HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Morale Collapses

Staff Morale
A recent staff survey of 53,000 members of HMRC, conducted by HMRC, shows that staff morale has collapsed even further.

Even HMRC's CEO, Lesley Strathie, has described the fact that out of 11 government departments HMRC is ranked last as being "hugely disappointing".

The findings show that only 25% of those surveyed are proud to work for HMRC, and a mere 14% are "highly motivated".

In 2007 a similar survey showed that 19% felt that "senior management provide effective leadership", that figure is now a pitiful 11%.

Lesley Strathie is quoted in Accountancy Age:

"As a department we cannot afford to ignore these results and my senior management team and I take them extremely seriously".

The question is, what will the board do to improve the situation?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. It's intresting that our chief exec has said these results cannot be ignored because that is exactly what happened to the results of last years survey

  2. This is old news ! but at least HMRC can boast that they were consistent ... consistently bad !

  3. I'll tell you what the board will do here in HMRC.

    Fuck all

  4. "I'll tell you what the board will do here in HMRC"....

    ....they'll hit us with a veritable deluge of new, super important spreadsheets, all of which will depress morale even further and get in the way of the job in hand.

  5. Interestingly, these poor results go back as far as 2005. I checked the previous staff surveys (from memory, I think there have been 5 or 6 of them since 2005) and you can see a definite downward trend, year on year, to the current deplorable percentages we have now.

    Because the questions are worded slightly differently each year, it's not possible to do a direct, across-the-board comparison from survey to survey, but certain questions are sufficiently similar to allow a small comparison. In the case of those questions, the percentages have consistently dropped, year on year.

    When I get the opportunity, I may make these percentages available so we can all see what managers appear to find impossible to comprehend - people aren't happy and they have no confidence in senior management.

  6. Serious Cat... I can't decide whether the managers are just complete thickos and cannot see it for themselves, or if they are being deliberately obtuse and refuse to accept the truth.

    Either way, I don't trust 'em. There is no goodwill left in our office... thanks to their nasty, vicious control-freakery. Fuck the lot of them I say!!!

  7. The problem is that the managers are all in incestuous relationships figuratively speaking and that all they are interested in is making themselves look good to their superiors - mainly at the expense of the efforts of the front line staff -and that doing a good job and giving a good service does not matter to them if it means they will not meet the arbitrary targets imposed from above. There seem to be too many managers who spend all their time at meetings dreaming up new initiatives that have little to do with improving the service and all to do with them not rocking the boat and whose knowledge of the front line work of tax assessment or collection and what actually works in practice is minimal

  8. I present, for information purposes, a few figures selected from the last 6 staff surveys.

    As previously stated, many of the questions/statements are different in each survey, but a handful are the same and capable of comparison.

    (Please note, there were two staff surveys conducted in 2005, one in May and another in November.)

    Statement 1: I am proud to work for HMRC

    05/2005 - 43%
    11/2005 - 40%
    2006 - 36%
    2007 - 39%
    2008 - 33%
    2009 - 25%
    Down 18%

    05/2005 - 36%
    11/2005 - 36%
    2006 - 34%
    2007 - 38%
    2008 - 36%
    2009 - 38%
    Up 2%

    05/2005 - 21%
    11/2005 - 24%
    2006 - 30%
    2007 - 23%
    2008 - 31%
    2009 - 37%
    Up 16%

    Statement 2: I would recommend HMRC as a good place to work

    05/2005 - Question not asked
    11/2005 - 37%
    2006 - 28%
    2007 - 30%
    2008 - 25%
    2009 - 17%
    Down 20%

    05/2005 - Question not asked
    11/2005 - 28%
    2006 - 25%
    2007 - 26%
    2008 - 24%
    2009 - 31%
    Up 3%

    05/2005 - Question not asked
    11/2005 - 36%
    2006 - 46%
    2007 - 44%
    2008 - 50%
    2009 - 52%
    Up 16%

