To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy Performance and Governance that updated Members on the recent staff survey results and gathered Committee feedback on the associated action plan at Appendix A, that had been put together by the Management team.
The Chairman introduced the report and deferred to the Programmes, Performance and Governance Manager to present the detail. She advised that the report was presented to the Committee as an update on the recent staff survey, which ran between September and November 2020. This was the second year that the survey had been run internally, affording the opportunity to now benchmark year on year.
She drew Members attention to section 3.2, that showed a good response rate of 72%, and overall the responses to the survey represented a positive increase in staff satisfaction between 2019 and 2020. Additional questions were included this year around the impacts of COVID on staff and preferences for future ways of working, which have also been fed into associated workstreams. Section 3.3 showed the areas where staff satisfaction had increased, and also where it was at its lowest.
In response to this, the Extended Leadership Team met in January 2021 to review the full results, together with feedback, and identified an Action Plan to address some of the staff concerns. The Action Plan is attached at Appendix A to give Members reassurance that staff feedback was being addressed and the high level actions taken. Behind this, detailed action plans and areas of responsibility had been identified, in order to implement the plan operationally. The Communications Team and the internal ‘One Team’ champions have also been working on turning the plan into a format of ‘you said, we did’ to be launched shortly to staff.
Officers responded to questions as follow:-
· That the Management Team Workshop to review the full analysis and trends on feedback was held in January 2021, not 2020.
· That the Action Plan would address the problem areas highlighted in the feedback. A key action will be to unbundle the low satisfaction rates around workload to determine the extent of the impact of COVID and/or determine whether there were organisational structure issues impacting the low rates.
· That a further 8 roles had been appointed to in Service Delivery that had not been in place when the survey was completed. These had relieved some of the pressure and staff would continue to monitor resource levels.
· That the performance management process was working well and with the recent refresh of the Corporate Plan, a clear vision had been set for the organisation. The Golden thread from Corporate Plan to Service Plans to Individual Staff Objectives was working well. Staff appraisals to set individual objectives, determine training needs and explore development opportunities had taken place despite the pandemic. The Council, through this process, was embedding the new corporate objectives.
· That in addition to appraisals, regular 1 to 1s were held every 6-8 weeks. These provided the opportunity to discuss wellbeing, progress on objectives, personal development, career progression etc. Training had continued via TEAMs with positive feedback.
Councillor Nunn said this was very important work but that it was imperative to read staff surveys in context. Referring to some low satisfaction levels he said it was inevitable that COVID would be a factor on staff morale and equally new ways of working. The Action Plan should be read in tandem with the full report which contained some real positives with wellbeing levels increased, which was a credit to Senior Management. He noted that development and direction seemed to be down, however, overall the highest negatives were low, between 18-28% and the highest positives were high, between 91-94%. Taking all of that into account he asked if officers felt it would be helpful for this Committee to monitor implementation of the Action Plan.
The Director of Strategy Performance and Governance said he would be happy to bring a further report covering progress on actions taken and the results of the ‘You said, we did’ exercise. He reminded Members that the information would also be available through the Balance Scorecard and final results would only be known when next year’s survey results were available to do a comparison analysis. The major positives were the improvement in response rates from previous years and the introduction of the Action Plan to address issues arising from the survey.
Councillor Stamp congratulated the staff on the report, she was heartened by the staff response to the survey and management’s awareness of the need for a work life balance. She concluded by saying she welcomed Councillor Nunn’s suggestion to monitor progress against the Action Plan.
There being no further discussion the Chairman moved the recommendations in the report and these were seconded by Councillor Nunn. She then put them to the Committee and they were agreed by assent.
RESOLVED by assent
(i) That the committee reviewed and commented on the staff survey results and associated action plan at Appendix A;
(ii) That Members confirmed that through this, they were assured the staff survey response was being managed effectively.