Civil servants quizzed on ‘priorities for change’

Written by Richard Johnstone on 5 October 2020 in News

Annual People Survey seeks Whitehall-wide input to help guide reform plan


Civil service chief operating officer Alex Chisholm has launched this year's Civil Service People Survey for officials to help inform "priorities for change" across government.

The poll, which takes place against the backdrop of a reform drive aimed at improving the use of data science across government, has new questions for 2020 on civil servants’ health and wellbeing and the impact of coronavirus on their work. These “reflect the extraordinary changes to all of our lives”, Chisholm said,

Submissions can be made for the 12th annual survey during the whole of October, and the Cabinet Office permanent secretary said he wanted as many as possible to have their say.

“We want to know what you think, so that it can help us improve your experience of working not just in the civil service, but also your own department," Chisholm said.

Related content

"Every survey provides valuable information – in total confidence – that helps us make important decisions on how to improve life in the civil service and inform our collective priorities for change. It takes us a step closer to upholding our vision to be a Brilliant Civil Service, providing outstanding support to the government in delivering its priorities.”

Civil service reform is a priority for prime minister Boris Johnson, who has said that the civil service must "respond faster and better" to the public's needs, and his top adviser Dominic Cummings. It has been reported, although subsequently disputed, that Cummings warned a "hard rain” was coming for Whitehall, and that reforms would make “the centre of government smaller, empower departments and change civil service fundamentals to improve performance”.

Chisholm, who moved into the role of COO with a brief to “lead the ongoing transformation of the civil service”, has already launched a “prospectus” for reform that promised to look at changes across “the whole system, at every level”.

Last year’s survey was completed by over 300,000 civil servants, and the civil service employee engagement score, the benchmark of staff satisfaction, hit a record 63%.

Chisholm said the 2019 poll results “reflected the extraordinary teamwork, pride and enthusiasm right across the organisation”. 

Last year, 78% of respondents said their work gave them a sense of personal accomplishment, and that the majority of benchmark question scores equalled or surpassed the 2018 figures, he said.

He urged officials have their say in 2020, adding: "Thank you in advance for your help in shaping our future together.”


About the author

Richard Johnstone is acting editor of PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World where this story first appeared. He tweets as @CSW_DepEd

Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Cabinet Office considers options for talented interns after suspension of government graduate scheme
9 August 2022

Central department says it 'remains committed to internship programmes' and seek to find possibilities for those who would normally be fast-tracked into paused Fast Stream scheme

‘Remote monitoring and virtual wards’ – Javid unveils NHS tech transformation plan to clear Covid backlogs
29 June 2022

Health secretary claims that use of NHS app is ‘at the heart of’ strategy to reform health service

Whitehall chief: ‘From AOs to perm secs – we all need to be data confident’
20 June 2022

Government operations leader wants departments to make better use of the ‘huge amounts of data’ at their disposal

Edinburgh seeks £12m support for digital inclusion and growth projects
10 August 2022

Local authority makes bid for funding from central government