I’ve been out talking to colleagues in Manchester and London about the new Civil Service Leadership Statement we published last Thursday. You won’t be surprised that, for an organisation the size of DWP, I regard great leadership – at every level - as the key to everything we have achieved. So I’m delighted we’ve set out a clear stall for the whole Civil Service.
But words can be just words. So let me explore what lies behind just one sentence: “We will show our pride in, and passion for, public service.”
Pride and passion for public service
Pride and passion are emotions that are hard won in any workplace; and in many they are never won at all. Yet they are a crucial element in any high performing organisation: people who know that what they do matters, that are proud of what they do, can achieve extraordinary things. Pride and passion will unlock discretionary effort, underpin resilience under pressure, and inspire those around us. So the statement calls out a key task for all of us as leaders, at every level in the Civil Service, to demonstrate our own pride and passion, and to encourage and support the same in others.
In DWP we’re lucky that our core work is so vivid: we help people, often when they feel most vulnerable, and in doing so we can change their futures forever. At our best, we make a genuine connection with each of the people we serve, and help them live better lives.
But how to bring all this to life for our colleagues? What stories bring home this pride and passion? Let me invite you to watch the brief video below, which shows how what we do (all the way from a new policy to expert front line delivery) truly changes lives. If you react as others have this week, you’ll see the difference between words on a page about pride in public service and its reality. What are the stories you might tell to brings to life your own pride and passion?