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The Army Needs to look hard at retention, not just recruitment.

‘We need to think hard about creating the right culture, where debate, constructive dissent, and challenge is encouraged. As Tim Harford put it, disagreement is where adaptation starts’General Sir Nick Carter 1

The People Problem

Throughout the last year and a half the issue of recruiting has become increasingly public, resulting in the Chief of the General Staff and the Chief of the Defence Staff having to defend the Army and explain the situation openly. In April 2018 the National Audit Office 2 reported that regular personnel across the military were down by 5.7% or 8200 people, with the Army being down by 4000 troops. Meg Hillier MP, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee has branded this ‘unsustainable’3

However, it is not just recruitment that is the issue; the British Army has a less well reported, but unsustainable problem with retention. After all, recruitment would be far less of an issue if soldiers were not leaving the Army at such a rapid rate. This speed of this exodus means that currently the Army cannot recruit in anything like the numbers required to fill the gaps of those leaving, resulting in an ever shrinking army and serious pinch points developing in key areas such as Engineering and Intelligence. Retention is a huge problem and something must be done to address it.

Many regiments are seriously affected by this, The Scots Guards, for example, has only 469 soldiers, a deficit of 260 or 37% 4. This leaves them, as well as other units in a similar position, frankly unable to deploy in their primary warfighting role without ‘borrowing’ companies from elsewhere, affecting the combat effectiveness of the Army as a whole.

On a lower level, this critical lack of manpower is the reason behind almost every Army issue that effects soldiers day to day. It is widely reported, such as by the Army Families Federation, that soldiers feel over worked and under-appreciated5, which is also reflected regularly by troops in their correspondence to Soldiermagazine 6 and by the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey (AFCAS) 7. What these highlight is the persistent low morale within the military, a dissatisfaction with large areas of military life and the feeling that the concerns of soldiers are not properly heard, and therefore addressed, by those in the most senior ranks and by ministers in government.

The facts and figures are startling. The Armed Forces Quarterly Personnel Statistics Report (AFQPSR) October 2018 shows that there has been a 3.1% fall (2350 soldiers) in regular full time trained strength in the year 2017-2018 8. However, this probably does not reflect the true state of affairs because the MoD changed the definition of ‘trained personnel’ in 2016 from those who have completed phase 2 training to having just completed phase 1. This means that in specialist roles the true number of fully trained personnel is somewhat larger than the deficit claimed by the Army as a whole, which was reported at 5206 soldiers in October 20189.

This situation would be far worse if it were not for the transfer of Gurkhas to the Regular Armed Forces, which the statistics compilers include in the intake figures. The numbers joining the Gurkhas have increased by 5.2% in the last year, in order to plug the gaps left by those moving across into other areas of the Army, themselves to plug the holes left by Regular British soldiers signing off. 

It is for the same reason that the government has lifted its cap on the number of foreign and commonwealth soldiers it recruits, as reported pretty sensationally in November 201810. Most of us serving welcomed this news, as those of us with commonwealth soldiers in our units know how much value they add, as well as the fact that their recruitment will hopefully plug the gaps left by those leaving. However, it is likely (though not explicitly admitted), that this is a response to the number crisis as the Army struggles to fill its ranks with native or naturalised Britons.

Should I stay or should I go?

So why are so many so many soldiers leaving? Everyone serving has their own anecdotal evidence from their own arm, cap badge and rank, but the only hard evidence publicly available which helps us answer this question is the AFCAS 2018 Results. This shows that only 35% of personnel are satisfied with service life in general, and only 7% of other ranks reporting high morale. Most worryingly is that 26% of service personnel say that they intend to leave before the end of their current service or commission and 25% intend to leave at the end of it, as opposed to planning to stay. Also worrying is that only 40% of Army personnel would recommend joining the service to others11.

These results are frankly dire. There is no other conclusion one can logically reach. Even if one takes these results with a pinch of salt, as I did, this still remains the case. A cynic would see that only 39% of soldiers filled in the survey, and would also conclude that these participants are expected to be the individuals most likely to be disgruntled with Army life, and are therefore likely to fill the survey out dishonestly, giving more negative responses than perhaps they truly feel in order to grab attention and/or effect changes that they would like to see. Nevertheless, the figures are so low that they stand out, and for me at least, should not be dismissed as simply an excuse to have a moan. 

