Last year we wrote a post giving advice to new local government workers. We provided ten tips and our wonderful readers chimed in with another 16. Together this provided a pretty awesome collection of tips for new local government workers.
26. Move around and try to get experience in a few different parts of the council you work for (or councils). If you start out as a graduate accountant, planner, social worker, HR bod etc. then by all means hone those skills but then be prepared to move. Local gov is a rich tapestry of roles and systems, you’ll ensure your longevity in the sector if you broaden your skill set.
I was reminded of this comment again this week as I reviewed some data about staff retention in my Local Authority. Unsurprisingly, if you exclude redundancies there is relatively little turnover, either within or outside the council. Our HR team still present this figure as a sign of success and I wondered whether that was really the case. Indeed, I strongly felt it wasn’t.
I think there are two real challenges in the above comment which my HR colleagues, and indeed all of Local Government, will need to think about.