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A key strategy of the LW 2020 Initiative
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it,
Boldness has genius, power and magic to it.”
The Loxton Waikerie Council is embarking on what may be its most significant defining moment with regard to the journey that our organisation is taking that will ultimately lead to the development of our 2015-2020 Strategic Management Plan. This journey contains many facets and initiatives and has been titled ‘LW 2020’.
LW 2020 aims to underpin our organisation’s future by focusing on continuous improvement and innovation, becoming a high performance organisation and striving for organisational sustainability. This journey is not about saying the Council is currently underperforming, far from it, only that it is believed we can become a much better, more efficient and dynamic organisation.
“Organisational Sustainability is about delivering services
in the most efficient and effective way and being relevant to our community ”
The challenge we have set ourselves as an organisation and individually is to; be the best we can be, work hard, strive for excellence, innovation and continual improvement, and deliver an organisation that we will all continue to be proud of for the benefit of all staff, elected members and the community.
LW 2020 includes a focus on our internal organisation; that is our culture, core values and aspirations as well as a focus on our external organisation; that is the services we provide to our community. The key elements of the LW2020 initiative are identified in the following Strategic Planning Framework, this framework also underpins the development of Councils 2015-2020 Strategic Management Plan.
The internal focus of the LW 2020 initiative is an inward looking approach that seeks to consider the most important asset of the organisation, its people. This focus has culminated in the development of this LW People Strategy.
This strategy outlines some key outcomes sought by the LW 2020 initiative; including:
- Focusing on Our Culture
- Becoming a High Performance Organisation;
- Becoming a Values Based Organisation;
- Focusing on Strategic Human Resource Management to support our workforce and develop the individuals and teams within our organisation.
Whilst we have categorised the key outcomes under the four dot points above it should be noted that the initiatives and actions under each key outcome are intrinsically interlinked and rely on each other for success.
Organisational culture is evident in distinctive patterns of behaviour based on core values, beliefs and traditions. It is made tangible in an organisation by corporate knowledge, ceremonies, celebrations and organisational goals, strategic management processes, structures and communication as well as methods of allocating resources. Organisational culture covers all aspects of an organisation, including operational, corporate, personal and social aspects. Some might say it’s the glue that binds an organisation together.
In order to develop a much stronger understanding of our organisation’s culture and ways to improve it the Council will be utilising the Human Synergistics Tools with the assistance of the Unley City Council. Some of the key premises of the Human Synergistics tools are:
- Improving Leadership Skills leads to more constructive culture and a 33% average improvement in performance.
- Leadership helps shape culture. Culture in turn shapes leadership. They both drive performance.
- Knowing who you are now is the first and most important step in deciding who you will be in the future.
- Improving employee involvement leads to a more constructive culture and a 35% average increase in performance.
- Constructive thinking leads to 26% higher satisfaction with life in general
- A more clearly defined mission and philosophy leads to a more constructive culture.
The Implementation Plan at the end of this Strategy outlines the process and actions that will be undertaken to improve our culture with particular emphasis on our participation and use of Human Synergistics tools.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
A High Performance Organisation
A high performing organisation is defined as; “an organisation that achieves financial and non financial results that are better than those of its peer group over a longer period of time by adapting well to changes and reacting quickly, by managing for the long term, by setting up an integrated and aligned management structure, by continuously improving its core capabilities and by truly treating the employees as its main asset.”
It is identified that persistent, optimistic, well placed individuals driven by a desire to develop new ways of working are an essential ingredient in creating an innovative organisational culture. Whilst individuals are central to the innovation process within organisations, an innovative culture, by definition should embrace all members of the organisation. Therefore it is the way individuals work together across an organisation, sharing their creativity and enthusiasm for new ways of working that leads organisational innovation. A culture of innovation is also intrinsic to the high performing organisation. In order to be high performing and innovative we need to ensure all staff are energised, aligned, engaged and work as a team.
The Implementation Plan at the end of this Strategy outlines the initiatives and actions that will be undertaken that will result in the Council becoming a High Performance Organisation. .
A Values Based Organisation
Everyone and every organisation has values, your personal values underpin the way in which you behave, act and how you live your life. For an organisation, core values are what support and underpin the vision, shape the culture and represent frameworks for the way we do things. Values are the essence of an organisation’s identity and culture because they set out the “do’s” and “don’ts”. Living them is what really counts. They are not made to be put up on the wall and forgotten about.
