The MCOM Skills Survey 2016-17: the results

Friday 22 July 2016

Many thanks to everyone across the profession who took part in this year's first annual Modern Communications Operating Model (MCOM) Skills Survey.

An impressive three-quarters of you across government took the time to have your say on your skills and development needs. We’ve also learnt a lot about how to improve the survey process next year, and will involve you in developing next year’s survey.

Many of you will already have taken the opportunity to discuss your own departmental results and actions to address skill gaps identified. And we hope that you have also found your individual survey results useful in end-of-year development discussions with your line manager.

Here are the survey’s key findings across the profession, and some of the main actions we’re taking in GCS in the next few months.

Strategic Communications Planning

  • This was the second highest scoring capability overall.
  • Respondents felt most confident in developing strategic communications objectives, and least confident in developing and using audience insights.

Key GCS actions: Revising our Aspire strategic communications module with increased emphasis on insight and evaluation, and promoting the newly developed horizon-scanning module and evaluation e-learning module to the profession.

If you feel that Strategic Communications Planning is a development area for you, take a look at the new evaluation e-learning module and the Aspire course schedule.

Internal Communications

  • This was the lowest scoring capability overall, except among specialists in this area.
  • Respondents felt most confident about building internal audience insight, and least confident in evaluation.

Key GCS actions: We will increase the emphasis on evaluation and delivering campaigns in our Aspire ‘Introduction to Internal Communications’ module, and offer places to all departments and ALBs.

If you feel that Internal Communications is a development area for you, take a look at the IC Space, the evaluation e-learning module and the Aspire course schedule. 

Media, Campaigns and Digital

  • This was the highest scoring capability overall.
  • Respondents felt most confident in developing content, and least confident in setting and evaluating outcomes of communications activities.

Key GCS actions: We will review and reintroduce the campaign module to our Aspire curriculum, with a focus on evaluation and planning. We will identify and target high potential practitioners in lower-scoring organisations for the next Advanced Campaigning Masterclass.

If you feel that Media, Campaigns and Digital is a development area for you, take a look at the evaluation e-learning module and the Aspire course schedule. 

Strategic Engagement

  • This was the second lowest scoring capability overall.
  • Respondents felt most confident in developing messages and narrative aimed at stakeholders, but felt least confident in analysing and mapping the stakeholder landscape.

Key GCS actions: We will re-establish the cross-government strategic engagement group, and develop a new strategic engagement module for Aspire, with an emphasis on stakeholder mapping and evaluation.

If you feel that Strategic Engagement is a development area for you, take a look at the evaluation e-learning module and the Aspire course schedule. 

Leadership

  • Most respondents feel they have the support they need from their manager and SMT to practise and develop leadership skills, and 18% do not feel there are any barriers to developing as leaders at all.
  • The biggest barrier to developing stronger leadership skills was perceived to be a lack of opportunities to practise and develop these skills.
  • ‘Confident’ was the highest scoring Civil Service Leadership Statement area – meaning over 80% feel able to be straightforward and truthful in their communications, to give and receive clear, honest feedback, and to collaborate across their organisations.
  • ‘Inspiring’ was the lowest scoring Civil Service Leadership Statement area, with the least people feeling able to reward innovation and initiative within their teams at 56.1%.

Key GCS actions: We will introduce a GCS Leadership Award open to all grades, and expand Future Engage Deliver (FED) leadership training and RADA personal impact training to IOs and above.

If you feel that Leadership is a development area for you, take a look at our courses and events page. 

If you have any questions about the survey or points on how we can improve it next time, please don’t hesitate to contact us at mcomskillssurvey@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

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