Morale at Cornwall Council
A recent survey was undertaken by Cornwall Council to gauge the morale of its staff. A lot has happened in the last two years with the disbandment of the District Councils and the formation of the Unitary Council. Add the funding pressures it has been a difficult time. Huge credit should be given to the staff who despite the uncertainly have carried out their roles with professionalism.
10,648 employees were invited to take part in the survey which was carried out across all areas of the Council between 2 and 18 February. Out of these invites 4,176 employees completed either the online or paper questionnaire. This is response rate of 39%.
As with all surveys it has mixed responses the positives being:
• 60% of employees are satisfied to be working for the Council and 73% would like to be working here in 12 months time.
• 60% are committed to what the Council is trying to achieve
• 80% (up 5%) felt that all the Council’s customers were treated fairly regardless of their background
• 91% are happy to go the extra mile when required
• 79% believe they make a difference in their day to day work
• Overall job satisfaction is high – with 67% saying they are happy with their jobs – the average for local authorities we compared against.
• 91% of managers felt they had the skills and competencies to lead their teams
• 85% felt that the team they worked in co-operated to get the work done
• 61% felt they could meet the requirements of their job without regularly working excessive hours, with 67% saying they were able to strike the right balance between their work and home life.
• More employees ( 85% – up 12% ) now have a better understanding of how their work contributes to the objectives of their service area
This is followed up with the negative, or what a Council would say ‘areas for improvement’
• Managing change – only 15% of employees felt the Council managed change effectively – however this is actually an increase of 1% since 2009. However only 11% felt that changes were being made for the better and just 23% said they had the opportunity to contribute views before changes were made which affected their job.
• Appraisal – Less than half of employees (46%) felt their last performance review was helpful, although 58% felt that the review accurately reflected their performance, and 74% felt they were clear about was they were expected to achieve.
• Improving morale – only 26% felt morale was good where they worked, just 35% felt valued and recognised for their work they did, with only 33% felt they were valued for what they offered the Council. Although 62% of employees said they were happy to be working for the Council, only 37% said they told people it was a good place to work and less than half (42% ) said they were proud to work for the organisation.
• Pay and conditions – although 14% of employees said they had personally experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination whilst at work, this figure has actually fallen by 1% on the figure in 2009, with 82% said they knew who to go to if they experienced this. Just over a third of employees (39%) felt that their pay was fair given their duties and responsibilities and 49% would like their pay to be more closely linked with to how well they do their job.
A concern is why only 15% of employees felt the Council managed change effectively and more worryingly, 14% of employees said they had personally experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination whilst at work. These two areas must be address as a priority.
At the end of the day I welcome this survey and think it is a step in the right direction, but it will be all for nothing if the negatives are not addressed.