Figures released by the council show the workforce are non plussed over the wheeze to merge services with our two neighbours. Around 30% of staff who responded to the survey said they trust the council when it comes to making the right decisions.
80% of senior management believe it won't make it easier to deliver services, less than half of line managers think the council is being open and honest, and less than one in five of team members believe it is an exciting opportunity. 65% of all three, think they are more likely to lose their job.
The councils asked what effect the shared services will have on the authority,
Value for Money... 58% are unsure or think it will reduce, just 25% think it will increase.
Range of Services... Only 16% if workers think services will increase, and 51% say it will reduce.
Service Quality... 76% respondents say quality will be adversely affected.
H&F are more optimistic about the tie up and the possible benefits it will bring them and the council. K&C workers score the highest in trusting their council will make the right decisions, and Westminster are the most concerned about the range of services the council offers will be reduced.
One third of H&F staff feel they should share as many services as possible, to around one quarter each in K&C and Westminster. Many staff believe their workloads will increase making it harder to do their jobs and so quality will suffer.
There are general perceptions that K&C is in a stronger financial situation than the others, and so will be propping up the other two. Similarly rather than bring the quality of services up to K&C standards, it will be lowered to somewhere around the other two.
Now that got Hornet kind of wondering....
Change management is an artform, and to merge three London borough services is a task so immense and huge it shouldnt be taken lightly. It is true, on paper there are savings to be made, as any fool would realise. But you are a fool if you think you can just turn up, wave a magic wand and suddenly we all wake up living in the Super London Borough of HamKenSter.
The key component to delivering this mammoth project is the staff, the ones at the coalface.
If the staff survey results are anything to go by this is disastrous reading and a damning indictment of the slap dash amateur approach to tri borough working thus far. If the staff are not involved, or are working in a climate of uncertainty what will happen is quality of work will suffer and therefore service levels. Crucially the most able and career minded staff, the very ones the council should be keeping, will look to move on.
Politicians can sit in smoke filled rooms puffing on the West African finest, laughing and joking about how wonderful its going to be if we do this, that or the other while pouring themselves another Nespresso. The overriding principle in this has to be to deliver what is right for the tenants and residents, not what is the quickest way to the House of Lords.