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‘Exemplary’ Highland Council staff response to coronavirus challenges revealed in 'remarkable' report


By Philip Murray

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Council leader Margaret Davidson: "Staff have shown that they have risen to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic in an exemplary manner."
Council leader Margaret Davidson: "Staff have shown that they have risen to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic in an exemplary manner."

THE 'amazing' response by Highland Council staff to the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis have been praised by the leader of the local authority.

Cllr Margaret Davidson was speaking after a new report highlighted the "remarkable" response of the local authority's employees to an Employee Engagement Wellbeing Survey which was held during in the midst of the lockdown.

Despite being under intense pressure created by the pandemic, more staff responded to the survey than ever before.

And Cllr Davidson said this was emblematic of the wider ways in which staff "had risen to the challenge" in an "exemplary manner".

“Staff have shown that they have risen to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic in an exemplary manner.”

The survey findings, which were formed from the results of a 44 per cent response rate, will be heard by Highland councillors at a meeting next week.

Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “I warmly commend Highland Council staff for the amazing response that they have provided in supporting our communities over the past three months.

“The report that will be brought before councillors next week will highlight a very impressive response rate of 44 per cent to the survey that staff took part in during a very difficult and busy time – that is higher than any previous survey response rates.

“Staff have shown that they have risen to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic in an exemplary manner.”

The survey aimed to see how employees were managing, check the effectiveness of corporate communication, check levels of confidence in the local authority's leadership, and seek to understand barriers to effective home working/

The survey also hoped to see what lessons have been learned, both positive and negative.

High proportions of employees agreed or strongly agreed in the survey that during the pandemic they:

  • have been kept up to date and feel well informed regarding the Council’s response (74 per cent).
  • know where to find updated information on their working arrangements (64 per cent).
  • know who to talk to if they need support (80 per cent).
  • know what they need to do to keep safe and healthy during COVID-19 (94 per cent).
  • know where to access advice on mental health issues (90 per cent).

Employees also said they were most pleased with how colleagues had demonstrated flexibility in the way they get the job done; while showing caring attitudes to themselves and others.

When councillors meet next week, they will discuss the survey findings and possible plans of action in response to the results.

News from Ross-shire


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