Member Article

Remarkable rise in how often we say ‘thank you’ to a public sector worker

A remarkable turnaround in the way the nation feels about public sector workers has been underlined by a survey – which says appreciation has increased 84 per cent in the space of a year.

Just 12 months ago a survey by public sector membership club Boundless asked public sector workers when they were last thanked for the doing their job.

It was commissioned in the build-up to UN Public Service Day, which falls on 23 June, and shockingly revealed that the average key worker had gone 57 days without a ‘thank you’.

Now the same survey has been repeated ahead of this year’s Public Service Day – and the figure has dropped to just nine days.

That’s an 84 per cent difference in 12 months across all public sector roles.

In the NHS, the figure has dropped even more dramatically - from 43 days to 2 days. That’s a 95 per cent difference.

The same survey also revealed: • 71 per cent of NHS workers now say they feel appreciated by the public – it was only 48 per cent last year. • 49 per cent of public sector workers feel appreciated by the public – last year 63 per cent said they didn’t. • 32 per cent of public sector workers say they ‘love’ their job – up from 24 per cent pre lockdown.

Now the public is being encouraged to continue its appreciation by supporting Public Service Day.

The day, officially launched by the United Nations as long ago as 2003, has barely been recognised in the UK so far. Boundless, which was founded in 1923, wants to turn this around and bring the UK together to celebrate the contribution made to society by millions of public service workers, from nurses to teachers, firefighters to administrators and police officers to care workers.

Darren Milton at Boundless said: “This year Public Service Day falls on Tuesday 23 June and it’s a wonderful opportunity to remind the nation’s public service workers that we won’t forget what they have done for us. Not least during the last few months.

“The figures coming back from our survey are hugely encouraging because they show that millions of people have been saying ‘thank you,’ and doing so far more often than a year ago. “But we don’t want that to stop when pandemic is over. The next step is to back Public Service Day and to think about ways that we can value our public sector workers long into the future.”

Helen Whately MP, Minister for Care, stated: “This global pandemic has brought tremendous sorrow and disruption to our lives, but amongst this we have also seen widespread and much-deserved recognition of public sector workers who have and will continue to play a fundamental role in our response.

“I am delighted to see increased appreciation of the incredible contribution our wonderful NHS and care staff make every day, as well as the many other public sector workers who support them.

“I, along with many others, hope to see this continue long after our country has recovered because we could not have done this without them. Thank you.”

Not everything in the Boundless survey was rosy.

Only 44 per cent of police officers said they feel valued by the public, for instance. And 22 per cent of all respondents say they have never been thanked by a member of the public in their entire career.

Even now, a fifth of public sector workers say they would feel happier in their jobs if they were thanked by the public more often – and 59 per cent say increased wages are the key to future job happiness.

“It’s clear there’s more to do,” said Darren. “Now that public sector workers are in the spotlight it’s important that we show our appreciation on Public Service Day and keep the good work going.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Boundless .

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