Health | To ask the Minister for Health the issues that he and his Department have identified as being the most crucial in ensuring the availability and retention of staff at various levels
To ask the Minister for Health the issues that he and his Department have identified as being the most crucial in ensuring the availability and retention of staff at various levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Under Action 25 of the Civil Service Renewal Plan, the Civil Service as a whole committed to carrying out a series of employee engagement surveys, the first of which was undertaken in September 2015. The most recent survey, coordinated by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, was conducted in 2020. The surveys are undertaken to help civil service employers to understand and build on the strengths and talents of the people who work in the civil service and to identify any challenges to inform any required actions to address those challenges.
The 2020 results for the Department of Health are consistent, in general terms, with the results for the wider civil service. For the Department of Health the 2020 results indicate a positive, upward trend in most themes compared to previous surveys and reflect the impact of departmental initiatives that have taken place since 2015. Survey measures such as involvement and innovation climate, leadership and performance standards are factors which have been shown to influence the retention of staff. These measures have seen improvements since the first survey was undertaken in 2015 and the Department is continuing to focus on these areas for further development through various initiatives.
Current projects and initiatives include a Culture Project, the development and introduction of a Blended Working Policy, health and wellbeing supports, learning and development opportunities, promotional opportunities and increasing engagement with staff through various networks, the encouragement of social activities and most recently, the establishment of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working group. The Department manages its workforce planning via its governance structures and the availability and retention of staff is a matter of ongoing focus for the Department’s senior management
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