The Loxton Waikerie Council has previously not formally determined its core values until now. Following a process of engagement with all staff and Elected Members through a survey and workshops in November and December 2014 and distributing a draft set of Core Values in February 2015 seeking comments and feedback a set of core values have been developed and were adopted by Council at its meeting held in March 2015. Our core values are important as they will:
- Provide guidelines for our behaviour.
- Help show our community what they should expect from us.
- Show potential staff how we differ from other prospective employers because they see; “This is what we value here”. People are increasingly aware of organisational values and look for them, frequently choosing one organisation over another because of their values.
- Provide the basis for achieving cultural change.
- Help enable our people and our organisation to succeed.
- Impact on professional practice.
- Can provide a measurement of success for individuals. (They will be included in Performance & Development Reviews (PDRs))
- Provide some stability through change; “How do we implement the change in line with our values?”
Our core values are identified in the following diagram.
So how will the Core Values Reflect our Behaviour?
The following provides more context and background as to how the core values will be reflected in our behaviours. In addition to the value and definition above, several dot points have been developed to reflect how the values will be committed to by all staff and Elected Members.
We are GENUINE
Adhering to moral and ethical principles, being honest, accountable, trustworthy and authentic.
- Displaying trust, respect, honesty and accountability
- Making realistic commitments and keeping promises
- Communicating in an honest, open manner without breaching confidentiality
- Taking responsibility for own actions – not looking to blame others
- Delivering on our promises and commitments
- Being respectful when speaking about others
- Operating within organisational parameters and values, even in the face of opposition or when this is unpopular
We are CARING
Showing respect, compassion and empathy and being supportive of each other and our community.
- Treating each other as we would like to treated ourselves
- Treating those who are less fortunate or experiencing difficulties with dignity
- Displaying good manners
- Recognising we are all different and unique and celebrating our diversity
- Being inclusive and non discriminatory
- Demonstrating understanding and respect
We are UNITED
Working as a team in an inclusive, coordinated and collaborative manner to achieve our common goals.
- Cooperative and coordinated effort between individuals and teams within Council
- Working together, being inclusive, sharing ideas and recognising achievement
- Supporting and motivating each other
- Having a positive attitude to work and having fun
- Contributing to the development of positive team spirit and morale
- Celebrating individual, team and organisational success
We will LISTEN
Communicating as well as engaging the community in an open, honest and constructive manner at all times.
- Be respectful when interacting with each other and the community
- Maintain a high standard of written and verbal communication
- Being positive in meetings and discussions focussing on solutions and constructive outcomes
- Communicate clearly, actively listen and display understanding for views of others
- Engage and consult with the community
- Respond in a timely manner
- Dealing with any conflict in an open and constructive manner
We will be INNOVATIVE
Seeking out and making use of new ideas and opportunities, showing initiative and being progressive, proactive and creative.
- Using our own initiative
- Being progressive and creative
- Seeking ways to continually improve processes and perform tasks
- Being prepared to challenge the current situation, use initiative and taking considered risks if necessary to improve outcomes
- Learning from each other, sharing ideas and working collaboratively.
- Act in anticipation of future opportunities, issues, needs or changes.
We will aim for EXCELLENCE
Consistently delivering quality service outcomes and endeavouring to be a high performance organisation.
- Demonstrating a commitment to meet agreed organisational performance and service standards
- Aspiring to achieve high standards of personal and organisational performance
- Undertaking best practice and thorough strategic, business and operational planning
- Displaying energy, commitment and a strong work ethic to deliver the goals of the organisation
- Being part of the solution not the problem
- Make a positive difference to our community
The above core values need to be integrated into our organisation to ensure we become a Values Based Organisation. The way the core values will be integrated is identified in the Implementation Plan at the end of this strategy.
“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.
And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the proactive management of people. It requires thinking ahead, and planning ways for our organisation to better meet the needs of our employees, and for the employees to better meet the needs of our organisation and the community.
A focus on SHRM will be a key contributor to ensuring organisational effectiveness and to ensure the maximum return from our most important asset; the people in the organisation. Effective management and innovative approaches to the development of employees will enable us to capture and embed knowledge and skills. Organisations that are seeking not only to survive, but to maximise operational effectiveness in an ever changing environment, need to ensure that at all levels, the human resource development strategy is aligned with broader strategic imperatives, and that sufficient emphasis is placed on the SHRM function.
The Implementation Plan within this strategy identifies the actions and initiatives that Council will implement to improve its SHRM and will focus on all elements of human resources including:
- Recruitment and attraction
- Interview processes
- Professional Development Reviews
- Reward and Recognition
- Workforce Planning and Succession Planning
This LW People Strategy is the overarching document for all of Council’s Human Resource policies, procedures and processes.
