I worked at Worcestershire County part-time (More than 3 years)
My immediate colleagues were committed and hard working. There was a wonderful camaraderie. Despite poor pay and poor treatment by all management levels, they continued to perform minor miracles in their effort to provide a quality service to the public. In fact and more often than not, it was entirely due to front line staff acting outside their pay levels and responsibility that any service was provided. Wasteful and inept managers produced barely comprehensive plans, if any at all, and it was the front line staff that had to take steps to prevent them ending in disaster.
Managers at all levels were inept and lacked the intelligence, imagination, initiative and flair to hold their positions. They constantly wasted limited budgets, but would not purchase essential materials. They did not actively consult lower grade staff and any advice they gave was ignored. It was extremely demoralising to see money wasted on projects that staff predicted would fail and did. There was no opportunity for advancement based upon ability. "To get ahead", one had to become suitably 'chummy' with the necessary managers. Cronyism was common in our department and in a related department. The result was unsuitable people failing to fulfill their job requirements, but no action by managers to address the situation. Whilst underpaying lower grade staff, as part of the cronyism many higher grade staff are grossly overpaid, even though their limited ability prevents them from fulfilling their responsibilities. This is at a time when the council claims to be under significant financial tension. Morale had utterly failed and managers lacked the ability and charisma to address it. Rather than being a tax payer funded service, it was more like a job scheme for people who wouldn't get job elsewhere in this sector.
Advice to Management
Resign and allow better suited people to fill your positions. In the meantime each management level should be far more critical of the management level beneath them. Assess their performance and take steps to address their performance. Address the pay imbalance between the grossly overpaid and the grossly underpaid. Drop their hierarchical prejudice and stop judging staff by outdated assumptions and prejudices attached to job titles. Be inclusive of and listen to the lower grade staff, they often demonstrate more intellectual ability than many higher paid staff.
Open plan, bright office space
Pleasant surroundings for lunch time socialising and walks
Good flexi-time working arrangements
Good annual leave
Positive, collaborative environment. Not very hierarchical.
Clear and transparent pay structure
Great in-house training opportunities if you desire project management, IT skills, etc.
Fairly good job security, even in current climate.
Pay is lower than comparable positions in private sector.
Jobs are strictly in set pay-bands, so once you get to top of salary band you must leave the job to progress.
Most vacancies are automatically advertised externally irrespective of internal talent or promotion-seeking employees, so you must apply for more senior posts as an external candidate and compete with everyone.
Moving within council is regarded by management as resignation and move to a new external post.
Good job security does nfortunately mean that some less-than-great employees are sort of "unflushable". Incompetence in these employees is known of, and bore by rest of their team.
Advice to Management
Promote "One Council" vision in recruitment and career development processes. If someone wants to move one rung up on the ladder at the moment, there is very little incentive for them to stay within the council even if they want to. Moving directorate usually involves formal resignation, formal acceptance of new offer, completing several payroll and other forms, reapplying for another CRB check (if applicable) and so on.
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