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Public-sector leaders admit their organisations are ill-equipped to deal with inevitable change

Business leaders in the public sector want to get more involved in the change agenda in their organisations, making people issues a top priority, but a quarter admit their organisation is poorly equipped to deal with change, HR magazine has learned.

In fact, only 15% think their organisation is ‘very well equipped' for the inevitable changes ahead following the Government's proposed public sector cuts.

According to a report from Communications Management, based on a survey of 105 public sector CEOs and senior business leaders representing local government, central government, education and health, almost half (47%) see people issues such as low morale and redundancies as the biggest issue in their business.

Respondents cited structural change (including headcount) as their biggest change priority over the coming year (41%)  -  putting it above strategic policy change (28%).

But although 75% of those surveyed feel ‘broadly ready' for change, a quarter admitted they need ‘personal help' to even begin the change process. And a similar number (24%) said they need help ‘dealing with the impact of my own morale and those around me in having to implement redundancies'.

The survey found the biggest barriers to change to be poor internal communications (39%), lack of effective leadership (33%), lack of experience in change management (32%), lack of training (31%) and lack of clarity on the benefits of change to employees (25%).