Over a quarter of staff at bad bank NAMA said they found it hard to get their job done because of excessive rules and bureaucracy.

In a staff survey, 28% of employees also said they did not believe they were fairly compensated for the work they did while 14% said they did not feel they had the freedom to speak their mind without fear of negative consequences.

In the starkest finding, 39% said they felt their career goals could not be met while working for NAMA, which is in the process of winding down its work.

Nearly one in five said they were not encouraged to be innovative in their job, or to try new ways of doing things.

There were also 16% of employees who said they did not agree that management made an effort to get input, ideas, and opinions from staff.

The staff survey also found that around a quarter of workers at NAMA felt the organisation did not make adequate use of "non-monetary recognition", like time off, to encourage people to perform well in their jobs.

Overall, the research by consultancy Mercer found that the bad bank's employees enjoyed the flexibility and encouragement to work remotely.

They also said there was a "spirit of camaraderie" and that colleagues were willing to help each and collaborate on ideas.

However, concerns were raised on transparency around rewards and time off being offered for good performance as well as "increasing workload as the wind-down continues".

They said that administrative tasks and bureaucracy took away from their core jobs and were a source of frustration.

Staff wanted greater opportunities for learning, feedback, and career progression and worried about "fairness of promotion [and] advancement opportunities".

A separate survey of staff at NAMA's parent organisation, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), also found concerns around "recognition and reward".

Around a quarter of employees there felt their career goals could not be met at the organisation while 12% said they would not stay if offered the same pay and benefits elsewhere.

On whether decisions were made in a "timely manner" at the NTMA, 32% of staff disagreed.

There was also a high level of frustration with bureaucracy with 39% of staff having an unfavourable view of "excessive rules and procedures" at the organisation.

Frustrations were also aired over how people were paid, with 38% saying they did not believe they were compensated fairly in terms of pay and pensions.

Asked about what would make working at the NTMA better, staff suggested performance-related pay incentives, greater pay transparency and fairness, pay competitiveness in the cost of living crisis, and addressing excessive bureaucracy.

Staff were positive that the NTMA had a good reputation, did important work for the State, and had "friendly, supportive, and inclusive" teams.

There was also positive responses on flexibility around working hours, the work/life balance, remote working, and how the agency had accommodated employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the staff research, the NTMA also looked specifically at remote working with 81% saying they would like to work "on site" for two days or less in the future.

Issues were also raised about "Zoom fatigue" and whether different communication methods could be used for work instead.

Staff also supported well-being initiatives, especially around taking a proper uninterrupted one-hour lunch break, not using WhatsApp for work outside of core business hours, and having Fridays as a "no meeting" day.

A spokesman said: "The purpose of NTMA employee surveys is to identify organisational topics that are important to our people and to incorporate their views and feedback in shaping the Agency’s future.

"The NTMA has successfully maintained its engagement level over recent years, aligning well with external comparators."

- reporting by Ken Foxe