25th February 2022
Pathway to Change Agreement – The Big Trust Survey 2022
Further to LTB 059/22 circulated on 9th February 2022, Branches and Representatives will be aware that the final interim trust survey has now been held.
The 2021 Big Trust Survey was a departure from the previous paper-based employee survey and contained a reduced, more concentrated question set. This theme has continued and the next annual Big Trust Survey is to be conducted online from 4th – 24th April 2022. In advance of this and in order to continue our joint involvement, meetings have taken place with Royal Mail Group to discuss and agree the joint arrangements and messages prior to the survey being launched.
The survey will be accessible via QR code, weblink or the RMG People App and promoted jointly in order to maximise the number of participants. This will ensure that all members have the opportunity to register their views and provide the information which will then be used locally to agree an action plan for their unit or shift. At the time of writing, the ability to access the survey via the PDA is also being scoped and examined by the relevant technical team but may well require a small scale trial run to ensure that it does not interfere with the functioning of the PDAs.
Pay numbers are not required but the unit or shift where the feedback has occurred will be identified through the QR code. This will allow further joint analysis to take place and can lead to intervention (where required) by the local parties in the first instance.
It is worth noting that the 5 key questions that make up the Royal Mail Trust Score have a gateway of 70% on a national basis for managerial bonuses. This is a massive departure from the previous surveys and will be the first time that our members have a genuine opportunity to express a view on how they feel they are treated in the workplace which can reflect on how they are positively or negatively managed, which could have an impact on managerial reward. The results of this survey will therefore provide the best indication to date whether trust is improving.
Joint communications are currently being planned and discussed and will start to land week commencing 28th March 2022. The agreed joint communication plan will include leaflets to workplaces, joint events with Simon Thompson (Chief Executive Officer of Royal Mail) and myself through Facebook live and other channels as well as a jointly agreed postcard to home addresses. The survey will also be promoted through emails from Royal Mail, via messages on the PDA, printed on payslips and through additional joint communications in the workplace.
The Divisional Representatives and the equivalent Field Officials in the other RMG business units will continue to have a key role to play by ensuring that the Big Trust Survey is placed as a standard item on the meeting agenda with their respective Managers and is discussed at Divisional meetings.
Whilst there may be an element of cynicism amongst some members, the continued importance of the joint action plans to improve trust, culture and the working environment cannot be underestimated.
It was evident that the challenging revision timetable in 2021 did not provide Representatives in some units with the space and time to fully engage in this process. There is however, an opportunity to refresh this approach in 2022 and the intention is to highlight examples of workplaces where this has been successful through joint communications. The requirement for agreed action plans will be a central point of the joint communications plan with a renewed focus on jointly attempting to pick out and resolve issues of concern that are highlighted in the workplace.
Local Representatives can effectively use the information and associated timelines for resolution as a means of securing progress on the specific issues that members raise in the workplace.
Branches and Representatives will appreciate that the most improved areas of the interim surveys were those where there was open and honest communication as well as a joint approach with CWU Representatives and Managers working together to create the right environment for cultural improvement. It is also crucial that the action planning that takes place is conducted jointly with genuine input from members and is not seen simply as a ‘box-ticking’ exercise by Managers. Representatives should continue to challenge where this is not the case.
Whilst specific functional questions have jointly been seen as a success and will be included again in the interim surveys later in 2022, due to the technical difficulties in breaking these down over the entirety of the workforce, such questions will not be included in the Big Trust Survey.
Improving Culture and Trust
In the 2021 Big Trust Survey there was the option to include comments on the question ‘What would you like to see change where you work to help build better relationships?’ Over 20,000 individual comments were received which were then broken down by theme. The most common feedback was around managerial credibility and was summarised as “Common themes emerged around Managers lacking interpersonal skills and not being approachable. Different Managers say different things, or go back on what they’ve said which depletes trust levels. Not being present or not being there for their people drives a them and us culture.”
In terms of units with continually bad scores or that have become considerably worse, these areas should be an obvious focus for joint work to identify and improve problems on a local basis. Where appropriate and following the conclusion of the trial that is currently underway, pro-active cultural reviews of the type that have proved successful at Bridgwater and Whitechapel DOs may be considered.
Branches and Representatives will understand that improving culture, trust and the working environment continues to remain central to growing the business and ensuring a successful future. This will help to enhance the terms and conditions of our members going forward. It should continue to be the ambition of all Representatives who wish to encourage an accurate picture of the offices they represent to ensure that as many members as possible take part in the survey and provide honest feedback.
In closing, I would like to thank Postal Executive members Katrina Quirke, Shelley Banbury, and Rob Wotherspoon for their continued work on the Trust Survey.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Yours sincerely, Terry Pullinger Deputy General Secretary (Postal)