47 per cent of public sector doubt leadership management skills

47 per cent of public sector workers doubt the management skills of their leadership teams, according to a new report.

The ‘Invigorating the public sector revolution’ report from the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (Solace) and Civica explores how changes in culture and leadership style are critical to achieving transformation in the public sector.

It also found that 36 per cent of public sector workers want leaders to invest in creating a more flexible and adaptive working environment, with only seven per cent of respondents saying the public sector was an empowering environment to work in.

34 per cent of public sector employees at middle manager level and below believe leaders need to alter the entire organisational structure, with 30 per cent claiming a lack of clear direction is holding the sector back from effective change.

The report calls for leaders to do more to empower the workforce and create an organisational culture and structure that supports and drives transformation.

Kim Ryley, former CEO and chair, Solace in Business, commented: “The biggest barriers are not technology or resource based, they are people’s attitudes. Public sector organisations need a style of leadership that creates a sense of purpose where they can sell hope to the people, and visibly walk the walk.”

Wayne Story, deputy CEO of Civica, concluded: “As the pace of change accelerates, not everyone has the necessary skills to manage and build on the shifts taking place. Public sector leaders need to be able to empower and inspire the wider workforce and take responsibility for building a culture that encourages employees to innovate and try new ways of working without fear of failure.

“Whilst excellent public sector training and development exists to support individual challenges, we would propose introducing a nationally-funded programme to arm leaders with the skills they require to meet future demands and effectively manage the significant change and increasing expectation using tools and technology available to encourage collaboration and innovation.”