To receive a verbal update on the People’s Strategy.
The Service Director for Business Services, Paula Maginnis, gave a short verbal update on the people’s strategy. The Committee noted that a new people’s strategy had been introduced and officers had run a workshop for members and senior managers to discuss this. This strategy aims to build a people team that could deliver the strategy and have the right people with the right skills who were highly motivated and high performing. The strategy was broken down into themes:
1. Attracting and maintaining the best talent;
2. Develop the Leadership;
3. Support the Council to evolve and embrace this change;
4. Create a culture of engagement and well being;
5. Develop skill and behaviour to make EFDC a great place to work;
6. Create a culture of collaboration and innovation; and
7. We want employees to fulfil their potential and be high performing.
They will deliver this by finishing the peoples strategy in the next couple of years, transform the peoples team service, review their policies and procedures and put together leadership and management development programmes and provide skills development for our staff. They were also reviewing the recruitment processes and would continue the work around self-service for the employees, further develop the rewards and benefits package and would introduce individual performance management framework.
During Covid a lot of work went into providing the employees with a range of resources to support their wellbeing and mental and emotional health (including their families). Work was continuing on the council’s pay role system (i-Trent).
At the next Overview and Scrutiny Committee there would be a discussion on the peoples strategy, following a video that had been circulated to the members of committee showing a candidate employee journey to bring to life the peoples strategy and how it affected employees. Members of this committee were invited to join this meeting and partake in the discussion. This video would be shared with members.
Councillor Bassett commented that it was difficult to scrutinise something that came as a verbal update. In the future he would prefer to have a written report.
Councillor Brookes asked, compared to 5 years ago, what was being offered in the next few months that would make life easier for the staff. She was told that they now had a resources hub on the intranet that covered a wide range of resources including learning and guidance for both managers and employees around mental health and wellbeing. They have also just introduced a mental health online training resource for all the managers. They were focusing on the ‘softer side’ of people’s wellbeing.
Councillor Brookes added that it was a different experience working from home and that only a limited number of people could work from the office. Some people did not like working from home. P Maginnis said that they had just finished a questionnaire based on Health and Safety and had tweaked it to ask how staff were coping with working from home. They were working through this data now. Staff could book desks in the Civic offices but could not block book desks.
Councillor Neville noted that a number of people lived alone, what support was provided for them? He was told that this was along the same lines as the other resources provided, resources for managers to help their staff. Officers could also book desks in the office and break up their working week that way. This would be managed by the team managers as our overall duty was to keep them safe.
Councillor Jon Whitehouse asked for an update on where we were on staff vacancies. P Maginnis did not have the figures there but said she would have them put in the minutes. She noted that currently internal recruitment was being carried out for the team manager roles in ICT.
(Staff turnover figures now attached)