Action to boost morale

A SERIES of measures are being brought in by county chiefs in a bid to improve morale in the corridors of power, it emerged today.

A SERIES of measures are being brought in by county chiefs in a bid to improve morale in the corridors of power, it emerged today.

Following on from a report earlier this year that revealed staff running the county are increasingly feeling overworked and underpaid, action will be taken to address the situation.

Staff will be briefed on changes going on at the council, include the ongoing Boundary Committee shake-up, in a bid to tackle concerns about the future. Employees will also get the chance to meet new chief executive Andrea Hill.

The moves follow research - Suffolk County Council's staff survey 2007 - that found the number of people positive about issues including enjoyment of work, pay and how the authority rates as employers had dropped since a similar study in 2005.

A total of 2,155 people, close to a third of all council staff, responded to the study which found that:

Ten per cent less staff would recommend the council to a friend as a good place to work (59pc in 2007, 69 pc in 2005).

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12pc less staff believe information given to them by the council.

6pc less staff feel valued by the council (45pc in 2007, 51pc in 2005).

4pc less staff feel they are paid fairly.

3pc less staff feel able to cope with their workload.

Total, positive responses plummeted in 47 question categories, increased in 22 categories and stayed the same in 14.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said: “The survey identified areas for further improvement and these have been clustered into four priority areas of Performance Management, Leadership and Management Development, Staff Engagement in Change and Staff Wellbeing.

“As such, emphasis has been placed on ensuring all staff have the opportunity to participate in events linked to change, such as staff briefings linked to local government review and a chance to meet our new chief executive.

“We have also improved the support available to staff completing annual performance and development reviews and increased our focus on learning and development across the council - for example, through a new mentoring scheme.”

She added that the 2007 staff survey identified “a good deal” of positive feedback, such as staff enjoying working for the council and strong improvements in both communications and manager visibility.

Are you a council employee concerned about moral levels at the authority? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail