Local governments face an unprecedented list of demands; they are expected to work in partnership with other agencies, stakeholder expectations continue to rise, resources are stretched with unprecedented cuts to funding whilst the demands on services increase.
Many authorities who have managed this challenge well are now finding that the pace, scale and depth of change is so significant that staff are finding it increasingly difficult to function effectively. Employee relationships, recruitment and retention are causing increasing concern for government officials.
Given that many authorities have large staffing costs, proactively managing the Psychological Safety and Wellbeing of employees is increasingly being recognised and becoming a strategic priority; absence, presenteeism and productivity levels are now vital for leaders to control and manage.
Managing increasing customer expectations is adding significant pressure and local authorities are having to change their relationships with customers to better manage demands. There has to be a focus on best outcome-based value, balancing short and long term strategies whilst creating openness and transparency to the public on how authorities are working towards reaching their goals as spending constantly faces scrutiny.
Adult social care is amongst the most pressured environments, often dealing with complete and challenging cases within tight financial resources. Balancing case load levels against skill levels and risk presents challenges for team leaders and managers.
Measurement of psychological safety allows you an insight into characteristics where employees feel:
- Safe to learn
- Safe to contribute
- Safe to challenge the status quo
All without fear of being embarrassed, marginalized or punished in some way.
The value of collecting this data has provided local governments tangible insights and practical recommendations to enhance the level of psychological safety, they have reduced staff turnover, attracted new staff, they are able to provide a higher quality service to clients and maintain staff moral in the most challenging of environments.
“Over a 6-month period we increased the level of Thriving in our teams from 26.44% to 51.4% which has resulted in our teams being able to function more effectively without increasing our resourcing levels. The service we received from Wellbeing Works was first class, responsive, professional and practical – a great result for us.” – Christine Shields, Assistant Director for Adult and Children’s Services, Darlington Borough Council