Hello PPMA members and friends,
As an approach to “employee engagement”, beatings might have worked on the high seas, but times have changed!
“How can we hope to engage the public sector workforce when so much media and political criticism leaves them feeling like part of the problem rather than part of the solution? “ This was one of the central questions raised by a range of commentators at an event I attended last week which was looking at how to create value through employee relations and engagement. It’s an issue that has been concerning PPMA members for some time.
There is no doubt that public sector workers are feeling pretty beaten up both by negative reporting in some parts of the media and by comments made by a number of politicians. The latter is particularly significant since political leaders are the direct employers of some public services and the commissioners of many more. As we all know, employers need to set clear expectations of what they want their workforce to do and provide the motivation for that to be achieved. And also as we all know, all stick and no carrot will not work.
So I was delighted at the same event to hear the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General said that he “hugely values the public service ethos” and the commitment of public service staff. This sort of comment is exactly what our public sector workforce really needs to hear loudly and clearly. It is an important issue that PPMA is championing this year.
That said, the people they need to hear value and appreciation from most are their own managers and employers. Public sector organisations cannot abdicate their responsibility on this. Regardless of political and media opinion, it is up to us to do the right things as employers to maintain the motivation and engagement of our employees.
How to get this right is one of the key issues PPMA members will be debating at the PPMA private members’ event to be held alongside the CIPD annual conference on 10 November 2011 in Manchester. More details are available on PPMA’s website. I am looking forward to this and to debating these and other key issues for HR in the public sector with PPMA members.
Until next week,