Pay, Balance and MS

How is it that we have got to this situation? And how do we get ourselves out of it? To answer the later question one has to understand the former, and it is important that we do – for it is quite clear that the current situation cannot continue, not if Britain intends to remain a ‘Tier 1 military power’, or even if it hopes to be able to protect herself and her interests. By not reversing the poor retention rate, the Army will find itself trapped in an increasingly unsustainable death spiral, with more soldiers leaving than coming in, resulting in those remaining working ever harder to fill the gaps, leading to yet more terminations as soldiers seek to readdress their work-life balance.

Clearly each soldier will have his or her own reason for signing off, and these may be as many and as varied as the number of soldiers who are terminating. Nevertheless, there are some broad trends that can be brought out from the data as well as anecdotal evidence. These fall into three categories, first is pay and the eroded offer, second is the work load and third is MS 12.

Pay

Whilst competitive 13, it is currently a contributing factor for soldiers signing off. This comes through in the AFCAS survey: only 30% of Army personnel are satisfied with their basic rate of pay, only 30% believe it is fair for the work that they do and only 24% of Other Ranks believe the X-Factor14is appropriate compensation for service lifestyle, working conditions and expectations 15.

It is truism that there are very few people in any industry who would not like to be paid more. However, for soldiers who are often separated from their families, or living in unfamiliar parts of the country, or who are waiting for potentially years before they are able to promote, then current low pay does not make the sacrifices worth it. In recent years Army pay rises, like most in the public sector, has been below inflation, which eats merrily into disposable income. Whilst this is true for all public sector workers, none of these have to make quite the same sacrifices, nor face the same potential risks as soldiers. 

The Army rightly points out to its current and potential personnel how much more money a soldier has in his pocket compared to a civilian equivalent, as a young soldier would not have to pay utility bills, council tax or travel to work 16. This is absolutely true for many, however, it does not apply to those who own their own home, or, like many young soldiers, would still be living from home (and thus not paying council tax or utility bills etc.) if they were not in the Army. The difference between a soldiers’ disposable income and that of a counterpart in an equivalent civilian job is therefore not as great as the Army promotes. This is especially so when one considers that Army pay is not that competitive in the first instance. As of December 2018, the salary of a Private Soldier aftertraining is £18 85917, the starting salary for a policeman is £20 00018, for a firefighter it is £22 00019, a paramedic £23 02320and best of all a Tube Driver earns £55 011 for a 4 day week21.

It is worth mentioning, however, that soldiers do get yearly incremental pay rises in rank, which not all of these other jobs get (though the Police Force do22), and often promotion is quicker than it may be in, say, the Ambulance Service. However, the Army’s pay at no point greatly outstrips those other careers mentioned above, even if, at points, it does become slightly higher.

There are many, many other benefits of being in the military, financially the largest of these being the pension, and non-financially there is the opportunity for AT, for travel, for camaraderie and to serve and make a difference. However, I would argue that these alone are not enough to retain soldiers, particularly those with families, as when a soldier is away on AT or doing an overseas exercise there is no positive benefit for a family.  

Work Life Balance

Secondly, the ‘can do’ attitude of the Army is taken for granted by those in command and their political masters. Soldiers and their units ‘can do’ the relentless current battle rhythm, they ‘can do’ with sub-standard housing or with not being able to take all their leave in a working year, however, they do not like it23. Our leaders in government and the senior ranks should remember that the ‘can do’ attitude is battle winning, and should not be taken for granted. It is perhaps the British Army’s greatest strength that it will think its way through problems and setbacks in order to achieve the desired outcome. Where others’ would throw up their hands and give in, the Army perseveres. However, hardships and shortages are supposed to be temporary, not the new normal, nor the benchmark against which further cuts can be made.

The battle rhythm the Army is asked to live through is a good example of this. Currently some Army units are put through a tempo that is unsustainable or unenjoyable, perhaps the biggest open secret in the military is how badly Op CABRIT is affecting the numbers of the regiments deployed on them, with those units who have gone through the tour, or currently on the tour, struggling to rehabilitate themselves upon return. 

