Unfiltered results from a Government staff survey obtained by Express have revealed low confidence in leaders, middling support for the ‘OneGov’ programme, intimidation in some departments and stark divides in views between those on the corporate side and workers on the front line of ‘Team Jersey'.
The 'Be Heard' survey, which ran between July and September last year, aimed to assess public sector workers' attitudes to their work and leaders in the wake of the largest shake-up to civil service structure in living memory, instigated by former CEO Charlie Parker.
It focused on eight factors of engagement from managers to leadership, the Government as a whole to personal growth, relationships with colleagues and wellbeing.
The survey included 70 statements, which employees were asked to assess on a 0 to 7 scale, with 7 being the most positive.
Pictured: The survey included 70 statements across eight different themes.
The results were then compiled in ‘heatmaps’ which aim to show the response patterns and how many people responded at each point of the Strongly Positive to Strongly Negative scale.
Results for each department were initially compiled into a single document and released to the public in March.
In an accompanying press release, the Government spoke of how 53% of staff felt "emotionally connected to the organisation", of employees who understood the purpose of the £3.5m Team Jersey culture change programme and had seen "positive change" from it, and said that "where staff have seen the benefits of a more coordinated approach to delivering services, they support the OneGov vision for the organisation."
Some necessary wellbeing improvements were noted, but it was stated that these were already in hand.
The Government initially declined to release individual department results of the survey, but finally released them on Wednesday in response to a petition under the Freedom of Information Law from Express.
Assessed individually, the results for each department paint a rather different picture - with some departments' workforces displaying signs of fatigue and dismay at the current state of their organisation.
Express took an in-depth look at them...
Pictured: Health had the lowest participation rate of all departments.
2,793 out of the 5,327 civil servants eligible took part in the Be Heard survey, an overall response rate of 56%.
Health and Community Services (HCS) had the lowest participation rate with only 43% of the workforce taking part, whilst Customer and Local Services (CLS) had the highest response rate with 83%.
In terms of engagement, the Law Officers’ Department had the highest score with 66% whilst HCS again were at the bottom of the table with 46%. HCS also had the highest proportion of employees feeling highly anxious with 16%.
Meanwhile, Strategic Policy, Planning and Procedure (SPPP) had the highest proportion of ‘anxious but active employees’, 23%.
Pictured: Leadership ranked the lowest in HCS.
Leadership received the lowest score with an average of 3.48 across all departments. For seven out of the 10 departments, it ranked lowest with scores between 2.78 in HCS and 3.80 in Treasury & Exchequer (T&E).
The highest score it received was within the Non-Executives and Legislature Department - a combination of the non-Ministerial Departments, such as the Law Officer's Department and States Greffe - where it however only scored 4.19.
Even within the Office of the Chief Executive, headed by the CEO and Chief Minister, leadership still only achieved a middling score with 3.96.
The survey results showed that, while the majority of Government employees feel the Government runs on “strong values and principles”, they do not believe the ‘leaders’ are living those values nor running the Government on “sound moral principles”.
In addition, several departments cast doubts over the leadership skills of the senior management team - in the Chief Operating Office (COO) they only scored 3.76.
Most staff said they did not feel inspired by the Chief Executive, a statement which only scored 2.96 in Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), which includes the emergency services, and even lower, 2.43, within Health.
The Office of the Chief Executive was the only department where employees expressed strong confidence about leadership skills with 4.34.
Most departments also reported how some individuals use intimidation to get what they want, although it is unclear by the formulation of the statement whether they believed this to be taking place within their own department or in higher levels. This scored the lowest within JHA (3.29) but a value was not recorded for HCS, COO or Infrastructure, Housing and Environment (IHE).
Pictured: The Non-executives and Legislature Departments had the most positive feelings about the Government and their role within it.
‘My Company’, which invited employees’ views of the Government, how proud they are to work there and whether they feel they are making a difference scored the highest across Government with 5.04.
In eight of the 10 departments, it scored above five, with the highest score found in the Non-executives and Legislature Department with 5.46. The lowest score attributed to that section was found in HCS, with only 4.71.
Overall, the majority of employees feel their work is an important part of their life and that they can make a valuable contribution to the success of the Government, with both statements scoring over 5 in most departments.
However, they are not as many to say they love or are proud of working for the Government.
In addition, their positive feelings towards their work, some employees would leave tomorrow if they had another job. This is especially the case in HCS where the statement scored 3.82. Meanwhile in the non-executive departments, it scored 5, showing less appetite for leaving.
Pictured: SPPP gave high scores to their managers.
Managers received the highest score in the Strategic Planning, Policy and Procedure (SPPP) with 5.07. Across all departments, they received fairly good scores with scores above 4.33, except in HCS where they only reached 3.96.
While the majority of employees felt their manager talks openly and honestly with them, cares about them as an individual or regularly expresses their appreciation, they were not as convinced that they are an “excellent role model” or that they motivate them to give their best every day.
Relationships with colleagues, however, scored higher than managers in all but the non-Ministerial departments. Results show that in all departments employees are happy with their team, with the item stating ‘My team is fun to work with’ scoring above 5 in all 10 departments.
Pictured: The Office of the Chief Executive was where employees reported the strongest sense of "family" (5.11).
In addition, 'employees care for each other and go out of their way to help each other' was a statement employees agreed with the most in CYPES (5.39) and non-executive departments (5.44).
The Office of the Chief Executive was where employees reported the strongest sense of "family" (5.11).
Answers from the survey highlighted that power struggles are having a negative impact in most departments, and especially so in HCS (3.37).
