Ahead of a new recruitment campaign, more than 100 East Sussex County Council employees spoke about their experiences, giving a unique insight into the ethos of the council. What did we find out? Well, here’s five things you might not realise…
1. Making a difference makes a difference!
What’s the uniting factor between an employee working as a Support Worker in Adult Social Care and a Health and an Information Analyst working in Children’s Services? It’s not the start of a really bad joke – it’s a sense that the jobs they are both doing make a real and positive difference to the lives of people across the county.
Joe, an Information Analyst, told us that he’s stayed with the council for more than ten years because he “finds [the job] really rewarding” and that he knows he’s “making a difference.”
2. There’s loads of support
Speaking to Abbie, a Training Events Organiser in the Workforce and Development Team, she said that she feels “very supported here. Ever since I started, I’ve had great managers. They are always there even when you’re working from home. They always push you to do your best. We’re like one big family.”
Heather, a Specialist Contact Manager for Adult Social Care and Health agrees, saying she felt like “everyone wants everyone else to do well.”
Staff see East Sussex County Council as a supportive environment where people have access to a great range of training and development and are nurtured to perform to the very best of their abilities.
3. They invest in their staff
One of the main areas where East Sussex County Council excels was found to be in the way that the organisation invests in its staff. There is clearly a “grow their own” agenda in place which staff really appreciate.
Speaking with Kim, Tourism and Cultural Project Coordinator she explained that: “East Sussex really support you and they try and grow you, not just as a worker, but as a person. They really take an interest in the person you are and where you want to go.” Kim started on a short-term, two-month contract in another team and was quickly recognised by her managers as a clear asset to the organisation. Following a few more conversations Kim was supported whilst working to undertake further training that would ultimately help her progress into the field she is most passionate about, cultural heritage.
Peter started out as a teenage apprentice where he rotated around different teams. This experience helped him gather further information about different ways of working within different service areas. Peter said “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of East Sussex.” He continued to support the idea that East Sussex County Council has a “grow-their-own mentality that really helps identify talent”.
4. Flexibility matters
As the council emerged out of the Covid-19 pandemic, the infrastructure to aid remote working had been perfected, making it easier for people to continue to deliver their services to the public from home. The flexibility that this affords staff contributes to a better work/life balance. Speaking with Operations Manager Carla, she said: “I’ve never felt like I had to put my career on hold to have a family.” She has felt supported to start a family alongside her working life and has continued to excel in her role.
Similarly, Assessment and Planning Officer Richard and Team Leader for The Keep, Ceris both shared with us how they appreciate how flexible East Sussex County Council is when working around school-run and caring commitments. Richard said: “The hybrid working model in place here has been great. The flexibility allows me to work a couple of days from home. As a parent of two young children that’s really important.” Ceris shared that she “couldn’t do the job I do as a parent and a carer without the flexibility that I’m given at East Sussex”.
5. Everyone’s welcome
It was also really encouraging to hear that staff find the council to be an inclusive and diverse place to work. We spoke with people from a variety of different ethnic backgrounds and several that identified as having protected characteristics. Whilst many acknowledged that East Sussex County Council had some way to go before it could state with confidence that it was a fully diverse organisation, staff recognise the council as a place in which everyone is made to feel welcome.
Strategic Commissioner (Equality and Inclusion), Kaveri came right out and described the council as a “very inclusive employer that understands the needs of its staff.”
Kodjo, a Senior Manager working in Strategic Projects for the Inclusion Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (ISEND) division within Children’s Services told us that at East Sussex “it’s not about who you are, but rather the skills and knowledge [you have] as long as you can bring it”.
What unites the broad range of people at East Sussex County Council is that, rather than take their skills elsewhere, the staff here choose East Sussex.
If you are interested in exploring the latest jobs and choosing a rewarding career at East Sussex County Council then head to the jobs page.
Watch the We Choose East Sussex Film where you can hear first-hand from some of the people who work at East Sussex County Council.