UN public service day

Let's celebrate UN Public Service Day like never before

Today (June 23), let's celebrate the United Nations Public Service Day with a growing respect for public servants. But we also need to increase our resolve to listen more closely to what they're telling us and find better responses to the challenges they face.

Let's be blunt. Without the selfless efforts of public servants, the world's response to COVID-19  would be faltering badly. More than 180 countries continue to lean heavily on their frontline workers in healthcare, social services, education, transport, government, and other agencies.

Every country has its human stories, its heroic acts, and its tragedies. Almost all of them have featured people's spirit, courage, and grit. Perhaps there's a news story that sticks in your mind, or you've had a personal experience that's touched you deeply? These are good places to anchor your thoughts on this important day.

My plea is that we don't make today just another day. Let's make June 23 a moment when things start to change for the better.  

When people know more, we must listen more

Over recent months, many public servants will have seen, heard, and encountered far more of the healthcare crisis than the rest of us. They've been living it, hour by hour. As we ask more of public servants, ensuring their well-being is paramount. We need to listen, learn and act, responding to what employees are feeling and use those insights to drive improvements.

But how? Staff are still working flat out, and there's no time for lengthy debriefing sessions. Powerful HR tools exist that will enable you to engage with staff in meaningful, timely conversations, capturing valuable insights and sentiment which drive engagement.

When they say they're "alright," you'll detect what's actually happening. And you'll be able to stay in tune with how they feel, by scheduling regular check-ins and enabling mobile support, so any key indicators are spotted early. Intuitive communication methods isn’t just for moments of crisis, but should continue beyond the pandemic and become embedded within organizational culture.

We owe it to employees — to make the best decisions

Many world events are entirely out of our control. But how we respond is down to us. With COVID-19, governments and public agencies often didn't know the answers and had to go on instinct. Sometimes this worked out for our civil servants, sometimes it didn't. However, where data is available, let's use it to inform our decisions by examining the profound implications first.

With financial planning and analysis tools, you can now use artificial intelligence to transform complex data into clear insights. You can see how a crisis affects your finances, follow 'what if' scenarios — and watch how different decisions will impact your valuable resources. You can also create scenarios ahead of time so that you won't be caught off guard should another crisis arise.

As public agencies deal with the aftermath of COVID-19 and a possible recession, resources will be under more pressure than perhaps ever before. That's where forecasting tools will prove invaluable in protecting your public mission and your valuable employees.

Discover more

Discover more about the United Nations Public Service Day and important events happening around the world. Also, take a closer look at Unit4's employee engagement and Financial Planning & Analysis solutions and see what we’re doing to help the public sector through the current crisis.

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Jo Birtle

Director of Demand Generation - PSO & Public Sector at Unit4