If you haven’t read about it already, apparently some former DWP staff set up a website to help welfare claimants who believe their payments have been reduced.
These former staff allege that the DWP turn down a set proportion of welfare claims – the DWP strongly deny this.
Setting aside that allegation, there is a line in the Independent’s report (which describes the staff as having gone rogue) that says:
I became active on forums offering advice to people
Isn’t it brilliant that the public sector, contrary to many stories about public servants, can boast people who care so much about their work, they’re prepared to get involved with their audience away from official channels and wherever they think they can help?
This story reminds me of the Culturevist slogan:
I care so much about the culture of my organisation, I’m pretty much willing to lose my job for it
The challenge for public sector organisations – any organisation for that matter – is to create an environment where those people who are on the front line can get stuck in to improving service design and digital engagement, without feeling they have to go rogue.
No amount of social media policies, digital transformation teams or changes to reporting lines will solve this completely – organisations need confident managers who are prepared to demand change, and let people do their job in the best way possible for the customer.