It is worth remembering that overseas exercises or operations also require long periods of MST prior to deployment, and all the while other commitments have to be met, whether that be manning for TEMPERER 24or guard duties. All of these separate soldiers from the rhythms of ordinary life. The Army has 5000 troops currently on operations and 25 000 held at readiness for contingent operations25. This is over half of the deployable force. Additionally, as the Army is also currently in the midst of a medical quagmire, with 17 054 medically downgraded and of those 7 082 MND26. The result is that, broadly, 63 000 fit troops are expected do the work of 82 500. Again, it is not hard to see why many soldiers would not wish to continue to put up with this in the long term.

MS

The third problem is MS, this is especially the case for Officers who are managed by an outdated and complex system with too many unexplainable vagaries. The problems with the MS system have been outlined in detail elsewhere27, but it is worth highlighting a few very important points here. The main issue is that the Army has a narrative of meritocracy, yet not the MS structure to support that claim. The promotion system is one that values experience over talent as each year served is arbitrarily deemed to be of value- which is why the number of points necessary to promote gets lowered on each consecutive ‘look’. This is clearly an unmeritocratic way to run an organisation. The result is that those without talentbut who have ‘held onto the log’ get promoted over those with talent, resulting in demoralisation and demotivation and a lack of incentive to work hard or push boundaries. 

If those who are less talented get promoted over those more talented it is not good for either group or for the Army. The talentless become a viscous layerof Majors or Lt Cols treading water until they decide, on their own terms (when the Army has finished paying for their school fees), when to retire. These people do many important and necessary jobs in the Army, however, there is no good reason why many of these jobs could not be given to thrusting captains in order to test, develop and challenge them. The entire organisation will grow as a result it could inspire many to stay rather than leave. If the Army truly wants a ‘brains based approach’ that maximises talent, then it should be encouraging the most talented, and shape the organisation so that they get rewarded for original thought and hard work. 

This is not to deny that the Army needs experience, and there is no substitute for it. However, not all jobs require experience. If the Army had clearer talent streams it could open an avenue for those in roles where experience matters, such as more technical roles or those with specialist knowledge, and have a more punchy ‘fast stream’ for those identified as having raw talent. Business manuals tend to have no hard and fast rule on the ‘experience vs youth’ debate, with most arguing that the hiring of employees is a human process, and that when making hiring decisions one should hire the best person for the job, and/or will best compliment the existing team out of the candidates available and at that time. Therefore, the Army should interview for jobs at each level. This would clearly benefit the organisations and teams within the Army and is fair on individuals too, as well as being more objectively meritocratic. 

Getting the right people into your workforce has been a cornerstone of business forever, which is why they spend so much on recruitment and HR- to get in and then retain the best people. Business Analyst Jim Collins has a famous ‘bus analogy’: ‘the best companies in the world get the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off the bus’28, you need to harness the talents of a high performing team in order to get the best outputs.

General Carter knows this, saying in 2016 that: 

‘We also need to find a means of rewarding innovators, creating the space for some mavericks, people who are prepared to take sensible intellectual risks and to challenge perceived wisdom. I am not sure that our talent management system allows for this, with so much importance attached to what the superior officer writes. Maybe we should be privileging some other attributes than those listed in the existed appraisal system and appraisal report.’

Thankfully in 2019 the Army is now looking into this with Project CASTLE, which aims to finally bring the personnel system out of the 1960s when it was designed and into the present. Updates, such as ending ‘thirding’ would be welcome, many in business think that ‘forced ranking no longer suits today’s increased knowledge driven work place’29. Then there is the reality of the thirding system which is too opaque. Linked to this is the points system for promotion, which is also not fit for purpose. What company would accept five faceless senior people, who you have probably never met, deciding what is best for both the organisation and an individual based at looking at stacks of reports for three minutes each? It is archaic. Furthermore, there is far too much variation in the system; a 0.5 point difference over each of the 5 members of a board could result in a 2.5 point variable, resulting in a complete change of ‘third’ and therefore promotion or not. Inexcusably, 0.5 points could be down to the 2ROs report writing ability. 

A more efficient metric is needed and should be clear on the OJAR/ SJAR, this would help clarify the process for the author, subject, and the board. A percentage system for both performance and potential would be clearer, with bands to indicate what this means. For example a score between 80% and 90% means that ‘the individual is performing above the standard expected of him/her in all respects… is above the majority of their peers… could easily step up to a more challenging role’ etc. 

