PATHWAY TO CHANGE – CULTURE AND THE JOINT BIG TRUST SURVEY
Branches will be aware that the business recently held an independent online Trust Survey throughout Royal Mail Group from 22nd February to 2nd March 2021. Whilst the Union had input into the questions set and the length of the questionnaire, the advanced publicity and timing of the survey dictated that the Union’s involvement was late in the day and limited to discussions about the questionnaire therefore it was considered inappropriate for us to jointly promote this initiative.
The Trust Survey had a 16% response rate which included various levels of managers and the results were presented to the Postal Executive at a meeting on 17th March 2021 by Rachel Blackett, Head of Engagement at Royal Mail Group. Whilst 80% of respondents felt proud to work for the company, only 36% felt valued by Royal Mail Group and only 37% had trust in the Senior Leadership.
Clearly the new CEO, Simon Thompson has placed trust and culture at the centre of ongoing strategy and we, the CWU have made it clear that they are crucial factors in deploying our agreements successfully. The identification of those issues being joint priorities throughout the engagement at all levels and especially in the workplace is totally consistent with our policies and illustrate a marked change in managerial thinking.
The results of the first and independent trust survey had a far more honest and authentic feel to them and were quite brutal in the exposed thinking and feelings of the employees in RMG. Culture was a fundamental issue in our disputes over recent years and at last there was evidence that the surface had been scratched.
We fully appreciate people will be very cynical that surveys and questionnaires never result in action however we are determined to change the culture and we have to start somewhere and this is an early opportunity to influence and move that policy forward.
Against that backdrop, the Postal Executive agreed that joint activity of this type and encouraging the greater participation of our members could well be an important catalyst for improving culture, trust and the working environment going forward. As a result, further meetings were held with the business in order to have input into an additional survey that could be jointly promoted.
Royal Mail Group is committed to conducting an annual research exercise to inform both their Annual Report & Accounts submission as well as their Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Report. Historically this data has been gathered through the Employee Survey (ES) that the Union has had little opportunity to shape. Whilst the business has continued to conduct the ES across the whole of RMG and some of the questions are mandatory in terms of benchmarking with external companies, it has had little credibility with our members or link with our joint agenda to improve both culture and the working environment.
On behalf of the DGS(P) Department, Postal Executive members Shelley Banbury, Katrina Quirke and David Wilshire met with Rachel Blackett, RMG and her team on both 23rd and 26th March 2021 to discuss how an agreed, revised and slim-line survey could be jointly conducted and supported.
The attached questionnaire has now been agreed and the survey is due to run from 19th April until 9th May 2021. Branches will appreciate that this Big Trust Survey is far removed from the previous Employee Survey with the twenty-four questions (attached) being under half the previous size. The survey is accessible via QR code, weblink or the RMG People App and is being promoted jointly in order to maximise the number of participants. Whilst pay numbers are not required this time, the unit or shift where the feedback has occurred will be identified through the QR code therefore allowing for future joint targeted questions and analysis to take place with additional joint work where certain themes are identified.
Examples of some of the agreed joint briefing material to be used locally are also attached and Branches will see that in line with the joint commitments in the Pathway to Change Agreement these contain the key messages about improving culture, the working environment and trust. The joint questionnaire includes our key culture question that was asked during the joint workplace visits to circa 65 sites in 2019 “I would recommend RMG to family or friends as key place to work”.
The results from this survey will enable us to drill down into every single site in the country and it is therefore important that the participation from our members is maximised.
Branches should note that time will be allowed during work time for members to complete the Big Trust Survey and that a postcard containing the unique unit code will be sent to home addresses. In addition, a joint Facebook Live Session will take place in the same week as when the survey begins.
The data that is gathered and jointly assessed will help to inform our goal of delivering improved culture and trust and enhancing the workplace environment for our members. In advance of this, further discussions are continuing to agree a protocol for developing joint action plans at a unit or shift level in order to address the issues that relate to the specific workplace.
The intention is to follow the main annual survey with smaller joint pulse surveys and the DGS(P) Department are also in discussions regarding how joint activity of this type can be taken forward and utilised on a quarterly national basis or at a regional, divisional and local level if required.
We believe it is very important to promote this survey and encourage as many of our members as possible to express their views with the confidence that they will not be identified as individuals and can absolutely help us make a difference.
Further developments will be reported in due course.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)