean teams for our operational functions to assess and then implement ideas.
  • Providing staff with training on continuous improvement and lean principles. Provided practical tools to help every team identify and implement process changes - to reduce and rebalance workloads.
  • Introducing Employee Voice, an online forum for staff to post, like and share ideas.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:


Afton Hill

Policy Support Officer, Strategic Policy and Planning

Glasgow City Council

0141 287 0411

Case study added to site: June 2016

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