In SPPP however, employees mostly disagreed with the observation (5.27).
Pictured: The LOD was an outlier in terms of wellbeing, consistently scoring more positively than departments with a Director General and political heads.
Across Government, wellbeing only received a score of 3.98, but it was the highest within the Law Officer’s Department (LOD), one of the non-Ministerial departments, where it achieved 4.64.
Employees within the department do not feel their health is suffering because of their work (5.17) and are happy with their work/life balance 5.02. Likewise, they are happy with their deadlines (4.75) and do not feel under too much pressure (5).
In all other departments, employees indicated they felt exhausted after work or spent too much time working – especially in HCS where those items scored 2.65 and 3.63 respectively. In the LOD, the statements scored 4.21 and 3.90.
In fact, the LOD was repeatedly an outlier, consistently scoring more positively than departments with a Director General and political heads.
The Attorney General welcomed the positive results, saying: “The Be Heard survey results revealed that the Law Officers’ Department is a happy place in which to work, with an employee engagement rating that is commensurate with an organisation with an outstanding commitment to workplace engagement.
“The survey results reinforced the findings of the Lexcel assessor who reported in her independent review for 2020/2021 that she found a ‘truly supportive team culture’ within the Law Officers’ Department. It is especially pleasing to have achieved these results during the difficult times of the pandemic.”
LOD employees also expressed the most satisfaction with their work (5.83) and the experience they are gaining through it (5.73). They were also more positive about the training they receive and its benefits (4.58) and their opportunities for growth (4.40) than in any other departments.
Pictured: Non-executive departments are the most please with their role, opportunities and training.
Most employees indicated they do not feel their training has any benefits to them, with the OCE expressing the less satisfaction with it (2.93).
Opportunities for growth ranked poorly in all departments, with only two scoring above 4 in SPPP and Treasury and Exchequer. HCS, OCE and COO seemed to offer the least opportunities for their employees, as the item ranked 3.23, 3.30 and 3.39 in those departments.
Overall, Government employees seemed to be happy with their roles, with a majority disagreeing with the statement ‘I am bored with the work I do’.
Despite reflecting more negative views in all other areas, HCS staff gave this statement 5.23, although it is only the fifth highest score and well below the top mark of 5.60, again in the non-executives and legislature.
The lowest score for the statement was seen in CLS with 4.84.
Employees in all departments also ranked the flexibility available to them in terms of working practices highly, with the majority of scores 6 and above.
Pictured: CLS gave the highest score for the Government's customer service.
All employees were asked to answer a series of questions on how well they think the Government serves the public.
CLS and the non-executives/legislature gave the highest marks with 5.42 and 5.40 respectively, while COO gave the lowest with 4.50.
While most employees indicated support with the statement that Government is constantly seeking to improve its service and can be trusted by its customers, the results exposed some issues.
All departments indicated that delivering great service is not rewarded in Government, with the lowest mark for this item seen in HCS with 2.98. The highest score was in CYPES with 4.38.
Meanwhile, all departments also suggested that some people within Government do not understand what customers expect of it. This item only scored once above 4 with the lowest score, 2.94, in COO. All other scores were between 3.22 in HCS and 3.68 as in JHA and CYPES.
Pictured: Treasury and Exchequer understand the Team Jersey programme the best.
All employees were asked a series of questions about the One Gov and Team Jersey programmes.
The former was ex-CEO Charlie Parker’s project for ‘one government’, involving an unprecedented tearing up of the public sector structure, and the creation of seven new departments in a bid to save money and work more efficiently.
The latter was described as a 'culture change programme', and aimed to instil new corporate values in all employees and make them better at working together and feel proud of working for Government.
Employees seemed to understand the concept of Team Jersey more than they did the ‘OneGov’ vision, which ranked 4.07 against 4.5 for the former.
HCS has the least understanding over the programme (3.36) whilst T&E seems to have a better grasp of it (4.69).
Team Jersey did not seem to have fully convinced JHA, where it scored 3.87, but was better understood in T&E (4.94) and OCE (4.78).
Pictured: JHA is among the departments to have been the least impressed by the changes brought in by OneGov.
Employees’ answers show that Team Jersey was more successful than OneGov in terms of bringing benefits, with positive changes brought by each programme scoring 4.42 for the former and 3.8 for the latter.
JHA and HCS were the least impressed with the changes brought in by OneGov and gave them a mark of 3.10 and 3.19 respectively.
Meanwhile, the programme scored the highest in SPPP, 4.56, and CLS, 4.31.
Interestingly, JHA and HCS gave the highest grade to the changes brought in by Team Jersey, 4.79 and and 4.65 respectively. SPPP also ranked those 4.65.
Most employees expressed pride in working for the Government with scores ranging from 4.28 in HCS to 5.30 in non-executives in legislature, a result driven by LOD employees, who gave the item a score of 5.85.
However, the programme did not seem to have been successful in achieving its goal of improving cooperation between Government departments.
Pictured: There is still a long way to go for Government teams to work together, as CYPES' answers (above) and others departments' show.
The majority of employees agreed with a statement stipulating that ‘some departments/teams in this organisation don’t work well with each other’. All departments gave scores below 3.13, with the lowest score seen in COO. Results were not provided for HCS and IHE.
In addition, the majority of departments did not feel the Government takes enough initiative, with the majority agreeing with the idea that it is more reactive than proactive as an organisation.
The statement scored the lowest in COO (2.28) with its highest score just above average (3.54) in non executives/legislature. Results were not provided for HCS and IHE.
Express will be continuing to probe the Government's culture and HR processes next week...
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