I wonder how they are going to put any sort of positive spin on these results, so they can do what they did with the insignia survey.
597 responses while still only a small proportion of staff, it must be one of the best responded to surveys.
I have to admit the central tendency that these sort of things tends to result in is missing which is good, however when it’s on the negative side, action needs to be taken and this from any perspective is negative.
In each “satisfied / dis-satisfied” question more than 50% are in the ‘dis-satisfied’ section.
A greater proportion of squadron staff (70%) by rank and 77% of squadron staff overall answered this, which should be interpreted as there is a strength of opinion that we have been getting it so wrong and we need to do something and do it quick and make the organisation more friendly to the people who volunteer.
If I was reporting on this the main things I’d highlight are :
83% feel that admin adversely impacts their motivation
95% feel that additional bureaucracy is a burden
57% feel the additional admin is unnecessary
53% have between 5 and 20 years’ service. This will include the age groups that will form the backbone of staff over the coming 10-20 years. Lose these and you lose the potential senior / Wing staff in the next 5-10 years. Our Wing has been leaking its senior and Wing / expected to be Wing staff quite badly in the last 3-5 years.
The “period over which this has occurred” question can be largely ignored as it can be inferred to link to the above, although if people with less than 5 years’ service feel it has happened within their time in the organisation, it doesn’t bode well for the future as they will feel increasingly burdened with the very great potential to leave.
The areas/activities where the increases have occurred would need further studies to identify where the things deemed unnecessary. This additional study can be driven by using open question answers, to drill down into specifics.
Unsurprisingly the main generators of bureaucracy are HQAC, Wings and Regions, although how the two lower levels are considered this way, would suggest they are putting their own demands on volunteers.
However the categories ; General Administration and Organising Activities are major areas of concern as a general scan of open answers seems to imply people feel they are spending a disproportionate amount of squadron time doing administrative things, or, worse feeling they have to do it at home or during the time they are in their employment. The latter is potentially driven as the people who work for the ACO seem to expect that volunteers are able to respond to / answer problems, emails etc while the ACO employees are at work. This has to be looked into and the expectations should be that contact will be at the volunteer’s convenience and if it can’t internal processes (lead times, deadlines etc) need to be looked at to make them and the organisation more volunteer friendly.
There is also a worrying aspect that 14% of respondents feel additional bureaucracy comes from volunteers? It would appear from the open answers that there are volunteers operating at Wing and or Region put their own requirements for additional information and updates, despite the fact that the activity has been cleared through the prescribed processes.
It should be that the majority of the time for all staff at the squadron should be spent with cadets, regardless of rank / position.
From the above points it can be quite clearly seen that the volunteers feel anything but valued and more like they are kicked at every turn.
From the open answers a repeating theme is that the organisations’ electronic systems are not regarded as fit for purpose and need a dramatic overhaul. Document control seems to area commented on, although anyone who has been in the Corps for more than 6 months will experience this. They also seem used far too much for data that can only be generated at squadron level which has little relevance to the squadron’s ‘day to day’ running has probably generated much of the disquiet about bureaucracy, and there is a sense that this would be used for decision making about squadrons from a distance without understanding the dynamic of squadrons. I’d be suggesting that they close the system down and clear out everything that isn’t required, archive it and start again.
With respect to open answers single responses need to be considered as valid as multiples as they could be an amalgamation of concerns and not just the respondents.
Overall I sense there is too much to change in a way that empowers and advantages volunteers, so it won’t happen, as there will not be the appetite to give us control over things. When NGB qualifications were first mooted there wouldn’t be any need for additional clearance.
I would sooner expect that they try and weed out the negative commenters.