Civil Service Reform Requires New Skill Sets and Greater Use of Staff
7/5/2012 10:57:33 AM
LONDON (July 5, 2012) – New research carried out by Kenexa and Civil Service World in the UK reveals that only 29 percent of employees in the British civil service believe that their department is assessing individuals’ skills and applying them effectively. The research reveals that more than half (54 percent) of civil servants do not feel their skills are being properly utilised, with 55 percent stating that a reduction in the use of external staff such as consultants and contractors would be a “very important” benefit leading to greater use of in-house skills.
The recently announced “Civil Service Reform Plan” aims to achieve a “pacier, more innovative and less hierarchical” workforce which will include an increased use of external contractors as a key way to ensure savings and drive efficiency in a scaled-back civil service.
Andrew Jackson, practice leader of Government Solutions at Kenexa, says, “Our research shows that skills in the civil service are not being adequately assessed or developed. As the reforms are implemented and the civil service develops into a faster, more innovative organisation, it will need to ensure the workforce is equipped with the right skills. In the new model, civil servants are going to be much more about commissioning and managing projects rather than delivery, and this requires a totally different skill set.”
In addition, the research shows that:
• The majority (80 percent) of civil servants believe they know what skills they need in the future to be a valuable contributor to their organisation.
• Half (50 percent) of all civil servants stated that talent management would be more effective if civil servants were managed and placed centrally rather than by departments.
“Our research shows that civil servants have started to identify the skill gaps in the service and are realistic about the need for change,” Jackson says. “By listening to what the civil servants are saying, we can see clear support for greater use and assessment of the talents that are already present within the workforce. We’ve also found support for the centralisation of talent management to ensure civil servants are delivering to their full ability and potential.”
In separate Europe-wide research, Kenexa’s WorkTrends™ Survey found large disparities in the perceived effectiveness of senior leaders. The survey found that only 38 percent of civil servants judged their leaders to be effective, compared with 56 percent in the private sector.
“Given the demands currently being placed on the civil service, it is disappointing to see such a disparity between public and private sector leadership effectiveness,” Jackson says. “It shows that there is a lot more to be done to identify and develop current and future leaders to make the most of civil servants and improve performance.”
The WorkTrends Survey also found that just as many employees in the public sector (52 percent) are as engaged as those in the private sector (53 percent).
++ 44 (0) 7966 688063