Using freedom of information requests to expose the findings of staff surveys at 13 government departments – employing just under 37,000 workers – the Conservative Party has revealed 8,000 staff have doubts about what was expected of them.
In the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform alone, one in four civil servants admitted not understanding the department’s role as a “voice for business within government”.
The surveys of civil servants, including those working at the Cabinet Office, the Home Office and the Department of Health, also found 62% of civil servants – 23,000 staff within the 13 departments – felt their department was poorly managed.
In the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, less than half of managers believed their own staff had the right skills to do their jobs, while a third of staff in the department did not believe the organisation encouraged “innovative solutions to work-related problems”.
Grant Shapps, the Conservative MP for Welwyn Hatfield, who carried out the research, told the Daily Mail: “It is now clear that the people who work for this tired government are experiencing drift as ministers lurch from one crisis to another rather than providing real leadership to their departments.
“Demoralised and uncertain of the government’s own goals, staff are personally suffering from Gordon Brown’s directionless leadership, damaging careers and the services that these hard-working people are trying to provide for this country.”
The Conservative’s research also found £1.5m has been spent on staff surveys across 19 departments in the past three years.
A recent staff survey within the NHS revealed 18% of staff reported being bullied, harassed or verbally abused by managers or colleagues, while 58% said teams were not well-structured with clear objectives.