Abstracts: December 10th, 2007

This survey probed the attitudes of local government staff on how they view opportunities to be proactive, to innovate and to contribute to improvement. Respondents were divided into those working in councils with ‘beacon’ status and others. Staff in ‘beacon’ councils gave much higher response levels across all areas.

The survey revealed that while staff had autonomy over how they get their work done, only half said that they have the authority to act and make decisions about it. Only 20 per cent of staff had introduced new methods and procedures. Only half of respondents believed that their service was continuously searching for new ideas, whilst a slightly smaller proportion saw their service as being open to new ideas and quick to respond when change is necessary. Around three-fifths of respondents agreed that their employer sets goals and target for their workers and measures their performance regularly.

Just under half of respondents view their managers as being open to new ideas, willing to accept ideas from outside the organisation, and have a record of learning from new initiatives. Around 50 per cent of respondents at ‘beacon’ councils reported an openness to new ideas compared to only two-fifths of staff at ‘non-beacon’ councils.

The survey is available from Communities and Local Government. www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/557728