Editorial Archive

CEO Update for the week of November 26, 2012

11/27/12 5:55 PM

Andy’s TTCast – November 27, 2012

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Hi everyone, this is Andy Byford with some reflections on recent events and developments at the TTC.

The last two weeks have seen the TTC at its absolute best. Our operational teams successfully planned for – and delivered – the transit challenge for the Santa Claus Parade Then a week later, the big day at the Rogers Centre that saw our Argonauts win the 100th Grey Cup. On both days we carried huge crowds safely and without incident, which is to the credit of everyone involved. These events demonstrated our capability and competence at handling big crowds and it was fantastic to see everyone pull together so that we could play our part in making both days a success.

The Exec continues to travel around the property meeting staff and learning more about what goes on behind the scenes. We have held Meet the Exec events at Queensway and Malvern in recent weeks, both of which were hugely enjoyable, and where we were able to get feedback and ideas from local staff and managers. To me, these sessions are the most insightful and informative of any meetings that we have and they are indicative of the culture that we are trying to foster here – namely one where we spend more time listening to each other and where we pull together as one team.

Another enjoyable event was the Service Excellence awards luncheon at The Old Mill. We were there to honour around 40 outstanding TTC employees that have excelled in the way they do their jobs, and who exemplify the TTC’s proud traditions of Safety, Service and Courtesy. I always wish that our critics could attend to hear the citations that are read out to describe why each recipient is there; for my part, my belief that the vast majority of TTC staff do a fantastic job is always reinforced.

Our Five-Year Plan to modernize the TTC continues apace. One element of the plan is to roll out our new streetcar fleet from 2014. This has certainly caught the attention of the media and politicians, many of whom turned out to a launch of the test vehicle at Harvey Shop. As usual, our Special Events team did a great job in ensuring that the arrangements went smoothly, and there was huge interest in the features of the new streetcar that will include full air conditioning, low-floor boarding and PRESTO capability.

A key part of our plan – in fact I would argue the most important part – is to transform our company culture, so that we offer a more consistent, customer-first service. I firmly believe that the first step in this culture change is to overhaul the way we manage, inspire and lead staff to ensure that everyone feels valued, and that we pull together in driving up performance.

To that end, I held a briefing with the top 200 leaders of the company, in addition to Supervisors and Forepersons in our Operations Group, to set out my vision and expectations for how we manage going forward. I want us to treat staff with respect, to consider them innocent unless proven otherwise and to support them in delivering what are often difficult, sometimes thankless tasks. I want us to recognize staff that do the right thing, to resolve problems and issues locally wherever possible and to foster good morale and fair workplaces throughout the company.

At the same time, I advised the management team that we must relentlessly drive up performance and standards across the company. We are all accountable for our own actions and behaviour and we are all adults. So, while I want to drive up morale and while I recognize the value of a fair culture, there are certain standards and rules that we must all follow and we will enforce such issues at the same time as we change to a more enlightened management style.

Ultimately, it’s in all our interests to drive up customer satisfaction, to transform our reputation and to make working at the TTC more enjoyable and rewarding.

Thanks for all your hard work. And see you out on the system soon.

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