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> WBC stress story, Genuine concern or taking the mick?
Bloggo
post Jun 19 2012, 11:21 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jun 19 2012, 11:57 AM) *
Simple: motivated staff make the company more profit.

Of course and I understand that. My point is that there should be an element of self-motivation that doesn't require continual input and stroking from management to ensure that a job is done well.


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Mark NWN
post Jun 19 2012, 11:26 AM
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Interesting points made in this thread... having sat in the council chamber where the issue was discussed on Thursday I have written a follow on article for Thursday's Newbury Weekly News.

If you would like to look at the report in more detail and get some further background and see some of the other trends the document is here:

http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/doc...202011-2012.pdf
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Andy Capp
post Jun 19 2012, 12:11 PM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Jun 19 2012, 12:21 PM) *
Of course and I understand that. My point is that there should be an element of self-motivation that doesn't require continual input and stroking from management to ensure that a job is done well.

There should, but it is ultimately the employer's loss if they ignore the effectiveness of good man management.
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Bloggo
post Jun 19 2012, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Jun 19 2012, 01:11 PM) *
There should, but it is ultimately the employer's loss if they ignore the effectiveness of good man management.

Quite so. However we drift from the point and in my opinion some employees will use the term "stressed" to avoid making difficult decisions and turning up for work.


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On the edge
post Jun 19 2012, 12:58 PM
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Facinating! Data overload, so suspect we'll all need time to think what this mass of numbers actually mean...Great post, thanks for the extract.


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Jayjay
post Jun 19 2012, 03:31 PM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Jun 19 2012, 01:56 PM) *
Quite so. However we drift from the point and in my opinion some employees will use the term "stressed" to avoid making difficult decisions and turning up for work.


Some use flu, some use bad backs and many use children. Having to double up your work load due to a parent having to stay at home for a child's runny nose, sports day, the annual play is stressful. Due to cost cutting employers now tend to share the workload of a maternity leave parent among the rest of the staff rather than employ cover.
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NWNREADER
post Jun 19 2012, 05:26 PM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Jun 19 2012, 01:56 PM) *
Quite so. However we drift from the point and in my opinion some employees will use the term "stressed" to avoid making difficult decisions and turning up for work.

Just as some employees soldier on at work when they really should be at home. I have done both - sent people home and hauled them back to work....... Always when appropriate, and nearly always appreciated by the recipient.
I have no problem with the genuinely unfit to work being off for the time it takes for them to get back to fitness. I have a real problem with those who jump on the bandwagon. It used to be 'bad back'..... All the lead swingers make it hard for the genuine cases, whatever the ailment...
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badger
post Jun 19 2012, 08:10 PM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Jun 19 2012, 11:02 AM) *
Why should firms have a requirement to "motivate" their staff? Salary has always been my motivation.
When you take on a job you agree to a job specification and a wage for doing it. If you don't want to do it then don't take the job. Too many want the money but shy away from the responsibility.



sounds easy doesn't it... until you find your job has little resemblance to the Job Spec!! And as for motivation it just makes sense to want to motivate your staff as motivated staff will equal a better, more efficient, happier workforce. Salary is actually not the main motivator for most people. It might be WHY they need to work but as to motivation other factors come into play.
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NWNREADER
post Jun 19 2012, 08:15 PM
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Well established research evidences that salary is not a motivator (Herzberg's Hygeine Factors). That was why the strikes of the 60's and on got the employees no-where. The work was unrewarding and the pay didn't make it so....
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Newbelly
post Jun 19 2012, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Jun 19 2012, 09:15 PM) *
Well established research evidences that salary is not a motivator (Herzberg's Hygeine Factors). That was why the strikes of the 60's and on got the employees no-where. The work was unrewarding and the pay didn't make it so....


Indeed, Maslow's hierarchy of needs..
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NWNREADER
post Jun 19 2012, 08:44 PM
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QUOTE (Newbelly @ Jun 19 2012, 09:20 PM) *
Indeed, Maslow's hierarchy of needs..

As well.......
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Simon Kirby
post Jun 19 2012, 09:02 PM
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QUOTE (Mark NWN @ Jun 19 2012, 12:26 PM) *
Interesting points made in this thread... having sat in the council chamber where the issue was discussed on Thursday I have written a follow on article for Thursday's Newbury Weekly News.

If you would like to look at the report in more detail and get some further background and see some of the other trends the document is here:

http://decisionmaking.westberks.gov.uk/doc...202011-2012.pdf

With an absence rate of around 8.5 days WBC is actually doing better than the national average of 10.7 days for the public sector. See here. I find it frustrating that the WBC report didn't put many of its figures in context. Knowing how the statistics have changed since last year is a start but it needs a longer timebase than that to see trends, and without refernce to national trends the numbers are really pretty meaningless.

If WBC suspect that work-place stress is a problem then they need some objective evidence, so they really need to do a baseline attitudes survey and then repeat it every couple of years to see if they're making any improvement or just making things worse, and if they use an industry standard survey they can compare themselves to other industries. Without that they're driving blind.


