Agenda item

Staff Survey 2016


The Director of HR, OD & Transformation presented the report which outlined the outcomes of the 2016 staff survey, which measured Thurrock Council’s performance as an employer and the performance of managers.  She expressed positivity at the 71% response rate and the considerable improvement made since the 2014 survey.  Members were assured that there would be ongoing communication, particularly regarding the less positive responses in the form of a “You said, we did” campaign and a mini survey to identify progress planned to take place in Spring 2017.


Councillor Duffin asked what the cost of the survey had been and what benefit there had been as opposed to having used free survey software.  Members heard that the cost of the survey had been £10,000 but the Council had retendered the contract and saved 50% of the previous cost.  The requirements of using an externally accredited organisation were that Thurrock Council had access to their benchmarking data and employees would trust the confidentiality.  If the survey had been run internally it would not have cost much less and there would have been uncertainty about their responses remaining confidential.


Councillor Duffin asked how the homeless department ranked, as he and other members had faced challenges when contacting the department and wondered what the feedback had been.  The Director of HR, OD & Transformation advised Members that she would have to pass that information on outside of the meeting as she did not have data on every department individually to hand.  Members also heard that data would depend upon response levels; it was only possible to access results for teams with more than 10 responses otherwise the confidentiality status would be breached.


Councillor Duffin noted that one of the less positive areas was IT and highlighted his own issues with the “Good” app.  The Director of HR, OD & Transformation advised the Committee that there were a number of aspects and systems which contributed to the score, and in reality the “Good” app didn’t arise in the follow up workshops carried out.  The Director of Finance and IT interjected that as IT was one of his areas perhaps he could shed further light on the issue.  He assured members that the feedback was being taken very seriously.  He also noted that oftentimes, the more IT one had access to the more one would want it to be able to do.  Within the survey outcomes there had been a wide ranging set of IT issues highlighted but there would be a need to look into how IT works and whether systems could be improved.  Members were advised that the majority of staff did not have access to the “Good” app, as it was only used by staff with work tablets or phones.  Councillor Duffin reiterated that he found “Good” did not have much functionality.  The Chair added that he had personally lost his emails the day before on the same app.


Councillor Maney agreed with the Director of HR, OD & Transformation that there was no point harvesting the data unless something was to be done with the results.  He asked for clarification as to what would happen moving forward and how the action plans would be embedded.  The Committee heard that six key areas of focus had been identified which would have the biggest impact in making improvements, particularly the induction process which had possibly been the most negative aspect of the survey.  The induction process was now being scrutinised at all levels to improve practices and there would also be a review process over the next six months with any new starters to see whether induction performance had improved.  There was a need to demonstrate to the workforce that if their response was that something didn’t work something would be done to improve matters.


Councillor Maney asked whether there would be an opportunity to look at how it would lead to change moving forwards, such as the improvement plans as they were produced and how they were monitored.  Councillor Duffin supported this view.  It was agreed that there would be an item added to the work programme to ensure Members could monitor the progress made.




The Committee noted and commented on the outcomes of the Staff Survey 2016 and actions identified.


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