A staff survey at Somerset County Council has found almost half of respondents don’t think morale is ‘good’ where they work.
Findings from a workforce poll taken at the end of last year saw 47% of responding employees disagreeing that spirits were positive at the town hall, on top of 25% who neither agreed nor disagreed.
A total of 2,260 employees responded fully to the Have your Say 2013 survey, representing a 47% overall response rate.
Further findings from the local authority poll saw 51% of respondents stating they believe their pay ‘does not adequately reflect’ their duties and responsibilities. This marked a 16-point rise on 2011.
Only 39% of staff said they thought poor performance was dealt with effectively at the town hall, with 34% neutral and almost a quarter disagreeing.
Some 41% of staff disagreed that there was ‘a clear vision’ for the future of the local authority, with only 19% agreeing.
However, the town hall pointed out that 88% of responding staff indicated they were proud of the work they do and almost three quarters thought their immediate manager was open to their ideas.
Nine out of 10 respondents also outlined that they thought they had the necessary skills to do their job effectively.
A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: ‘We are pleased to have had a high level of response from our staff to the survey which reflects their commitment to the job and passion for helping people in Somerset.
‘As a council we are committed to listening to our staff and will be learning from the results of the survey and sharing any lessons with our staff as soon as possible.’
Shock survey reveals low staff morale at Somerset County Council
Staff morale at Somerset County Council remains low, a survey has revealed.
Responses from employees of the troubled council also indicated that ‘low levels of trust and integrity’ were an issue for staff, though this still represents a three per cent rise on a year ago. The findings come in a ‘Have Your Say’ survey of the workforce conducted between November 22 and December 13 last year.
That was a period when then chief executive Sheila Wheeler was away from her desk on leave.
It was a situation that developed into a three-month absence – to this day never explained by the council – which ended when she left by mutual consent, with taxpayers footing a legal bill for tens of thousands of pounds.
A total of 2,260 staff responded to the form out of a total of 4,832, an overall response rate of 47 per cent.
Over the last two years the council has restructured and changed its operating model. Staff have been affected by recent and ongoing cuts under the medium term financial programme, and further affected by the “significant” transformation and modernisation programme which redefines the way services are delivered and how the council operates.
Staff remain unsure of the future, and of job security and long-term career prospects.
While the survey shows that employees are proud of the work they do and believe line managers are open to staff ideas, they perceive that morale is low where they work, with only 30 per cent agreeing that they were proud to tell others that they were part of Somerset County Council.
Forty seven per cent of staff disagreed that morale was good where they work, and 51 per cent said that their pay does not adequately reflect their duties.
Fifty three per cent feel valued for what they do.
Staff do not think that they are given the opportunity to challenge the way things are done and appear to lack confidence in the decisions made by senior managers. There is a perception of low levels of trust and integrity and staff are not clear about the vision for the future of the council.
They feel managers are poor at keeping them informed and IT equipment is out of date.
The survey was commissioned to better understand an improve staff engagement.
A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “We are pleased to have had a high level of response from our staff to the survey which reflects their commitment to the job and passion for helping people in Somerset.
“As a Council we are committed to listening to our staff and will be learning from the results of the survey.”