Smartphones are often derided for being an easy and compulsive distraction in the workplace, and a hindrance to productivity. In fact, smartphone technology has become a primary driver in workplace effectiveness. Such is the case with DLBA’s Clean and Safe Team, whose reach and influence have increased exponentially through the use of smartphones as an indispensable tool.
Clean and Safe Team members use their work-assigned phones to record data and report issues outside of the Team’s expertise and contribute data to 30 different metrics which are tracked by the DLBA staff. “Use of technology to improve our effectiveness is part of DLBA’s strategic plan ‘Vision 2020’ and provides another means for Downtown stakeholders to measure our performance,” said Broc Coward, Chief Operating Officer of the DLBA.
Over the course of a Clean and Safe Team member’s work week, he or she will contribute data to such categories as the amount of trash Clean Team members have collected (over 30,000 pounds since last October), hospitality assists (close to 14,000 so far in this fiscal year) and Team contacts with Downtown businesses (10,686 this year, as of this article’s publication). The data is displayed on DLBA’s website and Public Safety Committee community dashboard on a monthly basis.
Clean and Safe Team member data is downloaded automatically to a database, where DLBA looks for trends in incidents and other activities to determine where and when to deploy resources. Information is shared daily with select city personnel as a means of supporting our common goals and functions in the community.
DLBA’s Homeless Outreach Specialist and Safety Ambassadors collect information related to their contacts with persons experiencing homelessness. Information on those contacts is sent out nightly, with a weekly summary of our Top 5 most vulnerable included in the Friday report.
By studying the compiled data and by observing their physical routes (the phones are equipped with GPS technology), the DLBA can gauge the effectiveness of various Clean and Safe Team efficiencies and endeavors.
In addition to helping identify trends and possible areas for improvement, the teams’ smartphone technology is also used to communicate immediate issues. For instance, if a team member reports a broken street pole banner, an email notification will automatically be sent to DLBA Placemaking Manager Mariah Hoffman who can then decide to engage the City or a third party to address the problem.
Whether evaluating effectiveness or sharing information with its partners, DLBA’s Clean and Safe Team has embraced the use of technology in their daily activities, resulting in a better product for Downtown stakeholders. As DLBA continues to refine the types and use of data collected, it looks for opportunities to achieve even greater efficiency without compromising effectiveness. “Work smarter, not just harder” is a mantra at DLBA reflected in the Clean and Safe Team’s approach to every facet of their role in keeping the Downtown attractive, safe and inviting to stakeholders and visitors alike.