Great staff doing great things
Every person who works for the council makes an important contribution to delivering our vision. Our staff continue to provide high quality services, and make a real difference to Newcastle, and they continue to show remarkable resilience, playing an important role in helping the council to innovate and change in the face of financial challenges. They demonstrate this commitment despite it being a difficult time for staff, with many facing uncertainty about their future, and others experiencing considerable change and new responsibilities.
They are great staff, doing great things for a great city.
We’ve seen a continual increase in employees’ satisfaction and confidence with the council as a fair employer, evidenced through our recent employee surveys, and we continue to build on our good practice.
We are committed to having an engaged workforce; ensuring that all employees have a voice and can get involved and shape the future of our services and how we deliver them. Our most recent pulse staff survey staff showed high levels of agreement with employees feeling valued, listened to and respected.
We are keen to ensure that we have a focus on values and behaviours as part of our transformation journey to 2020. This will ensure that equal weight is given to how we do things as well as being clear about what we do. We are currently working with employees to develop organisational values to ensure everyone is clear about what is expected of them as the organisation continues to change.
The Newcastle Manager Programme has been developed to equip all managers with the skills and competencies necessary for effective staff management. A package of training and support has been developed to make sure all managers have a common understanding of their role, the tools/skills to undertake it and contribute to overall staff engagement.
Everyone should understand how the work they do contributes to the success of the city and the council. This plan provides a basis for employee objective setting, review and personal development through our ‘My Conversation’ process.
Our approach – Co-operation in action
Despite the huge reductions in our capacity, we have grown in our confidence and ability to galvanise and lead the whole city. We are leading the way in showing how council services can be transformed. We are a progressive organisation – willing to try new ways of doing things and providing a test best for new ideas and innovation. Day by day we are doing things differently, with ten big ideas at the heart of our approach:
- Cooperation – we increasingly share knowledge, capacity and resources with our partners to tackle the big issues facing the city.
- Devolution – we are making the case to government for more decisions about Newcastle and the North East, to be made in Newcastle and the North East.
- Re-Newcastle – by investing sensibly in the future, we help our economy to grow. Creating new businesses gets more people into good jobs, and generates more business rates to reinvest to help the city flourish.
- Digital by choice – we will make many more of our services available online, and make them so easy to use that this will become the way that most people will want to deal with the council.
- Helping people to help themselves – we work closely with community groups to help them take greater control of their neighbourhood, and the services that really matter to them.
- Helping people to do the right thing – sometimes big demands are placed on council services because people behave irresponsibly – like dropping litter. We will help people to make better choices.
- Being profitable – many of the services the council provides are high quality and very efficient. They can compete for contracts on a level playing field with other businesses, and have shown they can operate profitably.
- Helping early on – by helping people to sort out problems before they get too serious, we can help avoid complex problems which can have a bad effect on people lives, and cost a lot to put right.
- Targeting our help – there are some services we once provided to everyone, but because of budget cuts, we can now only provide them to the people who really depend on them to get by.
- Reviewing the things we own – as the council gets smaller, there are many buildings and assets we no longer need. It is costly to keep them, so we are trying to pass them over to people who can make good use of them.