I’m writing this Blog on Mother’s Day, but that hasn’t let me off the hook of watching my oldest son play rugby for the Norwich under 15 team! They won – a great way to start the day!

This is my first Blog as PPMA President and what an honour that is! I am passionate about public services and the difference they can make to people’s lives and I am passionate about great people management and the difference that can make too. So to have the opportunity now to be President of PPMA at this time of profound change in the public sector is amazing. I am sure it will be a bumpy ride at times, but I am an optimist and I am determined to use this year to speak up for some of the great work that I know is going on in our organisations. To do this I need you to help me- please send me your stories so that I can shine a light on the best of the public sector.

I know that right now life is tough out there for managers in the public sector and the scale of the challenge for HR in supporting our organisations as the impact of the cuts starts to bite is not for the faint hearted! In my own organisation (Norfolk County Council) we are seeing 1,000 jobs go over the next few months. A lot of this reduction is being achieved through vacancy management and voluntary redundancy, but there is still a high human cost to all this and that is tough for everyone involved.

One of my first jobs on behalf of PPMA last week was to attend a joint CIPD/LSE event on employee engagement in the public sector. David MacLeod was there to talk about the new employee engagement task force launched at Downing Street last week and about the significant additional challenge for employee engagement in the public sector with the scale of reduction we face. He posed a great question: how do we create the conditions in which we look back at this period and our role in it and feel satisfied with what we have done? That’s a big question for PPMA as an Association and one I will keep coming back to!

While I’m on the subject of engagement I really want to see more engagement going on within PPMA itself this year. It’s important that our members’ voice is heard more clearly, and that is one of my big aims for the year. We got off to a good start at the AGM last week, kicking off an important debate about PPMA’s future direction.  If you are a member, you can read more about this in the paper on the Member’s only section of the website. If you’re not yet a PPMA member, then do join us!

Till next week,

Anne

Anne Gibson – PPMA President 2011/12