C6 - HR Performance

The Strategic Human Resources (HR) team continues to provide high level and comprehensive support to ESDD in meeting its wide-ranging and complex operational obligations.

Throughout 2012–2013, the HR Team continued to achieve excellent outcomes in identifying a range of process improvement initiatives to streamline the services provided to staff both within and external to the Directorate. The team has been proactive in maintaining close working relationships with the Injury Prevention and Injury Management teams within CMTD, which has ensured the best possible outcomes in supporting staff through a range of WH&S needs.

Delivering for the future

ESDD has commenced a comprehensive body of work in relation to a suite of new enterprise agreements that have been introduced by the ACT Government and are currently being negotiated with relevant unions. A range of recruitment processes were managed, the majority resulting from absences due to planned leave and/or positions becoming temporarily vacant due to other opportunities offered to staff across the Directorate and elsewhere within the ACT Government. Staff attraction and retention remains a challenge as a consequence of tight budgetary constraints experienced by all ACT Government directorates during the year. The permanent separation (turnover) rate in 2012–13 was 8.6%.

Staff are actively encouraged to participate in internal and external development activities. ESDD promotes the Shared Services Training Calendar, in-house seminars and information sessions and the availability of study assistance.

Strengthening organisational resilience

ESDD staff were actively engaged in the consultation process that led to the October 2012 launch of the ACTPS Code of Conduct (the Code). The Code is founded on the ACTPS values of respect, integrity, collaboration and innovation and ten signature behaviours that all people employed under the Public Service Management Act are expected to demonstrate. These signature behaviours embody the principles of decency, courtesy, professionalism and fairness and exemplify ways of working and the workplace culture that the ACTPS strives to nurture. The Code is on the ESDD Intranet and staff are encouraged to read the Code and to take ownership of it in their daily activities and interactions with colleagues and the public.

Similarly, the Respect, Equity and Diversity (RED) Framework aims to achieve a workplace that is respectful, courteous, fair and values individual differences; the framework is core to developing a positive workplace culture. The RED framework is actively promoted throughout the Directorate and ongoing training is provided to all managers and ten RED contact officers. The RED Framework, Open Door Policy and Preventing Work Bullying Guidelines are all promoted to new employees at their induction session. ESDD’s Health and Wellbeing program promotes and conducts a broad range of initiatives and will continue to be a focus (see section C9). A range of policies, guidelines and fact sheets have been developed or reviewed.

Sustaining community confidence

Induction programs are conducted for all new staff to ensure they are aware of their entitlements and obligations as employees of ESDD and the ACTPS and, importantly, the way in which the Directorate carries out its obligations to the community.

The RED Framework and the ACT Code of Conduct provide a significant base to deliver ESDD’s commitment to a culture of integrity, respect and participation on a range of matters of community concern. These include such issues as conflict of interest, fraud, corruption, integrity, respect and inclusiveness.

ESDD is committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organisation, as demonstrated in the number of culturally and linguistically diverse staff, who make up 16.1% of the workforce (77 staff). The number of staff who have identified as having a disability is 2.9% (14 staff) and 1.5% (7) are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

There is a commitment at a whole-of-government level to review recruitment advertising guidelines to attract prospective applicants from the targeted groups such as those with a disability or Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders. ESDD will provide input to that review.

Working collaboratively

ESDD supports its managers and staff through an Executive Management Board and Executive Policy Committee, which meet weekly. The Directorate Consultative Committee meets bi-monthly to enable an avenue of communication on a range of issues.  This committee is attended by staff, management and unions.

Health and wellbeing initiatives (see section C9) are valuable ways to improve the consultation and communication processes between staff, management and unions. The initiatives promote information-sharing across the agency and encourage greater productivity and job satisfaction. Work was supported in several areas across the organisation to better define safe work practices. Quarterly reports prepared by Health and Safety Representatives (HSR) were submitted to relevant managers and made available to all staff via the electronic records keeping system, thus ensuring they are easily identified for auditing and reporting purposes.

Developing and supporting managers and supervisors on HR issues and accountabilities continued to be a key focus. The Strategic HR team is initiating informal meetings with individual managers on an ongoing basis. This level of engagement will allow managers and Strategic HR to work together to address potential issues of concern sooner rather than later.

Directorate representatives actively participated and engaged in various cross-agency forums including the People and Performance Council, HR Directors Forum, and a range of work health and safety forums.

Enhancing skills and capabilities

The Directorate facilitates access to training programs to enhance employee professional and personal development as appropriate. Training programs and courses were communicated regularly to staff and promoted via the ESDD Intranet and the Shared Services Training Calendar. The Directorate supported staff in attending whole-of-government leadership and development programs to nurture the talent of emerging leaders and strengthen leadership capacity. The Directorate also provided studies assistance (see Section C8), with 22 applications for assistance being supported in 2012–13.

Effective learning and development requires a strategic approach that is focused on building identified skills and capabilities needed for the effective delivery of ESDD’s business goals. Learning and development requirements are identified through personal development plans. This includes keeping up to date with evolving technology and maintenance of qualifications.

Strategic HR continues to revise selection criteria and duty statements across all positions within the Directorate to ensure they reflect the workforce capabilities profiles for the classification band.