Nearly half of public sector staff doubt bosses’ change management skills

16 Feb 16
Almost half of public sector workers think their leadership teams lack the management skills required in a period of accelerated change, according to a survey commissioned by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives.

The research, conducted with Civica, found 47% of public sector employees at middle manager level and below had a lack of faith in senior management’s skills, while more than a third (36%) wanted public sector leaders to create a more flexible and adaptive working environment.

Just 7% of the 276 employees surveyed said they thought the public sector was an empowering environment to work in.

Kim Ryley, former chief executive and chair of Solace in Business, said: “The biggest barriers are not technology or resource based, they are people’s attitudes. Public sector organisations need a style of leadership that creates a sense of purpose where they can sell hope to the people, and visibly walk the walk.”

Findings and recommendations are collated in Solace and Civica’s report, Invigorating the public sector revolution. This identifies strong leadership, constant evolution and light-touch rules as key to stimulating innovation and driving a revolutionary mindset.

It also suggests a nationally funded training programme to equip senior public sector leaders with the skills needed to meet future demand and drive change.

  • Vivienne Russell
    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and

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