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Civil servants to get one-on-one coaching to improve their leadership and personal skills

TOP civil servants are to be given one-on-one coaching sessions with management experts on how to improve their leadership and personal skills.

Secretaries general and assistant secretaries are among those eligible to take part in the sessions, which are due to begin in May.

The move is designed to help top brass deal with "major" and "significant organisational change" and comes as the civil service faces major reform under the Croke Park II deal.

Senior officials across the civil and public service will be charged with the potentially difficult job of driving home those controversial reforms, which include pay cuts for those earning over €65,000.

Success

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is looking to appoint a panel of so-called executive coaches following the success of a pilot programme organised last year.

A spokeswoman for Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin said that the Government was committed to boosting management and leadership across the civil service.

"Coaching will enhance and improve personal, interpersonal and leadership skills," she said.

There are 28 secretaries general, 12 deputy secretaries and 209 assistant secretaries in the civil service. Thirteen at assistant secretary and director level took part in the pilot programme last year.

A Leadership Development Strategy is also due to go to Cabinet within the next fortnight.

Executive coaching sessions in the private sector can range in price from between €100 to €350 or more per hourly sessions.

Mr Howlin is attempting to persuade public and civil servants to sign up to Croke Park II. Reform measures on the table include working extra hours, a reduction in staff numbers, less use of agency workers and increment freezes as well as cuts to core pay for those earning more than €65,000.

Irish Independent