“Success isn’t just something that happens …
Success is learned, success is practiced and then it is shared.”
Utilising Human Synergistics Tools –
Organisational Culture Inventory (OCI)
The OCI provides a profile of an organisation's operating culture, in terms of the behaviours that members believe are required to "fit in and meet expectations". Such expectations guide the way organisational members approach their work and interact with each other. These behavioural norms influence the organisations ability to solve problems, adapt to change and perform effectively.
The OCI is used to create a vision of the ideal or preferred culture for the organisation.
Utilising Human Synergistics Tools –
Organisational Effectiveness Survey (OEI)
The OEI complements the OCI by measuring the Causal Factors (Levers for Change) that shape culture and the outcomes of culture at the individual, group and organisational levels.
This comprehensive process assesses virtually all internal factors and conditions that are likely to impact on our organisation's performance.
Together the OCI and the OEI provide a complete picture of the case for change and the levers for change.
Utilising Human Synergistics Tools
Leadership Survey (LSI)
The LSI is designed to promote constructive and transformational change with the feedback helping individuals more clearly understand what is currently supporting and hindering their personal effectiveness. It provides guidance to developing more constructive styles of thinking and behaving.
The LSI will provide the basis for further professional and personal development of our leaders.
Utilising Human Synergistics Tools
Implement outcomes identified
Develop and implement cultural change strategies and causal factor action planning from data gained from the OCI, OEI & LSI’s.
July 2015 – July 2017
Participate in the LGA SA Assessing the Performance of Council Framework
The framework will provide a means of assessing the performance of the elected Council and its interaction with the management team. The aim is to gain greater understanding of the positive and negative impacts of the actions, attitudes and behaviours of Council Members and senior staff and thereby provide an opportunity to develop a better working relationship and culture.
May 2015 – January 2016
Organise at least one all staff annual function
The all staff function may be a Christmas/end of year celebration and will enable all staff to interact and also provide an opportunity to recognise the achievements of staff. The purpose of this event will be to build morale and camaraderie and break down the current perception of a lack of cohesion and consistency between offices and depots.
December 2015 and then annually
HIGH PERFORMANCE ORGANISATION
Participate in the Rural Management Challenge
The Rural Management Challenge is a sophisticated developmental program that produces outcomes that have relevant, tangible and enduring benefits for individuals, teams and the organisation.
Team may be entered on an annual or bi-annual basis.
Annual or Bi-annual
Participate in the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)
The ELP is delivered by LG Professionals SA in partnership with the Executive Education Unit at the University of Adelaide. It is an experiential learning program that takes 7 months to complete.
Only one staff member would be nominated to attend in any year and participation will be based on identified professional development needs of staff members.
A staff member will be participating in 2016.
Establishment of Cross Departmental Working Groups/Teams
The implementation of major operational projects, such as a new corporate system, website design, records management software, will be overseen by a team of staff from a range of relevant sections of the organisation. This will ensure greater communication of the project across the organisation and more ownership of the implementation of projects which should lead to greater success.
On going as required
Identify opportunities to improve communication across the organisation
The above action will assist the aim to improve communication. It is identified that there is a perception of a lack of cohesion and consistency across the organisation. Improving communication between staff from all areas of the organisation will assist in addressing this. This may include staff presentation to other staff at meetings or to Elected members during workshops.
Identify opportunities for greater networking for staff
Staff will be encouraged to attend professional events/associations such as; SALGSOA, NALGIG, CPG, Governance Network and the like depending on their role and profession. This is especially relevant for our staff who are ‘sole operators’ as it provides an opportunity to discuss issues, learn and build relationships with peers from other Councils.
Identify Opportunities for Secondment of Staff to other Council’s
|Through the partnership with Unley City Council, and other Council’s, there may opportunities for staff to spend time at other Councils to learn and experience new and improved work practices and processes.||As identified|
|Review and Assess the Organisational Structure||The organisational structure will be reviewed on a regular basis, especially when a role is vacated, to ensure the structure and roles within the structure are appropriate to deliver the range and level of services expected by Council.||On going|
Identify opportunities to promote achievements and innovations
|Achievements, best practice initiatives and innovations will be promoted and shared with recognition sought from our professional and/or Local Government peers.||As identified|
VALUES BASED ORGANISATION
|Core Values to be inserted in all Job & Person Specifications (JPS)||As part of integrating the core values throughout the organisation they will be inserted into all JPS’s for all staff.||January 2016|
|Core Values to be inserted into Professional Development Review (PDR) Documentation||As part of integrating the core values throughout the organisation they will be inserted into all PDR documents and used as a basis for assessing the performance and behaviour of all staff.||January 2016|
|Core Values to become part of Recruitment and Attraction of new Staff||Core Values will be incorporated into interview questions to ensure the recruitment process has an assessment of whether potential new employees have similar values to the organisation.||As required|
|LW People Strategy to be part of the suite of documents used as part of the recruitment process for new Staff||The LW People Strategy will be available for all prospective employees so they can assess the values and aims of the organisation.||As required|
|Core Values to be on display throughout all Council locations||
Banners depicting the core values to be placed in foyer of Council Offices and Libraries.
