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The People Survey: Have your Say

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For all of us here in the Civil Service, October is an important month.

Mid-year reviews are fast approaching, where we will all have the opportunity to map out ourdevelopment plans for the months to come and make sure that we are continuing to maximise our potential. This October has also seen the launch of the Civil Service Awards shortlist, giving us the opportunity to hear about some of the truly inspiring work that colleagues have been taking forward across the organisation over the past twelve months.

But October is also the month of the People Survey launch, where we each have the chance to feed back on our experiences of life in the Civil Service.

There are things we all really value about our jobs – for me, it’s leading the change that will make us stronger and more capable as an organisation. But there are also things that we would like to see improve. Are senior managers visible enough? Do you feel that we are doing all that we can to promote the learning and development opportunities that exist across the Civil Service? Could more be done to help staff to understand how departments’ work fits together and feeds in to wider governmental priorities?

Now is your chance to feed back.

The People Survey gives all civil servants the opportunity to express how they really feel about their jobs and departments, safe in the knowledge that all views are fully confidential. It is your chance to tell us what we’re getting right as an organisation, and where we need to do more. On many metrics we are making great progress, but there is still plenty that we can do.

The 2012 results demonstrate this fact clearly. 89% of us are interested in our jobs, but just 53% feel involved in the decisions that affect our work. 84% of us feel that we are treated with respect, but only 62% currently feel truly valued. Only 32% of us feel that poor performance is dealt with effectively, whilst less than half of all civil servants feel a strong personal attachment to their organisation. Opinions also differ widely between departments and agencies, and so it’s important that we capture as many views as possible.

The Civil Service we are building depends on all colleagues feeling motivated and being clear about how the work that they are taking forward fits in to the bigger picture. I am committed to ensuring that life in departments and agencies is as rewarding and inspiring as possible, and the most effective way to make sure we get this right is to listen to those whose working lives any future change will affect.

The Civil Service Reform Plan – geared towards ensuring that our organisation is more unified, open and skilled in order to make sure that we can truly meet the demands that modern government – makes this even more important. Just as important as pushing forward with the reform of our organisation is that day-to-day experiences of staff across the country continue to be rewarding.

I want to reassure all colleagues that this certainly isn’t just a corporate exercise that we conduct as a matter of course. The results of the People Survey inform real and lasting change across the Civil Service, and examples of its impact can be found throughout the organisation.

In HM Courts and Tribunals Service, for instance, colleagues have been swapping roles to improve understanding about each other’s work: staff from the Jury Summons Bureau have been learning about policy making in HQ, while policy makers spent a day handling calls about jury service.

HM Revenue & Customs colleagues, meanwhile, have developed a “People Impact Assessment” tool to look at the impact of change projects on staff. For its part, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency held a ‘Directors Den’ at an event for 100 staff. Six groups pitched ideas related to the themes of ‘keeping people connected’, ‘harnessing good ideas from staff’ and ‘giving people recognition for a job well done’ which had come out of consecutive staff surveys.

As the Reform Plan continues apace, I am very keen to hear your views on life in the Civil Service, and where you feel we still need to do more.

The 2013 Civil Service People Survey is launching over this week and next – if it hasn’t already launched in your department or organisation, look out for it! I’m delighted that more than 58,000 people have already had their say – don’t miss out on the chance to have yours too.

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