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Christchurch City Council staff more engaged than a year ago

21 September 2006

The Council this week released the results of its second staff engagement study to its more than 2000 staff. Staff have again given the Council a clear message that they enjoy their work and that they want values to continue to drive the organisation’s leadership and culture.

The Council uses the engagement study as an internal measure of performance and the prestigious Performance Excellence Study Awards (PESA) as an external assessment of how well the organisation is managed.

Last week the Council was the country’s only local authority to win a PESA award. The assessors described it as an organisation in great heart, with sophisticated leadership and a clear focus on customer interests. They complimented the Council on making the connection between engagement and business results.

The Council’s Chief Executive Lesley McTurk  says there are some extremely positive signs in the engagement study, all of which reconfirm the Council’s drive to address areas it can improve on. The overall result is a modest increase in the engagement score of its staff with more than two thirds of staff engaged or nearly engaged.

“In the past year the Leadership Group and their team leaders have been working on initiatives to improve staff engagement throughout Council. One of these has been the focus on developing our leaders as we recognise their importance in creating a positive work environment for all staff which enables them to deliver excellence,” she says.

An analysis of the result shows a big increase in the engagement level of the senior leaders. 89% of the group are engaged compared with 67% a year ago. Nearly half the Council’s team leaders are engaged compared with just over a third last year.

More staff responded to the study this year – 79% this year compared with last year’s  72%. Of those responding 71% say their immediate manager lives the organisation’s values and  more say that they have a good understanding of the Council’s vision and goals.

Areas that the Council  will focus on in the year ahead, as identified in the study, are career opportunities, values, senior leadership and team work, Dr McTurk says.

Lesley McTurk says another pleasing aspect was an increase in engagement in groups that have undergone major change in the last three years. Staff in six of the eight groups in  Council have improved engagement since last year.   

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