Human resources team helps council win ‘excellent’ accolade in performance assessment

A local council has said good HR helped it to top a national performance league table.

Councillors at St Edmundsbury Borough Council, in Suffolk, said support for staff and effective leadership had helped the local authority to be rated as ‘excellent’ by the Audit Commission, and put it top in England.

Following a Comprehensive Performance Assessment, which scrutinises the performance of authorities and the services provided for local people, the commission said the council scored just two points below the maximum in the ‘excellent’ category.

In the ratings for smaller district and borough councils, no organisation has ever achieved a higher mark.

Inspectors looked at how staff are supported so that they can deliver major projects as well as high quality day-to-day services.

Sickness absence has been cut from 12.5 to 8.7 days a year per employee over four years, helping to increase productivity.

HR professionals at the council also encourage staff to develop healthier lifestyles, through a broad range of activities at work.

Inspectors also noted “good training provision”, succession planning and anticipation of future capacity needs.

Chief executive Deborah Cadman said: “The Audit Commission report mentions the ‘passion’ shown by staff and councillors and that’s an incredibly unusual word for inspectors to use when talking about local government.”

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