Additionally this system should be measured against performance metrics as well as your job description and personal objectives. Currently there are no metrics or KPIs to grade people against. This is unusual, even in public sector roles, just think of all the metrics NHS managers are measured against30.

This will of course require a cultural change that may not be welcome in all quarters, but it should make units and individuals more focused and make it clearer what one would have to achieve to be successful. The RAF already use KPIs31and thus they can work in a military context, they just need to be chosen judiciously and thoughtfully, and should at all times be objective led, usable, achievable and valid.

Finally, the Army needs to stop deciding what roles people must do in order to promote, and must realise that a generic career path, the ‘escalator’ that is the only route to the top, is not good for either individuals or the Army. In my infantry unit we are told that the escalator looks something like this: Pl Command, Coy 2ic, Support Weapons Command, Adjt/Ops, Beige, MA to someone important, OC of a Regular Rifle Coy, COS to a Bde, Pink, CO. Not getting these jobs (or similar ones) runs the risk of being a long serving staff officer with little chance of promotion and no say in one of either job or geographic location and it is too costly to leave. You become part of the viscous layer.

Related to this is the Army’s tendency to place roles in a strict hierarchy, for example, why is a WO2 CSM or an Adjutant job at a regular unit always rated higher than the equivalent at a reserve unit? The same job titles, eg ‘Adjutant’, require completely different skills and ways of interacting with soldiers and peers, and it is impossible to say that one is harder or requires more talent than the other. There is no objective way of measuring this, yet the regular Adjutant or CSM has a higher profile than the reserve unit’s, one is on the escalator, one is not. 

In order to avoid becoming stuck in the viscous layer by pure accident/ events over which you have no control (such as 0.5 points on a board, or being sent to be a Reserve Adjutant because your timelines do not line up for a regular Bn), good people leave at early rather than take what looks like an absurd career risk. This effects the organisation in two ways, firstly the loss of talent, and secondly because others get pulled up from below to fill their place, for example Lieutenants getting Captains’ jobs they do not necessarily want, earlier than they want and before they know how to adequately do them. In the last two years in my unit, Platoon commanders have spent an average of just 9 months in command before becoming Company 2ICs or being moved to Catterick or Harrogate. For this they gain no formal recognition in terms of reduced time to promote if they do well, yet knowing that they are talented they are likely to take their skills elsewhere. 

Action this day

In this essay I have highlighted plenty of problems, and plenty of reasons why people are signing off without offering so many solutions. That is because easy solutions do not exist, there are entrenched positions and every decision will have losers as well as winners. Culture also plays a large part, the Army is resistant to change and it has been through a lot in recent years, most of it perceived to be for the worse rather than for the better. 

Nevertheless, it is important to do something- even with the limited resources available- because the current situation cannot continue. Some are not in the Army’s gift, such as pay. Whilst the CDS could lobby hard for better pay for the Military, doing so would probably spend all the political capital that he has with no guarantee of success, limiting what other changes or money he can extract from the government when purse strings are understandably tight. Furthermore, there are ‘no votes in Defence’ and most people and politicians have many other priorities. The fact remains though that the principle should be that those who serve should be rewarded for it, and rewarded for the sacrifices made, both great and small, for their country. When soldiers feel that they could earn more elsewhere as well as have a better quality of family life it is difficult to persuade them to remain.

Some out-of-the-box thinking is required, and the Army is capable of it; Forces Help to Buy is a good start and is recognition that the ‘Offer’ needs improving. Other initiatives could be retention bonuses at set points which is a powerful incentive to stay, and income tax relief when deployed overseas would also be popular. Or even, now that University is so expensive, agree to fund university places for any soldier who as completed 5 years of service (so long as they stay in the reserves), the same way as it is in America- the idea is no unreasonable, not more so than offering an interest free loan of half ones salary to buy a house. 

The Army rightly recognises that improving recruiting will improve retention too as already highlighted here, filling the current gaps will relieve the pressure on those currently serving and should reduce the numbers of those leaving. The Army’s recruitment woes are well documented32, but fixing this should also help the retention problem. Similarly, getting the soldiers who are currently MND or MLD back to full fitness needs to be an urgent priority. The current numbers of those ‘on the sick’, as highlighted above, is too much. Again, this means that those who are deployable end up covering those who are not, resulting in longer tours, more exercises, or even just longer hours on the tank park, and therefore more time away from loved ones.

