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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland
# Speaking out
The vast majority of staff in Enda Kenny's office are proud to work there
That’s according to a new survey that was carried out last year.

Updated 1.05pm 

DESPITE CONCERNS OVER how bullying and harassment are tackled in their workplace, 84% of staff at the Department of the Taoiseach are proud to work there.

That’s according to a staff consultation initiative 2014, which was published last month by RA Consulting and put on the department’s website on Tuesday.

The 95-question survey looked at a number of areas in the department.

It can be read in full here. In its conclusion, it says:

Results should be seen against a background of cuts, media criticism, corporate memory losses and increased workloads. Department should be seen to have made progress while ‘swimming against a particularly challenging tide’.

It showed that just 3% said they were not proud to work for the Department of the Taoiseach, which is up from 2% in 2007 and 1% in 203. Overall, 84% are proud, which is also up by 1% on the previous survey.


Just 34% gave a favourable response to the phrase “I am confident that the anti-bullying and harassment policy is supported in practice”, and 59% gave a favourable response to “I have not experienced bullying or harassment of any kind in the Department”.

It showed that 75% said they are satisfied with the leadership displayed by their immediate manager, while 53% said the department is focused on effective leadership.

Just 29% agreed that good performance is recognised by the department.

The report recommended a requirement to “enhance commitment to dignity and respect (anti-bullying and harassment) through refresher training/awareness programmes”.

dept-of-the-taoiseach-2 Wikimedia Commons The Department of the Taoiseach on Merrion Street (File photo) Wikimedia Commons

However, in an information note published in response to media reports today, the report’s author, RA Consulting’s Peter Ryan, said:

It should also be emphasised that the extremely positive findings were largely absent from the media reports and importantly, these findings could not coexist if there was a culture of workplace bullying.

“In particular, the survey revealed that 84 per cent were proud to work for the Department, 72 per cent said that they trusted their managers (only 8 per cent disagreed) and 95 per cent said that they were able to work on their own initiative (only 2 people (individuals) disagreed) which would not be the case if bullying was an issue.”

Good place to work?

Asked if they would recommend the Department to others as a good place to work, 68% said they would.

Just over half, 58%, said they consider the culture within the department to be generally good. The same percentage said that they are encouraged to speak up “where we disagree with a decision”.

Just a quarter – 25% – said that employee morale has improved over the last number of years, with 35% giving an “unfavourable” response to this question.

When asked about communication, 52% said that communications within the department have improved over recent years.

Just over a fifth of staff surveyed – 21% – agreed that workloads are fairly distributed within the Department.

Some of the lowest favourable responses were in the development and career progression section, with just 12% giving “I am encouraged to proactively identify my T&D needs” a favourable response.

In addition, 30% said that the department provides good opportunities for career development.

Overall, the document concluded that work undertaken over recent years has “had a positive impact upon the workplace culture”, but that some improvements have been more modest, and satisfaction has fallen in other areas.

The department said that in response to the report a new human resources strategy is being prepared along with a new Civil Service-wide ‘Dignity at Work’ policy.

- additional reporting from Hugh O’Connell 

Read: Enda pledges action on mortgage crisis (and calls Fianna Fáil ‘arsonists’)

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