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New Survey Flags Faltering Public Sector Morale


New research blames public sector failure to tackle chronic underperformance as the reason behind a continued dip in workforce morale.

Just last week, Training Zone reported on findings from ORC International, which said public sector workers score lowest for overall employee satisfaction.

The latest findings from management institute, Roffey Park, suggests things are getting worse. According to their Management Agenda 2008 report, the public sector is falling behind in a number of critical areas:

  • Just 6 per cent of public sector organisations reported high morale amongst their workforce, a stark contrast to 33 per cent within the not-for-profit sector and 24 per cent in the private services sector.

  • Only 4 per cent of respondents from the public sector believe underperformance is tackled 'very well' within their organisations.

  • Levels of cynicism are rising contrasting with a reduction in cynicism from the private and not-for-profit sectors.

  • Over two thirds of public sector respondents reported that their organisations' values do not reflect the reality compared to 44 per cent from other sectors.

  • Lastly, 43 per cent of public sector employees rate the internal reputation of the board as negative or very negative, compared to only 25 per cent in the private service sector.

In addition to these findings, the report found that office politics, the primary cause of workplace stress, is much more entrenched in the public sector than elsewhere. Three quarters of respondents from the public sector say political behaviour has increased in their organisation in recent years, compared to half from the private sector.

"All sectors are experiencing structural and systematic change, but, compared to private and not-for-profit sectors, change in the public sector is more prolific," said the report’s authors Annette Sinclair and Gemma Robertson-Smith.

"The public sector is seen as less capable of managing this change effectively – set against a backdrop of elevated office politics, little faith in leadership and organisational values and less inclination to manage underperformance."

The full report was published on 22 January 2008


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