Public sector must make more of its successes

Our exclusive front-page story reveals a staff survey at the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) showing this public sector employer in a somewhat less than flattering light.


Just two in five staff at the NPIA understand their employer’s goals, while only a third agree the business strategy has been clearly communicated. Only 14% feel they have opportunity for promotion.


And the NPIA is far from alone, with poor communications, old-fashioned reward systems and bad succession planning dogging many other public sector employers.


Yet there really is plenty to celebrate, and our special report highlights many of the positive aspects of working for the public sector – from generous pension schemes to a feeling that you’re giving something back to your community.


It also details some of the challenges ahead for HR professionals working for the public purse, with one of the key tasks being attracting the right calibre of people to the sector.


As Stephen Moir, Public Sector People Managers’ Association president points out in his Opinion this week, the public sector desperately needs to attract talent if its employers are to achieve their goals. It’s a simple question of supply and demand. And Deb Clarke, the HR director of Tower Hamlets has frequently bemoaned the dearth of talent in the public sector.


These are by no means insurmountable challenges, and public sector employers clearly have much to offer jobseekers – they lead the way in flexible working, for example.


With plans for public services representatives to lobby MPs in the pipeline, the sector’s negative press will only continue. So isn’t it about time the sector got a bit more vocal about its successes?


If it doesn’t, it will only have itself to blame for its poor image in the eyes of potential recruits.


By Jo Faragher, features editor

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