People Survey: Less than half aware of ‘Brilliant Civil Service’ vision

Civil service poll results also reveal less than four in ten know how their work contributes to this plan


By Richard Johnstone

17 Nov 2017

John Manzoni launches brilliant vision at Civil Service Live Glasgow Civil Service Live. Photo: Civil Service Live

New-for-2017 questions in the Civil Service People Survey have revealed that less than half of those polled were aware of the flagship Whitehall vision to create a ‘Brilliant Civil Service’.

The first inclusion of questions to gauge the effectiveness of the ambition revealed that just 43% of the nearly 295,000 respondents said they were “aware of the civil service vision for a Brilliant Civil Service”, while just 37% said they understood how their work contributed to the agenda.

The questions were added to the poll this year in order to measure how well known the vision, which was launched in the summer of 2016, is across government.

The vision is made up of four key elements – improved outcomes to ensure a much stronger focus on the difference the civil service can make for citizens; effective leadership; skilled people; and a ‘great place to work’ – creating a truly inclusive environment, in open, modern workplaces.

When he announced the 2017 survey, cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood said: “We can’t progress towards being ‘A Brilliant Civil Service’ if we’re not effectively communicating to our people what the destination looks like or how we are going to get there.”

In a blog responding to the survey’s headline findings, Heywood welcomed the overall findings from the survey.


“I am pleased to see further increases, on top of last year’s rises, in the number of people who believe that senior managers and their own managers actively role model the behaviours set out in the leadership statement.

“We know that the quality of leadership and change management has a big impact on how people feel about working in the civil service so we must ensure we sustain this improvement.”

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