The Assistant Director (Human Resources, Legal & Democratic) provided a presentation to the Panel which outlined the findings from the West Suffolk Wellbeing Pulse Survey which had been undertaken in Autumn 2020 across the whole organisation. The Survey had covered the areas of:
- Workload and productivity
- Work life balance and wellbeing
- Working with others
- Feeling supported
- Working at home
There had been a 51% completion rate of the Survey across the organisation and a summary of the findings were:
- Wellbeing across the organisation was generally positive with regards to how people felt about the contribution they made to the organisation
- A mixed view around acceptable workload levels and how productive people felt.
- As was to be expected, staff had found working during a pandemic challenging and stressful.
- Mixed response with regards to effects on work life balance and wellbeing.
- Positive results with regards to feeling supported by others and management, but mixed response in how well staff felt listened to.
- Working from home had impacted on how people felt about their physical health and how well they were able to stay connected.
- Mixed response on the usefulness of the wellbeing initiatives which had been provided by the Council.
The main points to note/consider centred around:
- People felt engaged with the work and felt that their work was worthwhile and that there was a strong sense of support and positive relationships.
- There were a number of areas where personal responsibility needed to be embedded and leadership skills developed to support staff (ie wellbeing, workload, stress management).
- A need for on-going corporate wellbeing initiatives, working on cultural shift around ownership.
- Monitoring of workloads and resilience.
- Communication and engagement on working to a new ‘normal’.
The staff also suggested various areas for improvement on:
- Future working practices and returning back to the office.
- Continued information on safe working practices and PPE.
- Leadership culture.
- On-going connectivity and leadership communications and continuation of opportunities to talk about wellbeing and stress.
- Support for teams where COVID-19 had increased their workload.
As was expected, there were various warnings signs raised within the Survey, which related to personal resilience, workloads, stress management and the continual need to connect and communicate.
Following on from this Survey, the organisation had responded by:
- Granting an additional day’s leave (wellbeing day).
- Establishing Health and Wellbeing staff network/Wellbeing Champions to support the wellbeing programme.
- Organisation wide and leadership specific sessions.
- Responding to lockdown roadmap and plans for return to offices.
- Managers encouraged to review their service reports, develop team action plans and to have regular discussions on wellbeing.
- The HR Team were also undertaking various initiatives in response to the Survey, which included health and wellbeing initiatives, ways of working and training.
The Survey was currently being re-run and would close on 1 April 2021.
The Panel acknowledged the results from the Survey and the work which was being undertaken to try to address some of the issues identified. It would be particularly important to be aware of the warning signs which had been raised.
With there being no decision required, the Panel noted the update.