CORPORATE DIRECTOR (CORPORATE SERVICES)

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1 REPORT TO: THE MORAY COUNCIL - 28 th SEPTEMBER 2011 SUBJECT: EMPLOYEE OPINION SURVEY 2011 BY: CORPORATE DIRECTOR (CORPORATE SERVICES) 1. REASON FOR REPORT 1.1 To update the Council on the results of the 2011 Employee Opinion Survey and ask the Council to note the actions that are planned as a result of the survey. 1.2 This report is submitted to Committee in terms of Section 35C of the Council s Administrative Scheme relating to the welfare policies and practices of the Council for employees. 2. RECOMMENDATION 2.1 It is recommended that Committee: Note the results of the 2011 Employee Opinion Survey Note that it is planned to integrate actions arising from the survey into the wider employee engagement programme currently being developed 3. BACKGROUND 3.1 Between May and June 2011 BMG Research Ltd undertook the third employee opinion survey for the Moray Council using both paper and electronic versions of the questionnaire. The final report is available on the elected members sharepoint site, and this report summarises the main results, which also tracks changes from some questions in the 2008 survey and uses benchmarking for additional context. 3.2 In order to increase the response rate, pre-survey focus groups and survey champions were used, with regular updates on response rates and electronic reminders to employees to participate, where appropriate. Overall there were 1,677 responses received equating to a response rate of 36%; an increase of 13% on the 2008 survey. Strategic Planning and Governance achieved a response rate of 65% closely followed by Corporate Services with 59%. Response rates were lower for Education and Social Care at 34% with Environmental Services achieving a slightly higher 36%. 4. RESULTS 4.1 Highest and lowest scoring areas: The highest scoring questions were about enjoying the work, going the extra mile, making and difference, talking to line manager/supervisor about things affecting employees at work and being treated with respect by colleagues. The lowest scoring questions included some particularly low results such as

2 PAGE: 2 just 15% of respondents believe the Council acts on feedback provided by the workforce and 21% believe the Council has an open and honest culture. Questions on change management also feature on the lowest scoring questions Answers to questions that also appeared in the 2008 survey show that there has been an increase in positive opinion since 2008 in relation to employees feeling informed about what is happening within their team and feeling clear about their duties and responsibilities. Less positive changes are in relation to job security and communication between their area and other parts of the Council Reflecting the increased emphasis on the impact of employee engagement on organisational success, this year s survey also included a model developed to measure employee engagement structured by BMG Research Ltd under the theme of Say, Stay and Strive with variables chosen to closely measure these elements of engagement. As feeling valued and recognised is generally considered an indication of overall satisfaction, it is positive that 54% of the respondents feel valued and recognised for the work they do. This provides a solid base on which to further build a higher level of employee engagement Given a list of factors and asked to choose those that are most important in their current job, respondents indicated that feeling valued was regarded as the most important, with the provision of a good quality service to customers and feeling trusted to do their job well also scoring highly. 4.2 Your views of the Council: As is typical in employee surveys, the results on issues further away from employees direct work were less positive than those of their day to day working lives with only 21% agreeing the Council has an open and honest culture and 37% feeling they are not able to challenge the way things are done. In comparison with 2008 results, there has been a 16% reduction in the number of employees feeling clear about the objectives of the Council and a 13% reduction in knowing what other Departments do with a 26% decrease in the belief that customers think the Council is doing a good job. 4.3 Leadership and management: Responses on questions related to Leadership and Management were also generally less positive with many respondents neither agreeing or disagreeing for a large proportion of the questions. Thirty-four percent agree that senior management have communicated a clear vision of what the Council is trying to achieve and 57% agree they can pass information upwards to more senior members of staff. However this is in contrast to the 36% who feel senior management are approachable, listen and respond and 29% who feel senior management act openly and honestly. Only 12% felt elected members are effective leaders, although 57% of respondents neither agree nor disagree

