Next week, the leadership of the Civil Service – all Permanent Secretaries and Directors General – will meet to discuss Civil Service Reform.
In particular we’ll be discussing some of the key aspects of reform, what we’ve achieved and what we have left to do in 2014.
To help with those conversations, we want to hear from you. Senior leaders can only give one perspective on reform. We will know we have succeeded when all civil servants notice a difference in the way they work.
I’ve seen (and responded to) the many views on the quality of our IT in the Civil Service, the depth of frustration for some of you came through. Liam Maxwell, the Chief Technology Officer, intends to follow up on your comments with technology leaders in your Departments and use them as a spur to change. I hope many of you will get involved in this work to deliver better access to fast and efficient technology, whatever your role or grade.
We did a lot in 2013 to improve the skills and capabilities of the Civil Service. 72% of you took the capabilities self assessment, and I hope you will all take the five days learning and development a year to which you’re entitled. Remember, this doesn’t have to be formal training, you could job swap with someone in a different team, shadow a senior manager for the day or run peer to peer lunchtime learning sessions.
So tell me, have you been able to take your 5 days of learning and development this year? Have you or your team taken part in some learning and development that you thought was particularly good and that others could learn from? And which skills do you see as the most important for you to build and improve in 2014?
Meanwhile, we are taking the identification and development of our most talented staff more seriously than ever. A new talent stream ensures there are opportunities at every level from fast stream through to Director General, and I have been delighted to have met people from so many departments and locations taking part in these schemes.
I would really like to hear from you if you’ve taken part in one of our talent schemes, what did you think? Are you a high performer who is hoping to get on a scheme this year? What more would you like us to be doing to identify and develop the brightest and best civil servants?
The way we work
Finally, I recognise that the way we work needs to modernise – from ensuring you are comfortable in your offices to delivering opportunities to embrace smarter working where you can. One breakout group at next week’s event will be looking at how far we’ve come in this work and what more we need to do. From looking at whether we have the right culture and opportunities, to embracing smarter working , reviewing our buildings and estates to ensure all our staff can work in modern, comfortable offices or at home. I would like to hear your experiences on these issues, good and bad, and where we can learn from our success and improve our performance. Please get involved in the conversations on this, as I am keen for colleagues and myself to discuss your comments on the day.
Please get involved in the conversations on this, as I am keen for colleagues and myself to discuss your comments on the day.
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