CDC successfully reduces staff costs without eroding morale

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CDC successfully reduces staff costs without eroding morale

Cotswold District Council has managed to reduce staffing budgets while maintaining morale at the Council.

In the last two years the Council has delivered a real terms reduction of £1.5M in its salaries budget with a 9% reduction in Full Time Equivalent staffing numbers. These very substantial and challenging financial savings have been achieved by working with staff through periods of significant change to ensure that morale remains high, and service performance is maintained during these difficult times.

The Council uses a simple satisfaction at work survey to monitor staff reactions regularly, and this has shown no overall reduction in morale over the last 2 years. This is because the system can quickly identify teams where low morale is a problem, enabling the Council to achieve maximum impact by targeting resources on the issues which require corrective action.

To help staff adapt to more efficient working methods they are being offered support which encourages them to create more effective working relationships. This has been achieved through the use of a staff development programme known as An Even Better Place to Work, an innovative on-line programme designed to tackle inefficiency through better teamwork and collaboration.

Since the programme was introduced, short term sickness absence has reduced from 1775 days per year to 1597 days per year. Additionally the number of long term absences due to work-based stress has reduced from 165 days a year to 63 days per year. These combined reductions account for the equivalent of almost 1.5 members of staff, which represents an annual saving of about £45,000.

CDC Leader, Cllr Lynden Stowe, explains: “Efficient businesses are those with reduced levels of conflict and misunderstanding, with fewer disputes and grievances and higher levels of customer satisfaction.

“The Council has had no formal grievances over the last eighteen months and, although we do not keep records of informal disputes, the reduction in time spent on this sort of time-consuming casework means we have been able to reduce the size of our Human Resources staffing budget from £212,000 to £162000.”

The programme, which runs for two years, was introduced into CDC at a cost of £19,000. The estimated annual IT licence costs that would be incurred after the initial two-year period are in the region of £4,000.

Posted : 28/06/2012 10:58:52

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