Borough council struggles with high staff sickness levels

Borough council struggles with high staff sickness levels

Borough council struggles with high staff sickness levels

First published in News
Last updated
Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

SICKNESS is above the expected levels at the borough council – and renewed efforts to manage it have not gone down well with all of the staff, according to the review team.

A Peer Challenge Team also noted that there is “general confusion” around the new approach to commissioning, and what it will mean to service delivery, and there was concern over some aspects of management.

The team’s summary report stated: “Given the longevity and age of staff in some key positions, we expected to see more in place as regards to succession planning.

“You are aware of the need to address this, and we were encouraged to see that the Aspire programme launched earlier this year aims to address, through an integrated framework, succession planning, talent management, and leadership/management development.

“In addition, a renewed focus on the softer skills of management has been recognised as necessary.”

The experts also pointed out: “We were told that the council has become too bureaucratic, process driven, and (there is) a feeling that command and control is the default position for managers to take.”

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4:37pm Sun 16 Mar 14

ELLIS17 says...

Surely the councils executive team and the councillors themselves should be asking the all important question, namely what is the root cause of these high levels of staff sickness? Are the staff under undue pressure? maybe because there are too few of them to cope with the workload, then comes the question is all the work being given to them really necessary. Local Authorities and central government love to collect data much of which bears no real relevance to peoples needs or everyday lives. And what influence does the councils management structure lends itself to staff sickness, are the management playing a pro-active role in the day to day administration, or have they like the rest of British companies become all too obsessed with meeting targets at all costs, thus ensuring their backs are covered whilst applying far too much pressure on those employees lower down the ladder. Time for a full independent review of the councils operation to be conducted with speed and not dragged on, in the next decade.
Surely the councils executive team and the councillors themselves should be asking the all important question, namely what is the root cause of these high levels of staff sickness? Are the staff under undue pressure? maybe because there are too few of them to cope with the workload, then comes the question is all the work being given to them really necessary. Local Authorities and central government love to collect data much of which bears no real relevance to peoples needs or everyday lives. And what influence does the councils management structure lends itself to staff sickness, are the management playing a pro-active role in the day to day administration, or have they like the rest of British companies become all too obsessed with meeting targets at all costs, thus ensuring their backs are covered whilst applying far too much pressure on those employees lower down the ladder. Time for a full independent review of the councils operation to be conducted with speed and not dragged on, in the next decade. ELLIS17
  • Score: -1

7:39pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Hiliter says...

ELLIS17 makes good points on the level of staff sickness in Basingstoke and Deane Council but it is difficult to make any sensible analysis based on extracts from a leaked report.What does higher than "expected levels" mean - expected by whom.Presumably comparisons can be made with similar organisations.
A number of possibilities occur.
Perhaps the Council's management structure does not have the training and resource to manage the workforce well and additional stress is applied to front line staff.Presumably the workforce is no more likely to be ill than comparable groups in similar organisations so possibly the constant flow of reorganisations over many years have taken their toll and staff are under too much pressure to deliver outcomes with reduced resources.They now face more uncertainty and change as the Council,or more particularly the controlling administration pushes it's policy of Commissioning which of course is the privatisation and contracting out of services under a different guise.
ELLIS17 makes good points on the level of staff sickness in Basingstoke and Deane Council but it is difficult to make any sensible analysis based on extracts from a leaked report.What does higher than "expected levels" mean - expected by whom.Presumably comparisons can be made with similar organisations. A number of possibilities occur. Perhaps the Council's management structure does not have the training and resource to manage the workforce well and additional stress is applied to front line staff.Presumably the workforce is no more likely to be ill than comparable groups in similar organisations so possibly the constant flow of reorganisations over many years have taken their toll and staff are under too much pressure to deliver outcomes with reduced resources.They now face more uncertainty and change as the Council,or more particularly the controlling administration pushes it's policy of Commissioning which of course is the privatisation and contracting out of services under a different guise. Hiliter
  • Score: 0

11:19am Mon 17 Mar 14

JJ38JJ says...

Is this compared to a national employment average, compared to other local authorities, compared to previous years or something else? Half a story.
Is this compared to a national employment average, compared to other local authorities, compared to previous years or something else? Half a story. JJ38JJ
  • Score: 2

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