• CQC staff survey poor on tech, communication and change
  • Positive on teams, trust and morale
  • Executive directors asked to lead improvements to address tech, communication and change management

Directors at the Care Quality Commission have been tasked with improving staff engagement after the regulator was given mixed results in a staff survey.

Almost nine out of 10 staff at the CQC said they felt their work made a difference, with similar positive ratings for team effectiveness and trust in line managers, in the survey for 2018.

Morale at the CQC improved on its 2017 survey by 3 percentage points, along with a 2 percentage point rise in wellbeing and workload.

But the proportion of people saying they understood the CQC’s strategic direction fell by 9 per centage points, and those being committed to the overall strategy by 11 per cent.

Staff rating their equipment and technology as positive fell 9 percentage points to 41 per cent; effectiveness of communication dropped by 2 percentage points; and a view on how well change is implemented fell 1 point to 21 per cent.

Only 41 per cent of staff said action would be taken as a result of the survey with a similar number reporting being aware of action taken since the last survey.

More than 80 per cent of CQC staff completed the survey, which was carried out in October 2018. In previous years, staff results have highlighted frustrations with poor technology and excessive workloads.

A report for the CQC board, written by Kiran Prashar, head of organisational development, said: “With a similar story to last year, we can take reassurance that we are continuing to build on our strengths and we are focused on tackling the right areas.

“However, we must also reflect that on these issues colleagues have not seen visible signs of improvement for some time.”

His plans state that CQC executive directors, including chief inspectors, will now take ownership of the main actions and give quarterly updates on progress. Actions will focus on improving technology, internal communications and management of change.

CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm told the regulator’s board last week: “I think in some respects there’s a lot to like about the survey in the sense that it demonstrates a values-driven organisation. It demonstrates an organisation where people believe in its mission.

“But I think we as a senior executive team need to recognise this criticism of us here, in terms of… our visibility.

“We clearly talked about change over the last year, but we haven’t necessarily articulated what that really means in terms of the journey. So we’ve kind of made people uncomfortable but not told them why things are going to be better.”

He added: “So I think it’s not a great picture, but equally it’s not an utterly terrible picture either and there’s a lot of activity which is already in hand which we hope is going to address some of these things.”

He said members of the CQC executive team would be leading changes and making sure they were visible to staff.