Headlines: October 26th, 2001

New research has shown that public service staff are willing to change and are experiencing change, but that morale is low because they do not feel supported.The findings come in a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). It shows that, while central government provides flexible HR practices, such as flexible working and family-friendly policies, there is still a need to manage change better.

The report comes against a background of nearly three quarters of workers in central government having been affected by major change, including mergers with other departments and the introduction of new targets. While most people feel positive towards change and support new initiatives, they report the lowest levels of staff morale, compared to those in the health and private sector.

The CIPD says the report shows that workers are not resistant to change, but they are in need of support and they don’t always feel they get it – the problem cannot be simply handed to the HR Department but is an issue for senior management.

The CIPD report Public and Private Sector Perspectives on the Psychological Contract, was co-sponsored by CMPS (the Government’s Centre for Management and Policy Studies), NHS and local government, and based on interviews with 2,000 workers.

It was launched at the CIPD annual conference where Sir Richard Wilson, Head of the Civil Service, was a key speaker. His speech is online at www.cmps.gov.uk .