Department for Work and Pensions – employee engagement
|Company name||State Pension Forecasting and Pension Tracing Service team – Department for Work and Pensions (DWP|
|Number of employees||260|
|Type of workforce||Office workers|
What issue was the organisation facing?
A number of years ago the unit was not operating to its potential, had high attrition rates and sickness absence levels which were having a negative effect on service levels. These issues were considered to be a risk to an organisation operating in a target driven environment and needed to be addressed.
The key was to engage with staff and to ensure that all staff policies, including those surrounding performance and attendance management were seen to be fair and consistently applied to all.
What action did the organisation take?
The manager and his team agreed that it was clearly time for change and that the only effective way to make that work was by getting everyone in the organisation involved.
Workshops were held where every team and each team leader was given the opportunity to express their views about how improvements could be made and how teams should be managed. What evolved was a new way of working that was endorsed by the staff.
A number of things were initiated surrounding improving engagement and communication with staff underpinned by a Staff and Management Charter; describing the expectations that staff had of managers and vice-versa.
A network of ‘Change Agents’ was created to represent staff and provide a route for views and ideas so that they can be taken into account. The network also provides a means for information and updates from the management teams to be cascaded to staff.
All of the above was premised on the principle that if staff are given sufficient information and involvement to help them understand and commit to an idea they will then be willing to engage with it. Once they see and experience the benefits of the changes it quickly becomes ‘standard practice’ and just ‘the way we do things’.
What has been the impact of implementing health interventions?
Overall the efficiency of the unit has increased significantly and it has won many awards including the DWP Call Centre of the Year for two consecutive years. It has high staff engagement scores in the DWP Staff Survey with over 80 per cent of staff participating.
The manager of the unit says: “The activities are not magical or new, they are all common sense and good management but in this case engaging with employees has shown just what can be done. The important thing is to make a start”.