Agenda and minutes

Employment Committee - Wednesday, 15th June, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

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No. Item


Apologies for absence

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    Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Anna Kelly and Councillor Annie Mason.


    Councillor Penny Mines was a substitute for Councillor Anna Kelly.


Disclosure of interests

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    Members are asked to disclose any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.


    None disclosed.


Updates from the previous meeting

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    To consider updates on the Actions agreed at the previous meeting.


    The HR Manager stated that the Phase 1 restructure had been confirmed and currently there were no further updates.



Employee Engagement Survey

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    A presentation and discussion of the Employee Survey results, subsequent actions and next steps.

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    The HR Manager presented the report on the Employee Engagement Survey 2021/22 which had taken place in December 2021.


    The survey had been undertaken by an independent provider, Protostar UK.  Areas covered within the survey included management, leadership, communications and wellbeing, with 55 questions being asked.


    Members were given a presentation in respect of an on line document that had been compiled and would be communicated to employees concerning the results of the survey and the action plan in place following the feedback received.  The document would be kept updated throughout the year and actions communicated to employees.


    Forty-five percent of employees had responded to the survey which was down from 64% the previous year. The response rate was lower than anticipated and there had been challenges engaging with people who were working from home.  Work had been done to engage with as many people as possible, with officers going down to the depot to encourage people to respond and the survey deadline had been extended.


    The engagement index which was made up of six key questions was 64% which was lower than the 65.5% of the previous year.  Positive areas of the survey were around Covid and decision making during this period, and individual teams being treated with respect and supported within those teams scored highly.  One of the lowest scoring questions was around moral which at 32% was similar to previous surveys.  Work had been done to explore the reasons for this.  Other low scoring questions were around communication between departments and perceived career opportunities within the Council.  Due to the lower response rate and variation in team sizes it had been difficult to compare and breakdown the responses received. 


    Highest responses had been received from the senior management in neighbourhoods and licensing, leisure and building control.  The lowest scores had come from housing repairs, arts and benefits.


    One of the steps following the survey was the launch of the People Panel in March 2022.  The Panel comprised 25 colleagues from different departments and they looked in more depth at the results of the survey,what it was telling us, what people were thinking when they completed the survey and what actions could be derived from the feedback received.  Separate sessions were also held with the Leadership Teams of each department around what the survey results revealed.    Managers then held separate engagement sessions with their teams on the results and what specific actions employees wanted to see.  At a meeting of the People Panel held last month priority actions from across the Teams were agreed.


    A comment was made about the low response rate, less than half the employees had completed the survey, and the question was asked if employees still had the opportunity to take a break and fill the survey in during work time, also that the survey continued to be anonymous.  It was also felt that due to the low response rate the results were not as meaningful as previous surveys where completion had been higher.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


People Plan Update including HR Dashboard

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    The Chairman introduced the report which updated Members on the HR People Plan and included the HR Metrics from the HR Dashboard for the financial year 2021/22.


    The People Plan focused on the six main strands of the HR Strategy:


    ·       Engagement

    ·       Development

    ·       Recruitment/Workforce Planning

    ·       Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

    ·       Reward and Recognition

    ·       Wellbeing


    and the actions being taken/planned in respect of each area.  Engagement had been spoken about during the previous agenda item.


    Under the Development section:

    ·       497 individuals attended learning events across 112 separate events. 

    ·       There were 14 apprenticeships (9 new and 4 graduated from courses)

    ·       Apprenticeships covered building control, planning, electricians, plumbers and HGV drivers.

    ·       Two people had been employed through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme which was aimed at people aged between 16 – 24 years old who were on Universal Credit getting into work and had been very successful.

    ·       Work was in progress to employ a student from Loughborough University as part of a sandwich placement in Planning Services.

    ·       66%, 220 appraisals had been completed to date.

    ·       Work was on going to upskill managers and aspirations discussed during the appraisal process.

    ·       Wide array of different management courses taking place around the new on-line Management System.


    Under Recruitment/Workforce Planning Section:

    ·       Outturn headcount for Quarter4 was 546, 282 males, 264 females, 435 FT and 111PT.

    ·       There had been 90 new starters and 119 leavers, this was an increase in leavers from the 84 of the previous year and mirrored what was happening in other organisations.  Benchmarking with other Local Authorities showed that South Kesteven was still below average in turnover.  Exit interviews took place with Managers and HR to discuss the reason for the leaving the organisation.


    A question was asked about whether it was specific sections or demographic where staff were leaving.  It was noted that street scene had a high turnover of staff as did housing.  From a demographic perspective the leavers tended to be 50+.


    ·       44% of staff had been with the authority less than 6 years, but there was a good mix of other service time.

    ·       Work was being undertaken on attracting people to come and work for South Kesteven with videos being taken of staff as part of the campaign and in person inductions starting again.

    ·       Work was being done in respect of resignations and contingency planning.

    ·       Currently 97% of staff were on a one month notice period and when annual leave was built into it, it didn’t leave time for a decent handover or recruitment period.  Consultation was taking place with unions to increase some contractual notice periods and work was being done to improve the quality of handover planning.


    Questions were asked about career fayres for local schools and universities and open days.  In respect of apprenticeships work was done with local schools but work had been impacted by Covid and it was confirmed that open days had taken place in the past.  The Leader indicated that he had attended sixth forms and colleges in the past and also there had been an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Work Programme 2022 - 2023 pdf icon PDF 163 KB

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    Additional documents:


    The following items were discussed for inclusion on the Work Programme:


    ·       Director’s targets – next meeting

    ·       Pension Policy – next meeting

    ·       Report to Committee on the move to the new accommodation when it had been completed


    The HR Manager stated that she would be meeting with the Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities, the Monitoring Officer and the Chairman of the Employment Committee to discuss the next agenda.


    One Member asked about when the Intranet would be coming to Committee.  It was stated that a fundamental overhaul of the system was required and a report would be coming to the September meeting about what the next steps entailed.


Any other business, which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances, decides is urgent

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Close of meeting

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    The meeting closed at 11:36.