Posters depicting the core values to be placed at all workstations and depots.
|Incorporate Core Values in decision making and reporting processes||Assessment of Core Values to be included in summary table of all Council agenda and Committee reports.||July 2015|
|Core Values to form the basis of nominations for an ‘Employee of the Year’||Council staff will be asked to nominate other staff to be the ‘Employee of the Year’. The nomination to be based on an employee displaying Councils core values in an exemplary manner.||Annually|
|Core Values to form the basis of nominations for a ‘Team of the Year’||Council staff will be asked to nominate other staff teams to be the ‘Team of the Year’. The nomination to be based on a team displaying Councils core values in an exemplary manner. Team may consist of an interdepartmental team formed to implement a project or organise an event or could be an existing team within one of the departments.||Annually|
STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
|Improve Recruitment and Attraction of Staff Processes – Recruitment Documentation|
Review and develop new advertising and recruitment documentation that is consistent with Council’s corporate image* and that promotes Council as a great place to work.
* Council is currently working on templates for all Council documents that will display a consistent corporate image.
|Improve Recruitment and Attraction of Staff Processes - Promote Local Government as a Great Career Choice||Local Government employs people in a diverse array of professions and is a great place to work for people wishing to contribute to their local community. Council will seek opportunities to promote Local Government as a career choice at careers expo’s and local schools,|
|Improve Recruitment and Attraction of Staff Processes – Interview Questions & Process|
The interview process is an intrinsic part of recruitment of staff. This will be improved by developing a suite of standard questions for all positions as well as role specific questions. Opportunities to insert other activities into the interview process such as competency tests for specific skills or presentations will also be included where relevant. The determination of the interview process, as part of the overall recruitment strategy will be determined prior to advertising for a new role.
On going – Prior to advertising new roles
|Improve the Staff Induction Process|
A robust induction program for all new employees will be developed based over the first three months (culminating with the end of the 3 month probation period)
|Implement an Employment Assistance Program (EAP)|
An EAP will be developed and made available to provide support services for all staff.
|Implement a Consistent Performance Development Review (PDR) Process|
All staff to complete a standard PDR document as part of the PDR process.
|Support Staff with Training & Professional Development|
This will include implementation of the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) which identifies the core competencies and organisational training required for each position. In addition the PDR process will also identify opportunities for professional development and these will need to be budgeted for and attended.
|Reward and Recognition of Staff Achievement|
Commence an ‘Employee of the Year’ and ‘Team of the Year’ award.
|Reward and Recognition of Staff Achievement – Years of Service|
Recognise and celebrate staff service achievement at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
|Review and Update the Workforce Planning Strategy|
The Workforce Planning Strategy was adopted in 2012 and is due for review and updating to reflect current workforce planning issues.
|Implement a Process for Succession Planning|
Following the review of the Workforce Planning Strategy implement a robust process for Succession Planning.
|Implement Exit Interviews|
Develop a standard exit interview and checklist for all staff leaving the organisation.
|Review of all Human Resource Policies and Procedures|
As part of implementing the LW People Strategy there will be a need to amend all Human Resource Policies and Procedures to reflect any new initiatives and processes. This will need to occur as initiatives are implemented that affect a policy or procedure.
Ongoing – completed by January 2017
The aim is for the LW 2020 initiative to commence a journey of learning, innovation and reflection and looking at ourselves as individuals and as an organisation and how we can continually improve the way we interact, work, operate and lead the Council. This LW People Strategy focuses on how we can better engage, align, support and develop our staff and leaders. It has also resulted in the formulation of core values for the Council as well as an implementation plan to ensure we focus on improving our culture, become a high performance and values based organisation and improve our Strategic Human Resource Management.
It is hoped that this strategy provides inspiration and motivation for Council’s Staff, Elected Members and the Leadership Team.
Sustainability is the Destination
Culture is the Vehicle
Innovation is the Fuel
Strategic Planning is the Roadmap