SCED's speech at HKACE 14th anniversary celebration cum award presentation ceremony (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence (HKACE) 14th anniversary celebration cum Customer Service Excellence Awards presentation ceremony today (January 21):

Chairman (Chairman of the HKACE, Mr Buston Chu), ladies and gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to join you today at the celebration of the 14th anniversary of the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence as well as the Customer Service Excellence Awards presentation ceremony.

     The theme of the occasion, namely, "Excel Beyond Limits, Starts with Service Appreciation", finds resonance in me.  Having joined the Government about six years ago, I have a more profound understanding of how important appreciation is to the work of my colleagues. I see the magic appreciation performs in empowering us to meet rising public expectations.

     For instance, Hongkong Post, one of your Founding Members, has a high regard in delivering quality service. This does not come easily, knowing the challenging environment in which Hongkong Post operates. Despite the pressure, postal staff manage to perform with excellence. One driving force is the gratitude shown to them by users. Hongkong Post receives thousands of appreciation messages from the public every year.  These tokens of recognition are not taken for granted. They form a force for motivation, supporting my colleagues to work even harder for all of you.

     Appreciation in the workplace is welcome from internal customers too. In a local survey last year, 60 per cent of the responding employees said they would like more appreciation from supervisors. We are not alone. According to the US (United States) Department of Labour, for example, the foremost reason why workers leave their jobs is because they do not feel appreciated. This finding has a timely meaning for us, as employers nowadays find it difficult to retain employees.

     I am glad to see that you spearhead the Service Appreciation Programme, on top of the ongoing Customer Service Excellence Awards, which go to only the few very best practitioners. With all HKACE Members joining hands, your programme will no doubt help to promote an appreciation culture to a wide audience.

     My big thanks to you for all the good work. May I wish you in advance a rewarding Year of the Horse filled with appreciation.

Ends/Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:34