Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has launched the Culture Diagnostics Survey Report of the Federal Civil Service of the 2017 to 2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan.
Government said it is ditching dictatorial practices and embracing more inclusiveness in decision making.
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, said this at the launch of the report, and said the primary goal is “to achieve a culture of change across the Civil Service” through a number of strategic initiatives which include growing a new culture, emphasizing increased employee productivity of the civil service, improved customer-client relationship and improved altitude to work.
The report indicated that a Sservice-wide Cultural Diagnostic Survey (CDS) was deployed and a total of 5,876 employees completed the survey out of 10,000 surveyed. The employees surveyed reported a strong level of organisational identity.
However, findings of the survey also suggest that the civil service is plagued with low morale and lack of motivation among employees.
“In particular, dominant mindsets include the prevalence of nepotism in recruitment and promotion; inconducive work environment and lack of adequate work tools; too much emphasis on seniority and “wait-for-your-time” practice—which stifles innovation and creativity; lack of accountability resulting in impunity; poor salaries and differences in pay structures; rigidity and bureaucratic bottlenecks; and general lack of commitment and unprofessionalism. The dimness of these negative mindsets notwithstanding, findings of the CDS also show rays of hope. Respondents’ comments suggest that the cultural pendulum of the federal civil service is swinging from the statusquo (that is, business as usual) towards a desire and readiness for transformative change.
“Respondents stated indicated readiness for a paradigm shift, including strong preference for collaboration versus functional silos; accountability over impunity; diligence over lackadaisical attitudes; hard work over laziness; punctuality over lateness; integrity and honesty over corruption; trust over fear; flexibility over rigidity; autonomy instead of dependence; and compliance with due processes as opposed to nepotism, tribalism, favoritism and religious sentiments.
“Analyses of the survey data suggest that this readiness for transformative change is mostly palpable among older respondents (those who are at least 40 years old), those with postgraduate degrees, respondents on GL 15 or higher, and those who have served in the FCS for at least 15 years.”
Oyo-Ita said going forward, the Service will use the results of the survey “to identify top three values that best reflect EPIC culture and define core values.
“Align on change story to describe EPIC culture objectives to be achieved. Impact focused story, that must excite employee, address their questions, and outline the response required. We will distil change story to target specific employees in line with the CDS report.
Develop communications work plan tailored internally to describe EPIC culture, and clarify issues…”