Abstracts: February 8th, 2010

A people management crisis threatens public service delivery, according to a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The report highlights the sporadic and often inadequate quality of front line management in the public sector resulting in high levels of absence and an inability to tackle poor performance. Compared with the private sector, on average, public sector employers are three times less likely to discipline staff and rate their line managers’ conflict management skills more poorly.

The report reveals worryingly low levels of trust and confidence in senior management among public sector employees, as well as their dissatisfaction with consultation over change. These factors need to be addressed to build the employee engagement necessary to deliver on political and public expectations of public service reform.

Recommendations for improvement in the report include a thorough review of public sector management training to identify how to improve people management capabilities amongst front line managers and action to ensure that professionals involved in the delivery of public services are equipped with people management capabilities that are recognised and valued as highly as their professional skills.

THE PEOPLE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE is available from CIPD. www.cipd.co.uk