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How local ideas can influence the Civil Service People Survey

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We all know how frustrating it is to come up with a good idea but to then be told it's not within someone's remit. Should we always necessarily take "no" for an answer? Here's a good news story that demonstrates 3 good reasons to show initiative:

1.  Because there has to be another way . . .

My colleague in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)'s Blackburn Contact Centre office recently collated an idea for our continuous improvement initiative which aims to find better ways of working. The idea recommended making a change to the questions on the People Survey. This is a survey conducted every year to measure how engaged our workforce is in different Departments in the Civil Service. She gathered the data, presented it as a graph and posted it on-line on our continuous improvement site which is called "Bright Ideas". This meant it could be considered by stakeholders. Unfortunately, she was told the issue was outside our scope in DWP and the idea was closed.


2.  Because someone will be willing to listen . . .

The survey is owned by the Cabinet Office. Now, I had just attended the Civil Service Local North West Academy where Emma Reed from the Cabinet Office had presented to us. I had already been in contact with her about a part-time staff network and although I wasn’t sure if she would appreciate being disturbed by me again, I thought it was worth getting in touch to see if she could provide any information about another way we could raise this issue. Emma was really helpful and was able to give me the name of another contact.

Jennifer is from the DWP and, through her networks, generated a continuous improvement idea that she has fed to the Cabinet Office. This was a good example of how the Civil Service Local Academies and Civil Servants from Departments can be empowered to make an important contribution to the reform agenda centrally. A great bit of initiative from DWP

Emma Reed, Deputy Director, Civil Service Group, Cabinet Office.


3.  Because it works!

Once the information had been sent through to the contact in the Cabinet Office, he was able to provide me with lots of information about how the people survey is developed and reviewed which I was then able to share with all the staff here. He also let me know the survey was currently under review and that they would use the idea and accompanying data and take this into account as part of their current review process. This meant that we could class this idea as successful and it was the first ever idea to be raised successfully outside DWP.

Cabinet Office were very effusive about the idea and the conduit through the Academy! An excellent outcome for Jen.

 Leo Castledine Head of Civil Service Local


It just goes to show what can be achieved by working collaboratively across different government departments. It was a proud moment for me and for Blackburn-  especially with the lovely feedback we received from the Cabinet Office and Civil Service Local.

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