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Best Councils to Work For 2008

On 23 September, The Times published the list of Best Councils to Work for 2008.

From this it would seem that small is beautiful. Of the top 25 only 3 have more than 1,000 employees and 18 have less than 500 employees. Given that local government is one of the largest employers in England, with over 1.4 million employees, the number of employees working for ALL the councils on the list adds up to the workforce of one county council.

It’s great to see this recognition scheme extending to cover organisations in other sectors. (The Best Companies to Work for has been going since 2001, whereas the award for Councils is only in its second year). And only one of the Councils in the 2008 list (Aberdeenshire) would fall within the big companies definition.

This compares well with my experience of an induction programme at one county council, which was trying to implement a ‘one council’ ethos. New employees were asked which department they worked for. Most knew the section they worked for, some knew the department – very few related to the whole Council and its enormous range of services. And in their employee survey the further away the management, the worse it was perceived to be! Some things never change...


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