In 2015 the Guardian commissioned a survey looking into the impact of working in public services on staff. The survey found that 93% of respondents ‘feel stressed at work all, some, or a lot of the time; those working in jobs ranging from social work to police and probation, social housing to the NHS, civil service and charities’. The headline for the article read ‘stressed, angry and demonised: council staff in austerity Britain’ acknowledging that local government workers are feeling the emotional strain of maintaining services with diminishing resources. This raises the question; how can we build resilience in organisations that support staff to effectively meet the ever-increasing demands of delivering frontline services?
Those of us who work or have worked in local government and voluntary sector organisations, will have experienced the pressures to deliver on national government policies while offering appropriate, accessible services at local level that meet the needs of our communities and service users. Localisation has allowed local authorities to define their own priorities based on community need. However, this has created challenges when implementing national priorities such as changes in legislation to address coercive control and psychological violence. How can we ensure consistency in information, advocacy and support when there may be gaps in services at local level?
Austerity may have reduced budgets, but the social issues they address have not reduced. Most professionals working in the public sector and specialist third sector are overwhelmed by demand. That demand for services is often increased with successful public awareness campaigns, landmark legal changes and political re-prioritisation. Welcomed as many of these changes may be, for managers and staff responsible for delivering change, the task may seem impossible at times.
Having managed a diverse range of teams, projects and partnerships over the last thirty years, here are 3 things for senior managers to consider when supporting your teams.
Published in Coercive Control Chat Magazine