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Engagement in the East

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The East of England Staff Engagement Network met recently in Cambridge for their second face to face event.

Launched in April 2014 by Civil Service Local, the network brought together over 40 civil servants from a range of departments to share good practice, information and ideas.

After a brief introduction by Ian Barton, Civil Service Local Co-ordinator for the East of England , attendees looked at what the network had achieved so far.  Updates were provided on a bespoke engagement workshop, created by members and designed to be used in any civil service workplace, and an accompanying resource pack.  You can read more about these here.

The keynote speaker for the day was David Widlake, Employee Engagement Adviser with the Cabinet Office.  He gave a fascinating insight into the People Survey.  He explained why it was created – to give an equal voice to all civil servants regardless of grade.  He outlined the measures taken to ensure that the survey is completely confidential and to allow total honesty from all respondents.  Attendees learned about some of the challenges involved in rolling the survey out to nearly 450,000 staff.  David explained how the survey is used to measure engagement and, more importantly, how it is used practically to generate improvements in departments.

Attendees next had the opportunity to discuss their own department’s results with each other and share details of what was being done to address the issues raised.

The event concluded with a look at the relationship between engagement and well-being and a discussion around how the network can continue to progress.

After the event, Carmel McCartney from Department for Work and Pensions said:

I welcomed the opportunity to discuss concerns and hear the issues colleagues from other Departments are dealing with and how they are working towards addressing these.

Zarah Hornett from the Legal Aid Agency agreed:

I really value the opportunity to share ideas and best practice – this gives such a sense of being part of a wider network and saves re-inventing the wheel.

If you are based in the East of England and would like to be involved with this network, please contact Ian Barton.

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