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Government staff survey and Bullying and Harassment report demonstrate progress

The results of last year's staff survey 'Be Heard' for Government of Jersey employees, have been published, and show a three per cent increase in employee engagement since the 2018 survey.

The survey was open to staff of Government and States departments between July and September 2020 and asked how staff feel about working for the Government.

A follow-up report on progress made to tackle bullying and harassment has also been published. The States Employment Board asked HR Lounge to review the progress made by Government on the recommendations the company made in 2017 to improve policy and procedures.

'Be Heard' Survey results

  • 56% of employees completed the survey

  • 53% of those who completed the survey felt they were 'emotionally connected' to the organisation

  • 8% of those who completed the survey said they were 'disengaged'

The survey shows that where staff have seen the benefits of a more coordinated approach to delivering services, they support the OneGov vision for the organisation. Where staff have had experience of the Team Jersey programme, they understand the purpose and have seen positive change.

The findings also show the areas the Government of Jersey should focus on, including health and wellbeing for staff and managers, who were shown to need more support and development, particularly during the height of the pandemic.

Government Chief Executive, Charlie Parker, said: "Despite the significant disruption caused by the pandemic, it was important that the Government ran the employee survey in 2020 as we had committed to colleagues that we would do so at this stage in our modernisation and improvement programme.

"We had already started work to address some of the issues highlighted in the survey results as they align closely with many of the actions we have been taking forward following the initial Team Jersey report's findings from 2019.

"We have addressed historical issues of bullying by implementing new bullying and harassment and whistleblowing policies, an independent reporting service for employees to report concerns, and manager briefings.

"We know that we are on the right track with our investment in staff over the last two years through initiatives such as an enhanced employee induction, the Team Jersey programme, staff awards, new mentoring and shadowing opportunities, a women in leadership action group and new manager development programmes.

"We have also enhanced our staff wellbeing support through our employee assistance programme and by establishing mental health first aider network. We further strengthened our wellbeing support during the pandemic, recognising the needs of employees on the frontline, those who were redeployed as part of the COVID response and those working from home."

Bullying and Harassment Report

HR Lounge completed a review of Bullying and Harassment in 2017 and were invited back last year to review the progress made on its recommendations.

The follow-up review looked into what changes had been made since 2017 to ensure that allegations of bullying or harassment were addressed appropriately. It also audited any active cases and examined the current perception of bullying and harassment.

The subsequent report outlines the findings and proposes further recommendations for improvement.

Vice Chair of SEB, Connétable Richard Buchanan, said: "I am pleased that the improvements we have made in our culture and processes since HR Lounge's initial report have been recognised. This follow-up report acknowledges that significant progress has been made. It found that our employees are more confident about reporting allegations of bullying and that our managers are taking the issue seriously.

"We know there's more work to do, and that is why we invited HR Lounge back to assess our progress and to suggest further improvements. We have implemented 20 of the recommendations made in 2017 and will now get on with the remaining proposals."

  • Since the 2017 assessment, substantial progress has been made to improve our culture and our reporting systems for incidents of bullying and harassment

  • 20 out of the 29 recommendations have been fully implemented and 2 are being planned

  • The Team Jersey programme was praised for its contribution to changing attitudes and behaviours within the Government.

  • There remain some issues to address, but progress was acknowledged

  • Further recommendations encourage a reflection on progress in areas such as dealing with poor performance

  • Team Jersey and the Case Management Unit should be enhanced to maintain progress

The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: "I welcome the findings of the Be Heard Survey and the HR Lounge Report into Bullying and Harassment, that shows we are making positive strides in addressing the legacy issues surrounding people management. I want to commend the Chief Executive and the team in People and Corporate Services for their ongoing efforts in this aspect of our change programme.

"We have put strong foundations in place and now have more insight from employees to inform our next steps. Although the changes being implemented have been affected by the priorities created by Covid-19, we are committed to continuing to make improvements, and in 2021 we will be pushing ahead with the next phase. We have always acknowledged that these issues require a long-term solution and these reports show that we now have good foundations in place.

"Can I thank those colleagues who took the time to give us their views. It is important to consider all this feedback as we implement the next phase of our changes."


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