As my loyal readers know, it is soon time (the 26th of September to be precise) for the annual HMRC survey to begin.
As to when the other civil service surveys begin remains to be seen. However, if they begin later than HMRC's, then we can conclude that HMRC is still classified as "special".
Anyhoo, the powers that be within HMRC are keen to ensure that the results from this year's survey are markedly different from last year's (ie that HMRC don't rank 103rd in the list of civil service departments).
How are the powers that be ensuring that this year's results will be markedly better?
Well, aside from firing off some distracting chaff about Lesley Strathie coming back to her job, they have also been busy waging a "hearts and minds" campaign on the "shop floor".
My thanks to a loyal reader who posted a neat synopsis of the "hearts and minds" campaign being waged:
"I would ask HMRC staffers to point out to their less aware colleagues the following
Have you had more meetings with "senior" managers in the last two week? ( by senior I mean at least SO or above if you are in operations)
Have you been subjected to "success" stories in a hastily cobbled together in some form of e-mail attachment with "real" experiences if staff and how wonderful the organisation is at listening?
Have you suddenly had local management being ever so caring and empathising with "people issues" recently?
Have you noticed if uncomfortable issues are suddenly important and are considered "serious" after having been ignored for months (years) on end?
If you have noticed one, some or any of the above, welcome to People Survey week.
I have noticed all of the above.
It is a desperate last throw of the dice and I am uncomfortable with having to do it as I know the structure has not altered yet.
In my opinion, this is an attempt to influence the survey results in a last mad dash to provide upbeat stories and feel good news.
It is no coincidence, again it is my own opinion, that the announcement of 1100 jobs in compliance happened last week. Have a few thousand staff in operations chasing those jobs and distract them from the reality around.
This is blood and circuses.
The Romans were an astute lot to give the "games" to the mob to stop them rising up. HMRCs blood and circuses are designed to have the same effect.
Sad thing is, I can see it working in the people I manage."
In my view the only way there will be any chance of a positive improvement within HMRC, is if the staff survey is filled in by as many people as possible as honestly as possible; and that the results are then not manipulated/distorted by those with a vested interest in maintaining their fiefdoms.
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