Mostly however, the Army should start by looking at the lived experience of the soldier both at home and when away. The AFCAS shows that soldiers are not happy with the situation as it is at present, and steps should be taken to address this. An obvious target for reform is the MS system. It is not fit for purpose and was designed for a previous generation. Simple reforms are possible and will do much to improve retention: interviewing for jobs/ postings, creating technical, staff and command streams, making promotion dependant on merit only, not time served, as well as ending the ‘hierarchy’ of jobs so that postings with the reserves or spending time on language courses are not seen as secondary to posts at regular Battalions – these are fixes, easy fixes, that will do much to retain many officers and soldiers. 

Many readers will have their own ideas about how to improve the Army, and how to ensure that the lived experience of the soldier is better than it is currently. The AFCAS highlights that 70% of soldiers have are satisfied with the leadership of their immediate superiors, but that only 23% believe that ‘senior leaders in the service understand and represent my interests’ and only 29% have ‘confidence in the leadership of the Service’33. Clearly there is disconnect between the top ranks and the soldiers. There are two reasons for this: firstly, the General Staff have presided over a period of great change that, seemingly, affects soldiers at the bottom but not those in charge, and secondly is the fact that trust is a two way street, something that is not felt by the soldier at the bottom34. One only has to sit in on a visit of the GCS’s briefing team, or see the vitriol spat back at those presenting on the New Employment Model to understand that. For retention to improve, this must be addressed.

The Army is a wonderful organisation, and a great place to work. It offers a life infinitely more varied, more exciting, more challenging and more interesting than any other job. The Army offers world class training, the chance to be present when history is made, to see and do things that a warehouse manager or a lawyer could only ever dream of. In the Army one can be a member of numerous high-performing teams, themselves made up of talented individuals, who nurture and develop you. In the Army you can travel, do adventurous training, throw grenades or fire missiles, operate expensive kit, and be challenged. All the while you are on a career path that throughout should make one feel proud, and make your mum feel proud. In the Army you are paid to be fit, to play sport, to know what it’s like to wake up before dawn in the jungle or in Brecon, and in both places do exciting things that push you to your limit, as well as to meet people whose native tongue is impenetrable (in both the jungle and Brecon). The Army is an amazing life, and these are its positives. To retain its people the Army needs to make sure that these are not outweighed by negatives that, with some imagination and investment, are possible to fix.

About the author

Freddie has 5 years experience in a regular infantry battalion and held positions at platoon, company and battalion level.

