Abstracts: May 24th, 2004

The purpose of the Survey is to evaluate the effects of the Best Value regime and other performance initiatives on staff perceptions of their working environment and organisational performance. The findings include a tendency of line managers to seek workers’ views when faced with service-related problems, but in a significant number of cases, these views are not always seen as being taken seriously. Many respondents stated that management simply paid ‘lip service’ to employee involvement. There was some evidence that line managers and staff trusted each other. However, the results suggest that many local government workers do not trust elected members. This was attributed to the political priorities facing members, and their focus on short-term results in an attempt to win public support.Those working in ‘Excellent’ authorities were better informed of what was going on when compared with those working in lower rated authorities. Low staffing levels, high bureaucracy and inadequate equipment were seen as undermining improvements achieved through enhanced staff skills. The issue of under-staffing was perceived to be less acute in ‘Excellent’ authorities and more pronounced in ‘Poor’ authorities. Excellent’ authorities in addition were perceived to have the equipment needed to deliver services effectively, and less likely to experience staff absenteeism. ‘Excellent’ authorities were also found to provide staff with the training needed to achieve high standards of service.

The Survey is available at: http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_localgov/documents/page/odpm_locgov_028156.pdf