The Strategic Human Resources (HR) team continued to provide high level and comprehensive strategic and operational support to the Directorate in meeting its wide-ranging and complex obligations.
Throughout 2013–14, HR 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 was proactive in maintaining close working relationships with various areas of Shared Services and the Safety Support and Injury Management teams within CMTD, which ensured the best possible outcomes in supporting staff through a range of matters and associated processes.
Delivering for the future
The Directorate commenced a comprehensive body of work in relation to a suite of new enterprise agreements introduced by the Government and 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 Government. Staff attraction and retention remains a challenge as a consequence of tight budgetary constraints experienced during the year. The permanent separation (turnover) rate in 2013–14 was 6.6% (26 staff).
Staff are actively encouraged to participate in internal and external development activities. The Directorate promotes the Shared Services Training Calendar, in-house seminars and information sessions and the availability of study assistance. Staff in professional and technical roles are also supported to maintain the currency of their qualifications and registrations through professional development and training programs throughout the year.
Strengthening organisational resilience
The ACT Code of Conduct 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 Directorate’s intranet and staff are encouraged to read it and take ownership of it in their daily activities and interactions with colleagues and the public.
The recently developed ACT Public Service Performance Framework was launched with the objectives of:
- supporting employee effectiveness for the benefit of the ACTPS through a consistent and sustainable approach to achieving high performance
- supporting the ACTPS Values and Signature Behaviours
- providing a consistent approach to the way in which the ACTPS holds its employees accountable for their work performance
- embedding performance discussions as a familiar and supportive part of working life in the ACTPS.
All staff are expected to have a Performance Plan in place before the end of 2014 and have been supported through the development and implementation of the framework.
Similarly, the 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 provided to all managers and nine RED contact officers. The RED Framework, Open Door Policy and Preventing Work Bullying Guidelines were all promoted to new employees at their induction session.
The Directorate’s Health and Wellbeing program promotes and conducts a broad range of initiatives and will continue to be a focus. A range of policies, guidelines and fact sheets were developed or reviewed.
Sustaining community confidence
Induction programs were conducted for all new staff to ensure they are aware of their entitlements and obligations as employees of the Directorate and the ACTPS more broadly 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 the Directorate’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.
The Directorate is committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organisation, as demonstrated in the number of culturally and linguistically diverse staff, 14.3% of the workforce (64 staff). The number of staff who have identified as having a disability is 2.9% (13 staff) and 1.3% (6 staff) are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. There is a commitment at a whole-of-government level to review recruitment advertising guidelines to attract applicants from the targeted groups such as those with a disability or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The Directorate will provide input to that review.
The Directorate 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 provide an avenue of communication on a range of issues. This committee is attended by staff, management and union representatives who collectively provide valuable ways to improve the consultation and communication processes that encourage greater productivity and job satisfaction.
The Directorate’s WHS Committee provides an opportunity for promoting information-sharing across the agency in relation to workplace safety concerns, to proactively identify the need for rectification work when/where required and to support better safe work practices. 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 HR team has initiated informal quarterly meetings with individual managers. This level of engagement provides additional opportunities for managers and HR to work together to address potential issues of concern by taking an early intervention approach.
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 Directorate’s intranet and the Shared Services Training Calendar. The Directorate also provided studies assistance to 22 employees.
Effective learning and development requires a strategic approach that is focused on building identified skills and capabilities needed for the effective delivery of the Directorate’s business goals. Learning and development and studies assistance requirements are identified through personal development plans. This includes keeping up to date with evolving technology and maintenance of qualifications.
HR continued to revise selection criteria and duty statements across positions within the Directorate to ensure they are relevant and reflect the workforce capabilities profiles for the classification band prior to advertising and recruitment to a position.