Book News: February 16th, 2010

Recent local government reorganizations involving the creation of unitary authorities has provided a wealth of learning about managing people in situations of radical change. This report summarises the key learning points.

Publication has come at an appropriate time because in addition to the creation of more unitary authorities, the lessons are highly relevant to the major upheaval that will result from the new drive for shared services and integrating local services across the public sector and the other changes that will result from savage budget cuts. Whatever the cause of the change the result will be the same: for many, it means a new employer, for some, it may mean a new line manager, new job content or a different place of work. For others, it threatens redundancy in the longer term or a move away from the local council.

The report describes the need for effective mechanisms for the recruitment, transfer or exit of staff as well as consultation and negotiation with trade unions. It sets out a trio of building blocks of workforce data, information and systems; initiatives to involve staff, and win hearts and minds; and effective consultation.