Personal and Career Development Survey results
One of the main reasons for launching Generation BEST was to promote and develop the talents of young people within the Council, nurturing early careers and developing future leadership skills. This aim coincides with the work of other Council departments who have been looking at ways of developing talent management and career planning across the organisation. Our recent questionnaire and focus group asked Generation BEST members to help us build a picture of their career aspirations, what motivates and inspires them, what training and experience they feel they need and how Generation BEST may be able to play a role in meeting these needs.
We are very grateful to the members who took the time to complete our in-depth questionnaire and come along to our first focus group. Their responses have now given us enough information to start organising training and other initiatives for career and personal development. A full summary of the survey results and focus group can be found below for your information, but the questionnaire highlighted plenty of trends, suggestions and interesting comments which will help us as we move forward with the Generation BEST programme.
We asked members what made our younger staff join the Council and what keeps them motivated and engaged at work. Top of the reasons given for working at Birmingham City Council was its opportunities for career development, followed by favourable pay and conditions and the chance to make a difference in Birmingham. The majority of respondants assumed they would be a leader in the Council one day as they wished to make a difference to service users. Network members are motivated and engaged by making a difference to Birmingham, the challenging and interesting work, working with and learning from supportive and knowledgeable colleagues, and taking advantage of opportunities for training and career development.
The majority of Generation BEST members are flexible and dynamic when it comes to seeking new opportunities and experiences and most members felt that some help with career planning would be useful in helping them to identify and make the most of future training and other opportunities and provide a clear sense of direction and purpose.
To help us set up career planning, we asked members to identify what they felt their development needs were in order to move to the next stage of their career. The majority specified a particular skillset they felt they needed to develop, ranging from marketing and communications to budget management, conflict and negotiation skills and public speaking.
Managing people and supervising others came out top when we asked about requirements for work experience. Project management or case management came second and some people mentioned that it would be valuable to be able to do a job taster or placement in other areas of the Council. Other interesting ideas included opportunities for mentoring or training new staff, working closely with senior managers in order to learn from them, and work shadowing within Birmingham City Council and other UK and European cities.
To help identify where Generation BEST might be able to contribute towards career planning and development, we specifically asked members to tell us what they hoped to get out of their Generation BEST membership in relation to their career development. Members hoped Generation BEST would provide opportunities for networking and making contacts with colleagues within the Council and other young professionals in Birmingham, improved skills, career tips and guidance, followed by the chance to take part in mentoring with senior staff, developing management skills and qualifications and gaining experience, particularly in ways that wouldn’t usually be open to staff such as the Shadow CMT. Other individual suggestions included having the chance to be an ambassador for BEST, having the chance to sign up for qualifications at a subsidy, opportunities for sharing of best practice and getting advice and guidance from peers, confidence building, a greater opportunity for quicker progression through grades and exposure to development opportunities outside their role or department in order to move and progress their career within the wider Council.
We are now taking the time to work carefully through the information members have provided and plan to share it with other departments in the Council and the wider BEST community. It will also be used to develop and shape the Generation BEST programme in order to make it the most useful and relevant to members. We would like to thank Generation BEST members for their feedback and will update you via this website and e-mail over the coming weeks.
Personal and Career Development Survey Summary
Word Document - 255KB
Career Development Focus Group
Word Document - 553KB