UK consultants have been handed a £3.5million contract to instil a “Team Jersey” attitude in the government’s 7,500 employees – but it remains unclear what exactly that “culture change” will involve.
TDP Development beat 23 other companies in a bid to lead efforts to improve teamwork, collaboration and leadership and shake off what's being described as a “deeply-entrenched siloed” mentality within the States of Jersey.
The Yorkshire-based company will be setting up and recruiting a local team to help implement the plans, which Express have learned will involve recruiting as many as 50 States workers to act as ‘Change Leads’.
It comes as part of new States Chief Charlie Parker’s plans for ‘one government’, involving an unprecedented tearing up of the current structure, and the creation of seven new departments in a bid to save money and work more efficiently.
But one of the key parts of making that plan work, States officials say, is changing the mentality of States workers too, who unions have previously described as demoralised following years of fraught and unconcluded pay negotiations.
Pictured: Team Jersey branding.
However, it remains unclear exactly how that mentality will be changed.
Asked by Express what TDP’s £3.5million project would actually entail, the Office of the Chief Executive, civil servants and even TDP itself were unable to provide a single example.
States officials listed clients the company had previously worked with, including the NHS, Aviva, Bupa, the Royal Mail, and the UK Prison Service, as well as local authorities. However, when pressed, they were unable to say which, if any, might serve as a good model for Jersey – or indeed what had been changed at these organisations at all.
Express contacted TDP directly to ask for actual examples of their work, but were simply read a prepared statement that they were “delighted” to have partnered with the States of Jersey and that all further questions should be directed back to the States’ Press Office.
A States spokesperson then yielded some detail about the initial stages: 12 workshops with 1,250 employees, plus 40 focus groups involving around 500 employees, 24 Ministerial and public “engagement events”, as well as “one-to-one meetings with stakeholders.”
Pictured: The 'culture change' efforts are part of Charlie Parker's 'One Government' regime.
“This phase will involve recruiting and developing 50 Team Jersey Leads on a 3-day training course, plus further involvement with Ministers, partners, Trade Unions and islanders. Phase 2 will involve all 7,500 employees, who will each attend at least two workshops,” they added.
A description of what the ‘Team Jersey Leads’ would be tasked with was not provided.
While the details remain unclear around the masterplan for States culture, there are early indicators that Mr Parker’s approach has gained strong approval among the leaders’ of Jersey’s business community.
At the Institute of Annual Directors Annual Debate held last night, which gathered around 400 of the island’s most senior professionals across sectors, Digital Jersey Director Tony Moretta spoke warmly in favour of “Team Jersey” in an evening that also touched upon themes of government and business working more closely together, in some cases bypassing the politicians.
Meanwhile, comments from former Chief Minister and current External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst stating that the government shouldn’t be “all talk and no risk” and be “content with existing power structures”, but instead embrace the changes brought by Mr Parker were met with warm applause.
On the political level, Chief Minister John Le Fondré welcomed TDP’s appointment as an opportunity to “transform the deeply-entrenched, siloed culture that has grown over decades.”
“It is especially important that our public sector is fit to meet the challenges posed by Brexit, globalisation and a fast-changing technological landscape,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister and Chair of the States Employment Board, Senator Tracey Vallois, added that the new scheme would focus on “listening and engaging” in order to develop “shared values”, which should help bring about “better value for money, address many issues identified in recent reports” and act as “an essential step in building one government to serve our island."
Andy Bell, Client Director at TDP, said that he hoped his team’s efforts would produce “best in class services with a clear customer focus.”
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