Headlines: January 21st, 2004

People working for local authorities that have been rated as excellent get more satisfaction from their jobs than their colleagues in other councils, according to a new survey conducted for the Improvement and Development Agency. The study found wide variations in the attitudes of staff linked to the performance of the councils for which they work.The full results will be released next week but initial findings reveal big differences in employees’ satisfaction with their jobs and workplaces in councils rated ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘fair’, weak, and ‘poor’ in the Comprehensive Performance Assessment exercise.

The survey was conducted for the IDeA by MORI which interviewed 500 local authority staff with equal numbers being drawn from councils at all CPA ratings. The complete results will be made available at an evening reception on January 28th, when MORI director, Ben Page and IDeA director, Martin Horton will discuss and reflect on the report’s findings.

The survey indicates that employees working for excellent authorities are much more likely to say they are satisfied with their ability to have an input into work planning and more likely to have opportunities to show their initiative. The report’s authors say this poses the question of whether there is a more hierarchical culture in poor authorities, leaving less room for individual creativity to flourish?

Staff from excellent authorities are also likely to rate their line managers more positively on their willingness to listen to employees’ ideas and sixty per cent of employees in top-rated councils agree that this always applies compared to just over two in five in poor authorities. In excellent councils, too, staff believe they have a say in management decisions and that there is enough opportunity for employees to let the authority know how they feel about things that affect them and their work. They also consider that they are kept well informed, that the reasons for change within their organisations are well communicated, and change is well managed.

IDeA’s Chairman, Colin Barrow, says the survey clearly shows that valuing and recognising employees is integral to good council performance, customer satisfaction, and CPA success.

More information on the survey is available from Fiona Anderson on 020 7296 6796 or fiona.anderson@idea.gov.uk