More pride in private sector companies


Workers in the private sector have more confidence in where their organisation is going and feel greater pride in the job it is doing for customers and clients than their public sector counterparts.

Research carried out by Mori for the Work Foundation has found that almost seven out of 10 (69 per cent) of private sector employees feel their senior management have a clear vision of where the organisation is going, compared with six out of 10 (61%) of those in the public sector.

Public sector workers are also more likely to be critical of their organisation to customers, friends and family than those in the private sector. More than one in seven (15 per cent) of public sector workers are critics of their organisation as an employer compared with just one in 10 private sector workers.

Chief among the complaints of public sector workers are that they need less bureaucracy, more resources, less stress and better management to do a better job.

Though pay is important, it does not differentiate between those workers who are advocates or critics of their employer. Instead, better management, better internal communications, higher morale, less internal bureaucracy and better training would all make the difference to how unhappy workers feel about their jobs.

But the overall picture across both public and private sector is encouraging. Two thirds of employees think their senior management provides clear leadership, while a similar proportion would speak highly of the services their organisation provides. Almost six out of 10 would also speak highly of their employer.

Rather less encouraging, however, is the fact that the further people are from the top of their organisation, the less likely they are to be aligned with its objectives.

Almost eight out of 10 managers and senior officials are likely to think that top management has a clear vision for their organisation compared to fewer than six out of 10 manual or elementary staff.

Older – and perhaps more cynical - workers are also less likely to say that senior management has a clear vision (58% of those aged more than 55 compared with 69% of those aged under 44).

"Employee commitment to their organisation has an impact upon the services they provide," said Alexandra Jones, Associate Director of The Work Foundation.

"High quality public services require the Government to ensure that the changes taking place across the public sector go hand in hand with initiatives to build worker morale and confidence. "

Gideon Skinner, Research Director at MORI, agreed. "Public service workers 'morale is a key issue, as we know that staff advocacy is an important driver of reputation. This raises the question: what are public sector workers telling their friends, family, and customers about the quality of the public services they provide?"