Westonwich District Council (WDC)
What am I required to do in this assignment?
Note: It is permissible to make assumptions by adding to the case study details given below provided the essence of
the case study is neither changed nor undermined in any way by what is added.
Westonwich District Council (WDC) provides a range of local government services to a predominantly rural population of 75,000 people
living in a market town and surrounding villages in the north of England. Chief responsibilities include council tax collection, refuse
collection and recycling, the administration of housing benefit, planning matters and the promotion of tourism. The authority employs a
total of 250 people, many of whom work on a part-time basis. There is a small HR team which consists of four people: a manager, two
officers and an administrator.
Like all local government bodies, WDC has had to make very substantial savings in recent years. Pay rises have been restricted to 1% for
some years now, while strict restrictions on recruitment have been in operation. When staff leave or retire, they are not replaced unless a
very strong business case can be made. The few recruits are being employed on temporary contracts. The financial situation will remain
very challenging for the foreseeable future. So far redundancies have been avoided, but this may not be the case in the future as further
cost savings are sought.
You are the HR manager at WDC and you have been asked by the CEO to carry out a staff survey to establish levels of satisfaction and
engagement among the staff. A confidential questionnaire was circulated with an administrator employed to collate the results. 81% of
staff responded. Key metrics found included the following:
64% look forward to going to work in the morning;
61% find their work to be rewarding, 13% enjoying it ‘greatly’;
44% are satisfied with the variety of work they are required to do;
72% feel valued and supported by their work colleagues, 55% by their line manager, but only 20% by senior managers;
71% are satisfied with their level of responsibility;
59% are satisfied with their physical work environment;
21% are satisfied with their pay and benefits, but no-one says they are ‘very satisfied’
55% are happy with their work life balance;
89% state their jobs have become increasingly stressful in recent years;
32% are satisfied with their training and development opportunities;
83% say their workload has increased in the past year;
70% are satisfied with their promotion opportunities;
15% say change is managed well by the council;
90% say that they ‘sometimes feel stressed’ when they are at work;
74% say they ‘feel safe’ at work;
88% are happy with the council’s equality and diversity practices;
28% are ‘listened to when they are at work’;
37% are satisfied with the ‘amount of discretion’ they are allowed to exercise in their jobs;
36% are happy with their job security;
27% say they feel their efforts at work are properly recognised;
54% are actively seeking alternative employment.
The CEO at Westonwich District Council has asked the HR manager (you) to prepare a report on the key issues identified within
the findings and potential solutions for addressing those issues. You are expected to fulfill the following three tasks, in
completing the report:
1. Categorize the findings into themes with a brief discussion of why these are issues or areas for concern. It is important to
consider that some findings may fall into more than one theme or category and that some findings may not easily fall into
any. Your justification for why a finding falls into a theme or category is, therefore, a key part of this task.
2. Identify two key issues and provide justification for why these are the key issues that must be addressed first. There is
no single correct answer to this, therefore, you will be graded upon the strength of your justification.
3. Provide recommendations as to how those two key issues can be addressed. The recommendations should be justified
with evidence as to why they might work.
What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)
In order to pass Assessment 2 you will need to:
Demonstrate a basic level of understanding with regards to the debates of current and future developments in HRM locally and
Show a basic level of ability to identify and review major contemporary research and debates in HRM locally and internationally.