Wales politics

Natural Resources Wales chief 'disappointed' with staff survey

Emyr Roberts
Image caption Natural Resources Wales chief executive Emyr Roberts

The chief executive of Wales' environmental watchdog has said he is disappointed with a survey of staff that suggested only 10% felt it was well managed.

Just 11% of workers who answered the 2016 Natural Resources Wales (NRW) People Survey said they had confidence in senior managers' decisions.

NRW's Emyr Roberts said senior managers need to do more to support staff.

Plaid AM Bethan Jenkins said "deep morale" problems exist in the agency.

The survey follows the first such study held last year which found 14% of workers at NRW felt the merger of existing organisations that led to its formation was well managed.

But this year's survey found that only 14% of people felt effective action was being taken on the results of the last one.

According to the survey, only 10% of people gave a favourable response to the statement "I feel that the organisation as a whole is managed well" - 10% down on 2015.

In total, 69% gave an "unfavourable" response.

Just 11% said they had overall confidence in the decisions made by senior managers, 11% down on the year before. 65% did not.

Some 47% said they felt valued for the work they do, down 7% on 2015.

Mr Roberts said: "The results are disappointing and trends show the impact of continuing to deliver services during a time of constant change as we transition from three organisations into one whilst budgets decrease and we achieve the £158m savings that formed the business case for creating Natural Resources Wales.

"However it has also been a time of great achievement and in three years we have continued to deliver important work to help the environment in Wales."

But he added: "It is clear from the results of the staff survey that we, as senior managers, need to do more to support them through what remains a challenging time."

Image copyright Plaid Cymru

Plaid AM Ms Jenkins said the survey showed "deep morale problems still exist among staff" at NRW.

"Most concerning - certainly so far as the taxpayer goes - is the low level of confidence in NRW's management that staff have," she said.

She said the cabinet secretary for the environment and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, "needs to outline as a matter of urgency a radical solution to these ongoing problems, in order to ensure that NRW remains fit for purpose".

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: "This is a matter for the NRW Board.

"The cabinet secretary has discussed the survey with the chair and chief executive and explained the importance of engaging staff fully in the changes NRW are taking forward under our new legislation."

Out of 2,004 members of staff, 1,643 took part in the survey.

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