Bank of England slow-moving and hierarchical, says staff survey

Bank of England staff have described the 320-year-old institution as slow-moving, hierarchical and dogged by internal politics, according to a survey commissioned by governor Mark Carney.

The US management consultants McKinsey canvassed staff views as part of a shakeup of strategy at the Bank ordered by Carney shortly after he took over as governor last year.

Key words employees used to describe the central bank included hierarchical, slow-moving and beset by internal politics, according to news wire Bloomberg which obtained a copy of the survey. Pay was among the factors that most annoyed staff.

Commenting on the survey, Charlotte Hogg, the BoE’s chief operating officer said: “To truly transform this institution, it was crucial to have staff engagement into all aspects of what we do and how we do it.”

“Staff told us very clearly what they wanted to see change. We listened, and we responded,” said Hogg, a former McKinsey employee.

The survey contained views from 2,266 workers, around two-thirds of the workforce, shared in November last year. Bloomberg said it obtained a summary of the aggregate results “following a seven-month effort under Freedom of Information laws”.

Among the more positive aspects highlighted by staff were that the Bank had a noble purpose and was of service to others. Asked what the central bank should represent, responses included well-organised, efficiency and employee focus, Bloomberg reported. Employees said improvement was needed in the direction, accountability and co-ordination provided by management.

Quoting from the survey, the news wire said: “Respondents expressed a need to become more nimble and agile as an organisation.”

“The bank could benefit from a more open, transparent and consultative style of leadership receptive to challenge.”

The Prudential Regulation Authority, the part of the BoE responsible for the supervision of banks, had the lowest approval rating for management, with only 27% of employees saying they were happy with coordination and control.

Powered by article was written by Katie Allen, for The Guardian on Tuesday 4th November 2014 20.19 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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