Social Security Scotland – insights research programme: overview

An introduction to Social Security Scotland's client and staff insights research programme, with initial findings for the period September to December 2018.

This document is part of a collection

4. Methodology

Insights research to date has involved the collection of routine management information, and directly asking clients and staff about their experiences. The following section outlines the methods used to collect insights data during Social Security Scotland’s first quarter.

4.1. Client Insights

To capture client interactions and experiences with Social Security Scotland processes and services at point of contact, research methods have been embedded in both telephony and online channels using embedded surveys.

4.1.1. Telephony – general call experience

An automated survey mechanism is in place to gain insights from clients about how well telephony services are being received. Clients have the option of completing the survey following any telephone interaction (e.g. from general enquiry to benefit-specific contact). The focus for this survey is experience of the call. 

Full telephony experience questions and response options are detailed in Annex A.

4.1.2. Applications

Clients’ immediate views and feelings on the process of applying for benefits, across telephone, online and paper applications have also been gathered. Given that any survey following the application process will occur at the end of this contact, it is important that the number of questions are kept to a minimum. Two client satisfaction questions have therefore been embedded within a questionnaire which clients have the option of completing at the end of applications, as standard. 

Full application experience questions and response options are detailed in Annex B.

For clients applying via paper application, the questionnaire is included in their application pack, with a freepost envelope for returning both forms. For clients applying online, a link to the questionnaire is available at the end of the application. For clients applying over the telephone, a client advisor offers to take the client through the questionnaire over the phone, or to post it out to them. 

In addition, clients have the opportunity of completing the automated telephony survey (described in section 4.1.1) following their phone call, which may be beneficial if the client has (for example) additional feedback about that call specifically and/or feedback that they do not wish to disclose to the client advisor directly. 

4.2. Staff Insights

4.2.1. Workforce statistics including diversity information

Social Security Scotland collect workforce data via e-HR, the organisation’s employment record system. One hundred per cent of staff have provided information on their age and gender. This is because these details are needed for legislative purposes for use by HM Revenue and Customs, and also for baseline security clearance. 

Staff can voluntarily disclose diversity information on e-HR for the remaining protected characteristics. As the organisation grows, work will be undertaken to encourage staff to complete this information.

4.2.2. Staff survey

Social Security Scotland conducted a standalone staff survey in October 2018, one month after the launch of the organisation. The survey replicated the formal UK-wide Civil Service People Survey, which the organisation plans to participate in from 2019 onwards. 193 staff members participated.

Questions ask staff about their engagement with the organisation, their work, organisational objectives and purpose, their teams, learning and development, inclusion and fair treatment, resources and workload, pay and benefits, and leadership and managing change. 

An ‘about you’ section also asks about staff diversity characteristics. 

A full list of core survey questions and response options can be found here.



Back to top