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Bloggo
post Jun 20 2012, 07:46 AM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Jun 19 2012, 06:26 PM) *
Just as some employees soldier on at work when they really should be at home. I have done both - sent people home and hauled them back to work....... Always when appropriate, and nearly always appreciated by the recipient.
I have no problem with the genuinely unfit to work being off for the time it takes for them to get back to fitness. I have a real problem with those who jump on the bandwagon. It used to be 'bad back'..... All the lead swingers make it hard for the genuine cases, whatever the ailment...

Well it sounds like you are taking control of your staff and actually managing them.
I have worked both in the private sector and laterly in the public sector and have worked at WBC for a period.
My experience was that I saw no reason for anyone to be stressed in the area of the council I was employed in. In fact there was a very casual atmosphere regarding work rate and very little manager participation. By contrast my experience in the private sector, where public money was not at risk, the work level was high and the stress level just tolerable.


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JeffG
post Jun 20 2012, 09:00 AM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Jun 20 2012, 08:46 AM) *
By contrast my experience in the private sector, where public money was not at risk, the work level was high and the stress level just tolerable.

Just to be clear (and definitely not being pedantic) do you mean "where the money at risk was not public money"? Maybe I am cynical, but I would have thought that in the public sector public money being at risk would not be a high priority, if the phrase has any meaning at all.
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Bloggo
post Jun 20 2012, 09:17 AM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Jun 20 2012, 10:00 AM) *
Just to be clear (and definitely not being pedantic) do you mean "where the money at risk was not public money"? Maybe I am cynical, but I would have thought that in the public sector public money being at risk would not be a high priority, if the phrase has any meaning at all.

Sorry, you are right, it is not clear.
In my opinion and experience the way that money is spent in the private sector is so much more accountable than the public sector. In particular purchasing and procurement seems to be less controlled when the expense is from the public purse.


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Simon Kirby
post Jun 20 2012, 09:41 AM
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If I could just steer this round to the OP again: WBC's sickness statistics appear to show that it is doing 20% better than the national sector average overall, and stress-related sickness is only half of the sector average. Just saying.


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On the edge
post Jun 20 2012, 08:01 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jun 20 2012, 10:41 AM) *
If I could just steer this round to the OP again: WBC's sickness statistics appear to show that it is doing 20% better than the national sector average overall, and stress-related sickness is only half of the sector average. Just saying.


Agree - this seems to be true. It also supports Bloggo's contention about working conditions at WBC. Interesting then, the stats say there isn't a problem, given how this was originally announced, is there a different problem if you see what I mean?!


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Simon Kirby
post Jun 21 2012, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Jun 20 2012, 09:01 PM) *
Agree - this seems to be true. It also supports Bloggo's contention about working conditions at WBC. Interesting then, the stats say there isn't a problem, given how this was originally announced, is there a different problem if you see what I mean?!

There may well be a morale problem which Unison were trying to highlight, and the statistics as prsented suggest that conclusion, but the briefing-paper was poor because it didn't place the statistics in context - so this is one problem; our elected representatives are not being provided with the information they need to make properly informed decisions.

Another problem is that there is no particular reason why our elected representatives should have the personal experience or even the mental capacity to make properly informed decisions about many of the things our system of local democracy asks them about, and I see this as a much more significant problem. I think much of what WBC do should be done by professional public institutions with only limited oversight, much like the police service, Environment Agency, and Health and Safety Executive - certainly true for public health, trading standards, leisure, housing, social care, town planning, and if there's anything left that truely needs local democratic involvement then it probably belongs with the parish council. Sort that lot out and a lot of the man-management issues disappear.


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On the edge
post Jun 22 2012, 10:41 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Jun 21 2012, 07:30 PM) *
There may well be a morale problem which Unison were trying to highlight, and the statistics as prsented suggest that conclusion, but the briefing-paper was poor because it didn't place the statistics in context - so this is one problem; our elected representatives are not being provided with the information they need to make properly informed decisions.

Another problem is that there is no particular reason why our elected representatives should have the personal experience or even the mental capacity to make properly informed decisions about many of the things our system of local democracy asks them about, and I see this as a much more significant problem. I think much of what WBC do should be done by professional public institutions with only limited oversight, much like the police service, Environment Agency, and Health and Safety Executive - certainly true for public health, trading standards, leisure, housing, social care, town planning, and if there's anything left that truely needs local democratic involvement then it probably belongs with the parish council. Sort that lot out and a lot of the man-management issues disappear.


Reading the report in the hared copy NWN, this certainly seems to be the case. There appears to be a people management issue in Children's services. Seeing the raw numbers without any context rhyme or reeason doesn't highlight this at all. From observations and comments I've had from elected councillors - the dissillusionment sets in with the mountain of unfocussed reports / stats and other bureacratic bilge they are expected to wade through. Particularly when its pretty clear that those producing this are simply trying to fog the issue.

Your suggested solution is right - ironically how it was supposed to work when the Local Govt. Act was intriduced in 1888!


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