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Opportunity to redesign services

Emma Maier
  • 1 Comment

Early results of LGC’s pre-election confidence survey suggest that reducing or reshaping the workforce is second only to preparing for cuts in senior managers’ priority lists.

Early results of LGC’s pre-election confidence survey suggest that reducing or reshaping the workforce is second only to preparing for cuts in senior managers’ priority lists.

If anything, the gap between the two should be narrower than the findings suggest: the local government workforce is facing potentially the greatest period of change in many years.

Councils need to turn one eye to the future to ensure they have a good supply of outstanding leaders and the right skills across the workforce post-recession

Emma Maier, editor of LGC

There is a clear need to reduce costs, which will mean jobs. But there is also an opportunity to redesign services, and shape the workforce, around service users’ needs. Achieving the latter in the context of the former is a significant challenge.

The Local Government Association Group’s updated workforce strategy is therefore welcome.

It identifies five priorities:

  • organisation development;
  • leadership development;
  • skills development;
  • recruitment and retention;
  • pay and rewards.

It rightly argues that councils must emphasise the value of all benefits they can offer staff in addition to salary in the battle to keep and recruit the best staff. This ‘total reward’ approach is simply good sense.

Councils also need to turn one eye to the future to ensure that they have a good supply of outstanding leaders and the right skills across the workforce post-recession. But skills and succession planning will have a more profound impact if done collaboratively.

  • Results of LGC’s pre-election confidence survey will be published 6 May
  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Any reductions in staff should be done in a balanced way – frontline to back office, senior management to junior staff. But what we really need is radical, fresh thinking.

    Traditional structures might no longer be up to the job that our councillors and citizens require.

    James Rolfe, director of finance and corporate resources, Enfield LBC

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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