I have been working at UK Border Agency full-time (More than 5 years)
Pay is ok if you are willing to work the shifts, the pension scheme although hacked to pieces is still one of the better ones out there. The job secure to a degree, but will always depend on the current government. You can always look to do more outside of your main duties but recognition and reward for this effort is lacking.
Shifts can be tough. Used to be a family friendly organisation which it no longer is. Even though you have a row of days off (3-4 depending on roster) it will start feeling like you never get away. Continued changes, no stability or consistency for staff has caused large parts of the workforce to become unmotivated and upset.
Advice to Management
Listen to your staff. Please stop saying that you are engaging with staff for feedback on proposals when the decision has already been made, this is just to tick a box. Understandably there are costs that need to be cut, we all know that but there are other measures or ways of managing this then the current rushed method that is being forced upon your staff. The current system allows for no progression. Staff should be able to move in to rolls through succession planning through their line managers, develop the skills required and then apply for the next grade. The current method allows for none of this.
I have been working at UK Border Agency full-time (More than a year)
The besrt reasons to work here is that you get an eye opener of the border agency from the inside point of view, its completly different from looking at it from the outside, there is a lot of things you leasrn and deal with in a different prospective, it taught me alot within my day to day life and dealing with other peoples lives are important and i realised that i thrive off helping people in positions that i would myself personally want to be in, you get to see how you change peoples lives for the better instead of the worse , there is also alot of growth in the border agency , for example if you show that your working hard you will be asked to go for higher positions as you are recognised and there is always different opportunities available .
Some of the challenges working here is that sometimes you dont get the support you need off the managers and there is more time out smoking than inside helping us out with tackling customers and third parties etc, the workload is getting harder and harder and the company are more interested in hiring temporary agency staff rather than the full time commitment we need to complete these tasks,the confidentiality with the managers towards us staff levels are really poor, working in a busy office it would be lovely not to have to worry about other people knowing your private life. The training is poor in the home office where i work, you chucked on a computer with elearning and not helped out by anyone in the management, personally myself and the people i work with have had to scramble and manage by ourselfes 80 percent of the time.
Advice to Management
I think that the management should be more supportive to every single employee instead of concentrating on the people and friends they spend their lunch hour and cigarette breaks with , the place is suppost to be an equal opportunitie enviroment and i find that really hard to believe most of the time and my collegues will agree, also we need more support and more work flow management as we keep going around in circles due to lack of communication.
There are some good points:
Flexible working (parents - I'm not one - seem to get a particuarly good deal)
Ok salary in terms of being able to live, but not reflective of the importance of many of the roles
Good transport links into and out of Croydon (if you can't bear to live here)
The Home Office has undergone major changes recently and the creation of the UK Border Agency is one of the biggies!
There seems to be a freeze on recruitment across large swathes of the organisation - attempts to reduce staffing levels via retirement opportunities but also automatic warnings (no discretion) for sick leave unless you fit into very strict 'exceptional circumstances'.
Morale is at an all time low across UKBA - the media misrepresent what we do, and how well we do it - and then our dumb ass senior management react to the unjust criticisms with badly thought out short-term fixes that just exacerbate the problem / create new problems elsewhere and make or moral plummet even further!
Don't work here if you want to feel valued, if you want to be invested in, if you want to be treated fairly and with respect!
Advice to Management
Stop doing without listening, stop doing without thinking and start properly investing (not just doing enough to tick all the Investors in People boxes) in your staff. Train your managers to effectively manage and scrap harmful automatic sick warnings and the ridiculous and unfair bonus system.
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