The Boss traditionally uses his Christmas message to thank staff for their hard work and support over the last 12 months. Not this year. He used the social media to thank staff but he was very critical of senior managers claiming many had lost their humanity, they had forgotten what public service was all about and they no longer seemed able to inspire optimism in their staff. He criticised senior managers for gossiping about their colleagues, destroying reputations and undermining their credibility with partner agencies. He claimed many were more interested in enhancing their own power and status and had forgotten their professional values. He used his Christmas message to condemn the superior attitude of some who thought they knew best, who didn't listen to those who used the service or who delivered it. He reminded them that noone , no matter how experienced, no matter how long they had worked here, no matter how senior they were, was indispensable. Once again he stated his determination to bring the hierarchy closer to those who used the service.
Whilst comments on Twitter, FaceBook and the intranet showed that there was a lot of support from staff and service users senior managers were muted in their response. The "secret manager's "blog suggested that the Christmas message reflected the frustration the boss felt with the organisation hierarchy since taking up post 18 months ago. Was it fair to blame senior managers for the hardships caused by austerity. Government imposed budget cuts, resulted in service reductions, redundancies and a pay freeze. If you're constantly standing in front of hostile audiences to defend closures and job losses, if you have seen the budget predictions for next year then it's difficult to be optimistic. The prospect of a management cull as part of a major management restructuring has started rumours about who's in and who is likely to be out. Is it that surprising if senior managers have become more distant as away of coping with decisions to close services and make staff redundant?
I think the secret managers blog is going to be very active in 2015.