3 PAGE: 3 with this question. The responses relating to views of line management as opposed to senior management are more positive with 80% of respondents agreeing they can talk to their line manager, 78% agree they are treated with fairness and respect and approximately three quarters feel their line manager is approachable, listens and responds and they feel supported. 4.4 Communication: Questions on communication had a mixed response with 69% of respondents feeling they are well informed about what is happening within their team, an increase from the 2008 survey and 65% feel they have access to the information they need to do their job effectively. It is notable, however, that just 15% of respondents agree that the Council acts on feedback and of the current communication methods the grapevine is seen as the most effective. 4.5 Stress Management: The questions on stress management replicated those asked in the 2008 survey and had mainly positive results with 88% of respondents stating they are clear on their duties and responsibilities which is an increase of 10%. The level of respondents who feel they are subject to harassment or victimisation remained static at 5%. 4.6 Change Management: Over two thirds of respondents could see the need for change with 58% feeling supported by line management through change, 49% feeling consulted on changes and 41% believing the reasons for change are well explained. This contrasts however with only 24% feeling satisfied with the way change is managed at the Council and 31% satisfied with the way the consultation process has taken place. 4.7 Performance and development: Questions on performance and development had largely positive results with 58% feeling that training and development helps them do their job better and is worthwhile and over half feeling encouraged to improve their own performance with equal and fair access to training. However two less positive areas were a decrease in those believing the Council is committed to training and developing its workforce with only 32% feeling they have the opportunity to develop their career at the Council and less than half stating they have had an appraisal in the last 12 months, less than the 2008 survey response. However, those who had received an appraisal were very positive about the experience. 4.8 General: Key Driver Analysis is a method of analysis that determines the key influences on overall satisfaction and can be used to interpret the employee survey data. This is done by identifying 78 possible key drivers and assessing the

4 PAGE: 4 employees ratings on each of them in relation to their overall satisfaction with their present job. These are then prioritised based on the level of importance as a driver, thus providing an index of drivers and their relative importance. The results of this for the Moray Council show that it is important to ensure a clear action plan is developed from the results of this survey, that it is widely communicated and monitored and that staff can be involved and take ownership of any actions in their specific areas. It is also important to improve feelings of value and recognition as well as provide feedback on performance The variation in results across the different services of the Council provides an opportunity to begin to identify and build up the sharing of good practice thereby starting to introduce a level of consistency in areas where the Council scored well, also enabling work to focus on the weaker areas that are of concern. 5 ACTIONS 5.1 Linked to the Council s Workforce Plan and the agenda being promoted by the Scottish Government, initial consideration has been given to how the Council can engage better with staff. The results of this survey are now being taken into account in this context and it is planed to discuss options with employees at the Employee Conference on 5 October before putting together a plan of actions to respond to the survey and improve the levels of engagement with the workforce on a consistent basis across the Council. 6 SUMMARY OF IMPLICATIONS (a) Single Outcome Agreement/ Service Improvement Plan This report has implications in relation to the Single Outcome Agreement, Outcome 10 Efficiencies: delivering and developing governance, performance management and accountability to the local community, to the Corporate Workforce Plan with regard to Employee Engagement, Motivation and Morale (b) Policy and Legal/ There are no policy or legal implications. (c) Financial implications There are no financial implications. (d) Risk Implications

5 PAGE: 5 The risk implications are related to the increased chance of low staff morale should a clear set of actions not be formulated, communicated and actioned as a result of this survey. (e) Staffing Implications There are no staffing implications. However, if the Council is to commit to addressing some of the areas of weakness, this is likely to absorb significant management time and this will need to be considered alongside the action plan. (f) Property There are no property implications. (g) Equalities There are no issues in this case. (h) Consultations The Trade Unions have been consulted on the initial findings of the employee survey and the full report will be provided to them. The Corporate Management Team (CMT) have been consulted on the findings contained within the main survey report and agree with the recommendations of this report. CMT are considering how to take forward the employee engagement agenda within the Council. The survey champions, made up of a number of employee representatives from across the workforce and some managers from the Personnel Forum, have been consulted on the findings of the survey and have contributed to the findings within the Executive Summary of the main survey report. 5. CONCLUSION 5.1 The results of the 2011 employee opinion survey contain some positive elements, mostly in relation to a strong sense of civic and public pride and a desire to serve the public. There are however a number of areas where there are weaknesses and a set of actions are required to help address these areas. 5.2 It is proposed that the suggestions for improvements from BMG Research Ltd be combined with the work on employee engagement that is currently being

6 PAGE: 6 developed centrally to provide some of the operational elements that will support the strategic direction set out within the employee engagement plan. This will allow the Council to build on the foundations of a committed and motivated workforce evidenced by the survey results, to be better equipped to meet the challenges facing the Council in the medium and long term. Author of Report: Background Papers: Ref: Frances Garrow, Senior Personnel Adviser Main Survey Report is on Elected Members Sharepoint site Employee Opinion Survey 2011 Main Report, 2008 Employee Opinion Survey

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