Is HMRC on the mend as staff morale turns corner?

  • Improving morale important as it should lead to better service for taxpayers and accountants

Staff morale at HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is beginning to bounce back from recent rock-bottom levels*.

Our research says that HMRC staff surveyed in 2012 are increasingly positive about the organisation’s direction and management (see graph).

In particular:

  • 21% of staff believe HMRC is ‘well-managed’, up from just 11% in 2009;
  • 24% of staff believe that senior managers have a ‘clear vision’ for HMRC, up from just 15% in 2010;
  • 23% of staff say they are ‘proud’ to work for HMRC, also up from just 15% in 2010.

Martin Casimir, Managing Director here at Bloomsbury Professional, says: “HMRC morale has been at record lows over the last few years, so it is encouraging to see that things are starting to turn a corner.”

“Staff morale is still low when compared to other major organisations, and HMRC is starting from a low base, but the momentum towards improvement is there. Staff are now happier with the organisation’s leadership and direction than they have been for a long time.”

Despite cuts to HMRC’s budget, HMRC staff are increasingly happy with their workloads. 62% of staff said their workload was acceptable in 2012, compared to 54% in 2010.

Martin Casimir says: “Staff happiness with workloads might suggest HMRC has been managing the effect of budget cuts on its staff better than expected. However, it’s important that heavier workloads do not mean a lower level of service for taxpayers. HMRC should make sure it finds ways to do more with less for its customers.”

Improvements in HMRC staff morale are important as they should lead to a better quality of service for taxpayers and accountants.

Martin Casimir says: “Hopefully, the internal signs of improvement will filter through into a better experience for the taxpayers and accountants that rely on an efficient and customer-focused HMRC.”

“Improved morale should also lead to better levels of staff retention and more experienced HMRC staff. One of businesses’ and accountants’ biggest complaints about HMRC recently has been its failure to adequately replace the experienced and knowledgeable staff that have left the organisation.”

Other findings from the HMRC staff surveys include:

  •  The proportion of staff wanting to leave HMRC within the next 12 months has fallen from 29% in 2009 to 20% in 2012.
  • Only 23% of HMRC staff feel their pay is reasonable compared to salaries for similar roles in other organisations, down from 25% in 2009.
  •  Just 36% of HMRC staff said that poor performance is dealt with effectively at HMRC.

*HMRC’s overall ‘employee engagement score’ was 41% in 2012, up from 40% in 2011, 34% in 2010, and 32% in 2009

Press enquiries:

Martin Casimir

Managing Director

Bloomsbury Professional

Tel: +44 (0)1444 416119

Written by Ellie MacKenzie

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