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Kerslake: Pride in public service best way to fight cuts
Lord Kerslake joined Odgers Interim’s Public Sector reception to call on pride in public service to counteract the effect of cuts.
The former head of the Civil Service emphasised the importance of pride in maintaining high standards of work in local communities, amid cuts to central funding and pay packages.
Addressing “negative briefings” from Government ministers, he put the onus squarely on leaders in the public sector to encourage pride and civic duty among its workforce. Only they, according to Kerslake, can “champion” the sector.
He identified two different types of leader; one who “takes the hit” in the face of public scrutiny and another who immediately looks to place the blame elsewhere. Given the challenges the sector faces, Kerslake encouraged leaders to foster a team spirit to boost workplace morale.
To recognise the unique role of public sector workers, Kerlsake called for a break from a culture of “meeting targets”. Instead results should be measured on “difference made” to really demonstrate the value of working in the sector.
Bambos Eracleous, who leads Odgers Interim’s Government practice, commented: “We hosted this event to bring leaders from across the public sector together to discuss and address the unique challenges they face. What’s clear from Lord Kerslake’s remarks, and from our own conversations with senior figures across this space, is that this is a time of unprecedented change in the sector. As a provider of senior interim executives, this has been clearly demonstrated to us in the form of a rising demand for interims across all parts of the public sector who can lead organisations through the numerous challenges they face”.
“As an executive search firm, this has been clearly demonstrated to us in the form of rising demand for interims in the sector. More organisations on the lookout for turnaround specialists who can drive through change while maintaining essential services that our communities rely upon.”
Lord Bob Kerslake, Chair at London’s King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added:
‘It was a great evening and a brilliant opportunity to meet up with colleagues at what has become an annual event. I wanted to say how important it was to build pride in the Public Sector. This is vital if we are to keep staff motivated and engaged during a challenging period. Pride is about more than meeting targets but an emotional connection to how we feel personally. I think the marvellous achievements of improving the trauma services in London provided a powerful example of this.’