Footnotes

  1. General Sir Nick Carter ’Closing Keynote Address’, RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2016. https://rusi.org/sites/default/files/160629-lwc16-cgs-closing_keynote.pdf. Accessed 11 December 2018
  2. National Audit Office, ‘Ensuring sufficient skilled military personnel’, April 2018. Accessed 08 December 2018. https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Ensuring-sufficient-skilled-military-personnel.pdf
  3. Ben Glaze, The Mirror, ‘Armed forces short of 8000 soldiers, sailors and airmen’, 12 September 2018. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/armed-forces-short-8000-soldiers-13228174. Accessed 19 January 2019.
  4. Mark Hookham, The Times, 23 September 2018. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/huge-gaps-in-ranks-of-guards-regiments-9566lvhrq. Accessed 08 December 2018
  5. Catherine Spencer, The Daily Telegraph, 24 December 2015. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/12014337/British-soldiers-are-underpaid-overworked-and-taken-for-granted-by-our-politicians.html. Accessed 08 December 2018
  6. Soldier Magazine, ’Straight to the Top’, October 2014, Pp 44
  7. MOD, Regular Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey, 24 May 2018, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/716976/AFCAS_2018_Main_Report_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 07 December 2018
  8. MOD, UK Armed Forces Quarterly Service Personnel Statistics, 1 October 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/755982/1_Oct_2018_SPS.pdf. Accessed 08 December 2018
  9. House of Commons Library, ’Size and Strength of the British Armed Forces’. https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CDP-2018-0016. Accessed 08 December 2018
  10. BBC News, ’Armed Forces Recruits don’t need to have lived in Britain’, 05 November 2018. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46092838. Accessed on 08 December 2018
  11. MoD, ‘UK Regular Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey Results 2018’, Published 24 May 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/716976/AFCAS_2018_Main_Report_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 08 December 2018
  12. Military Secretariat: Human Resources or Personnel Management. Known to most as the Army’s reporting and promotion system
  13. The average salary of a UK school leaver is £21 000,https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/average-school-leaver-salary whilst a school leaver apprentice at KPMG earns £20 000. https://www.theguardian.com/careers/2017/mar/09/what-are-the-uks-highest-paid-apprenticeships-of-2017(even more so when pensions and ‘The Offer’ are included)
  14. The X-Factor is a pensionable adddition to total military pay, currently worth 14.5% which is intended to recognise the special contributions of military life over civilian employment. However, over time it has come to be understood as 14.5% ofthe salary, not on top of the salary. For example a 2Lt’s quoted pay on the British Army website of £31 857 pa. includes the X-Factor. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/293512/A_review_of_the_X-Factor_components_IDS__FINAL_.pdf
  15. MoD, ‘UK Regular Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey Results 2018’, Published 24 May 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/716976/AFCAS_2018_Main_Report_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 08 December 2018.
  16. British Army Pay and Benefits. https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/regular-soldier/benefits. Accessed 09 December 2018
  17. British Army Pay and Benefits. https://apply.army.mod.uk/what-we-offer/regular-soldier/benefits. Accessed 09 December 2018
  18. National Careers Service. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/police-officer. Accessed 09 December 2018
  19. National Careers Service. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/firefighter. Accessed 09 December 2018
  20. National Careers Service. https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/paramedic. Accessed 09 December 2018
  21. ASLEF – The Train Drivers’ Union. https://www.aslef.org.uk/article.php?group_id=3449. Accessed 09 December 2018
  22. Police Oracle. https://www.policeoracle.com/pay_and_conditions/police_pay_scales.html. Accessed 19 January 2019
  23. MoD, ‘UK Regular Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey Results 2018’, Published 24 May 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/716976/AFCAS_2018_Main_Report_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 08 December 2018.
  24. The Military plan to aid Civil Authorities by deploying troops in key locatinos following a terrorist attack that equires 5100 soldiers at short notice to move timings. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Temperer
  25. Brigadier James Coote, quoted in Soldier Magazine, ’Straight to the Top’, October 2018. Pp 44
  26. MoD, FOI 2018/02760, 03 April 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/698884/2018-02760.pdf. Accessed 09 December 2018
  27. The Wavell Room,’Keeping on the knowledge workers- reporting on experience and talent’, 03 May 2018. https://wavellroom.com/2018/05/03/keeping-the-knowledge-workers-reporting-on-experience-and-talent/. Accessed 11 December 2018. I believe that this article articulates well many Officers’ frutrations with the MS system and thus why they sign off.
  28. Jim Collins, https://www.kinesisinc.com/first-who-then-what/. Accessed 11 December 2018
  29. The Wavell Room,’Keeping on the knowledge workers- reporting on experience and talent’, 03 May 2018. https://wavellroom.com/2018/05/03/keeping-the-knowledge-workers-reporting-on-experience-and-talent/. Accessed 11 December 2018.
  30. For example, see https://www.healthiernorthwestlondon.nhs.uk/news-resources/information-sharing/wsictoolkit/what-are-outcome/agency-healt. Accessed 14 December 2018
  31. https://www.bernardmarr.com/default.asp?contentID=1119. Accessed 21 January 2019. This website has a large amount of advice for beginners on KPIs and project performance.
  32. MoD, ‘UK Regular Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey Results 2018’, Published 24 May 2018. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/716976/AFCAS_2018_Main_Report_FINAL.pdf. Accessed 08 December 2018.
  33. The analogy I heard a while ago is more harry potter staircase than escalator.
  34. I have heard that too, though it is not one I have heard in my unit at least. For me, a Harry Potter staircase implies choice- you can choose which set stairs to go up to get to where you want to go. However, in my unit at least, this is only sort ofthe case. Going out and doing something different, or radical, would not be favoured as if senior people do not understand a certain job they will consider it ‘lower’ than a more common ‘punchy’ job. Thus the safe thing to do is to do is the known route, ‘punchy’ job after ‘punchy’ job, ones that are recognised as such and understood.

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