Council staff critical

Poor communication and distrust were among criticisms levelled at senior management within Macedon Ranges Shire Council in a staff survey conducted late last year.

The wounds of last year’s organisational restructure of Macedon Ranges Shire Council continued to be felt by employees months later, a staff survey conducted late last year has revealed.
In responses viewed by the Midland Express, employees expressed feelings of being let down, a clear level of distrust, and lingering dissatisfaction with communication from senior management.
“Senior management need to work hard to earn trust back from the organisation, as the saying goes, ‘the fish rots from the head’,” one employee wrote.
“Stop making operational decisions at executive level – you don’t know what happens at that level. Consult and engage with knowledgeable operational staff’,” wrote another.
“The timing of the restructure (during a pandemic) was unfortunate and I feel may have had a damaging effect on the organisation in terms of the level of trust among staff,” another wrote.
“The last six months within the organisation there has been a growing sense of distrust in the senior leadership team. The restructure process was not done well. If you are going to do a restructure there should be meaningful conversations with workers,” another said.
Acting CEO John Nevins acknowledged there was a need for improvement in investing in people and how they were valued by the organisation.
“While not an excuse, it needs to be remembered that this 2020 staff survey was undertaken when all of us were subject to the COVID-19 work from home and movement restriction requirements,” he said.
“And it was undertaken off the back of an organisational restructure, which was also challenging and created further uncertainty.
“The staff survey results reveal a strong customer service culture and commitment to improving productivity. They also convey that staff agree that their direct supervisor sets a good example for them and values their opinion.
“However, the survey results also convey that staff are dissatisfied with professional development opportunities and that organisational investment in its people is not meeting employees’ needs and expectations.”
Mr Nevins said it was clear there was goodwill among employees to make the organisation a better place to work and to provide a higher level of service to the community.
“The organisation is now looking forward to progressing on this basis,” he said.
“Central to this will be open and honest communications and a focus on maintaining organisational stability, rebuilding work teams post the organisation’s now completed restructure and engaging with our employees to ensure they all continue to have an opportunity to participate and contribute.”