    Statement 3: I think HMRC is well managed

    05/2005 - 26%
    11/2005 - 22%
    2006 - 20%
    2007 - 19%
    2008 - 15%
    2009 - 11%
    Down 15%

    05/2005 - 38%
    11/2005 - 38%
    2006 - 35%
    2007 - 28%
    2008 - 27%
    2009 - 25%
    Down 13%

    05/2005 - 36%
    11/2005 - 40%
    2006 - 46%
    2007 - 52%
    2008 - 58%
    2009 - 64%
    Up 28%

    I think these figures speak for themselves. In 2005, only a quarter of staff felt that HMRC was well managed. In just 4 years, that figure has dropped to a tenth. Nearly 90% of staff are unable to have confidence in HMRC's management.

    Since the 2009 survey and its appalling results, what has the reaction of senior management been? Er, not much that I can see.

    Despite these atrocious - nay, scandalous - figures, I actually have a small measure of sympathy for senior managers. They are faced with a department that simply doesn't have the budget to revolutionise itself and, thanks to Brown, Darling et al, that budget is being slashed year on year.

    We are actually in the position whereby if a taxpayer e-mails us documentation in Word 2007 format, we can't read it. Why? Our version of Word is too old. Can we upgrade to 2007? No, there isn't enough money in our budget.

    This is the HMRC that Gordon Brown has created.

    This will be his legacy.

  9. Too much senior management a department so large it suffers from the law of unintended consequences where one bit of the organisation has no idea that its "initatives" screw up the work of another directorate. HMCE had its faults and crap managers but at least it worked, the same probably applied to IR but the moron Brown has created an orwellian nightmare that does nothing at all.

  10. The problem is a simple one. HMCE had no"officer class". We were a service based on merit. If you were good enough, you got to the top. There was no fast stream. You were expected to do your time as whatever before you got to the top. Then we were swamped by the over-promoted revenue wankers. We now have Grade 6 civil servants in charge who might have made good "officers" with a bit of training. When the Metropolitan Police was first formed, they avoided ex-military officers for exactly this reason - No clubs of over-promoted muppets. Well, we've got them now and god help us. Full of management bullshit and no real ability.

  11. Anon at 21 July 2009 19:58:

    Well said!! The current rock bottom state of morale stems directly from the so called "merger" - the new culture imported from the IR is one of intense gradeism aided and abetted by an accompanying command and control mentality that absolutely stultifies any independent thought.

    HMC@&E wasn't perfect but at least you were treated as a human being and allowed to get on with your job without being micro managed to death.

  12. How about forming a movement, for a break-up.
    I am ex C&E working with Revenue wankers. I am just reading up some stuff on 'guerilla tactics'.
    Will try some at my office soon.

  13. BTW, I am serious about my last post. Well sort of.
    I used to play silly little pranks about 20yrs ago, (different Dept.)which used to drive management mad.
    Childish ones I admit. But quite funny.
    Just got to watch out for the Sys/Opps, as I don't want to spend my time at Camp Delta being waterboarded.

  14. One way to fuck up the call centre stats is to keep ringing the call centre number then hang up before they get a chance to answer your call. This goes down on the call centre stats as a "dropped" call which they don't like. Do it every time you find a spare few minutes throughout the day (remember to prefix your call with 141 to hide caller ID).

  15. As an ex C and E Officer in the merged Dept I agree with the comments about there being far too many highly paid managers mainly ex IR who do not add any value to the organisation and are incredibly gradeist.
    In the old C and E you all mucked in together and did not bother too much about grades as long as the job got done.
    .What is particularly galling is that in the Dept's annual report it reveals that around £2.5m was paid in bonuses to the top grades last year with an average of around £5000 each !

  16. Another staff survey just completed - mysteriously it will,seemingly,take 2-3 months to publish the results....all the signs are,as morale nosedives,that it will be soooooo much worse than the last one.It is now commonplace for senior managers to lie blatantly to staff when challenged, the spreadsheet culture in HMRC is running amok, the people telling us to shut up and pretend everything is OK are leaving in droves under favourable retirement terms, stats are falsified etc etc.....