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2 Human Resource Management Finance has a comprehensive human resources (HR) policy framework which is designed to help attract, develop and retain talented, high-performing staff and facilitate the delivery of our outcomes. The department, through the Strategic Human Resources Plan and related policies, has a range of strategies intended to attract and retain staff focussing on career development, job satisfaction, attractive and flexible working conditions and promotion of a healthy work-life balance. During Finance increased its focus on strategic HR issues including workforce planning and recruitment, maintenance of competitive employment conditions and learning and development. Overview and Performance Summary This chapter highlights some of Finance s human resource management activities during and the significant achievements in contributing to Key Performance Area 2 professional and respected staff. Finance met the targets for this Key Performance Area set out in the Portfolio Budget Statements. In particular, during Finance provided a range of development opportunities targeted at enhancing the skills and capabilities of staff in key areas, including leadership and professional skills. The department spent 1.85 per cent of the operating budget on learning and development opportunities for staff, exceeding its target of 1.5 per cent. The staff retention rate also increased during Details of the department s performance are in the performance information Table 14 on page 91. Building a Talented, High-Performance Team Recruitment Finance regularly reviews its recruitment policies and processes to ensure that they continue to meet the department s needs. In the department developed and implemented the Finance Recruitment Strategy (2007/ /12). This strategy includes a comprehensive recruitment, marketing and communications program, and highlights the department s strategic and dynamic approach to managing and sustaining its workforce, while accommodating the increasingly diverse career paths pursued by staff within the department. Throughout Finance received an average of fourteen applications for each vacancy advertised. Finance aims to complete all recruitment processes (from close of applications to final delegate decision) within thirty working days. The timeframes are monitored and reported on the Finance intranet. The average time to fill a vacancy was 28.3 working days in , compared to 31.3 working days in During Finance also implemented a range of strategies as a result of the Ability at Work initiative conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), including the advertising of all vacancies on the Disability Works Australia website. Graduate Recruitment The Graduate Recruitment Program is Finance s main entry-level recruitment program. It targets university students completing their final year of study and former students who completed a degree within the last five years. The program is structured to support students in their transition from study to work. On commencement with Finance, graduates participate in a twelve-month development program. During the graduate development program, graduates are provided with a promotion opportunity to the Australian Public Service Level 4 (APS4). Following satisfactory completion of the development program, graduates are provided with an opportunity to apply for promotion to APS5 level positions within the department. Finance employed forty-one graduates in the 2008 graduate intake. Finance s average annual graduate recruitment intake for the period 2004 to 2008 was fifty seven graduates. Out of the total of 282 graduates recruited between 2004 and 2008, 51.4 per cent were still employed by the department as at 30 June

3 Finance Cadetship Program The Finance Cadetship Program was developed to increase the number of staff in Finance (and in the broader APS) with high-level financial skills and to enhance the recruitment and retention of particularly high performing graduates. Since 2003 twenty-two cadets have been recruited under the program and twenty-one remain with Finance. Eight cadets were recruited in to commence in the Graduate Program in However, despite some success, following a review in 2008 which showed that return on investment did not support its continuation, Finance has decided to discontinue the program. The most recent intake ( ) was the last under the program. A Scholarship Program will be piloted in 2009 to replace the Cadetship Program. Finance Scholarship Program The Scholarship Program is being developed to assist in the recruiting and retention of specialist employees within Finance with high-level accounting, economics and ICT skills. nine Human Resource Management The Program will involve developing relationships with students when they are leaving Year 12 and entering into university studies by establishing arrangements with colleges and universities in the Canberra region. Amongst other things, the program aims to facilitate the transition from study to work through providing students with the opportunity to work full time during semester and holiday breaks. A central tenet to the success of this program is a targeted marketing campaign which is under development. This campaign will rely on the use of promotional material developed for the target audience and include key information about Finance and the Program. National Indigenous Cadetship Project The National Indigenous Cadetship Project (NICP) is an Australian Government initiative that improves the professional employment prospects of Indigenous Australians. It links Indigenous tertiary students with employers in a cadetship arrangement involving full-time study and work placements. The NICP is part of the Australian Government s Indigenous Employment Policy (IEP) which aims to generate more employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. Finance participates in the NICP every year, with three Cadets engaged in 2008 and with recruiting commencing in September 2008 for the 2009 intake. Currently, there are five Indigenous Cadets within the department. Career Starters Program During the department continued to recruit staff under the Career Starters Program. This program was piloted in 2005 to address emerging skill shortages, particularly in relation to payroll staff in the then Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Group, and has since been expanded to include general administrative staff for the department as a whole. The program targets school-leavers (students completing their final year of secondary education) for positions at the APS1 level. In the first year of the program in 2006 twelve APS1 level staff were recruited, twenty-two were recruited in the 2007 program and thirteen in the 2008 program. The program focuses on school leavers interested in joining the APS while studying part-time through the Finance Undergraduate Study Program to complete tertiary qualifications in a field relevant to Finance s operations. The program was reviewed in 2008 to assess the outcomes achieved for the department and for individuals, and to identify where the program may be enhanced. The findings showed that retention of Career Starters had increased since 2006, and has remained consistent over the last two years (58.3 per cent in 2006, 86.3 per cent in 2007 and 84.6 per cent in 2008). Career Enhancer Program The Career Enhancer Program, which is available to staff at the APS4 and APS5 level, was introduced in 2007 for commencement in The objective of the program is to offer a selection of targeted courses to enhance capability at the APS4 and APS5 level. At 30 June 2008, eighteen staff were participating in the 2008 Career Enhancer Program. 85

4 Strategies to Reduce Staff Turnover and Increase Retention During , and as a direct result of the 2006 and 2007 departmental staff attitude surveys, Finance developed and introduced a number of initiatives to help reduce staff turnover and improve workplace culture. These initiatives have been co-ordinated under the Cultural Change Program (discussed below). A staff turnover rate for of eighteen per cent reflects a measure of success in staff retention, when compared with turnover rates of 19.5 per cent in and and 21.9 per cent in Finance will continue to analyse information from annual staff surveys to seek to better understand workplace culture, job satisfaction factors, the reasons why staff leave and what further changes need to be made to assist in their retention. The Strategic HR plan was endorsed by the Executive Board on 23 May 2008 and aims to assist with attracting, recruiting and retaining high quality staff in Finance to achieve our outcomes. The Strategic HR Plan addresses four priority areas in the context of the Finance Valued Behaviours: positive workplace culture recruitment and retention learning and development performance management. Developing our People Finance s commitment to learning and development has been demonstrated in through the delivery of a broad range of programs offered to staff. These programs have achieved high participation rates, along with consistently positive feedback from participants also saw the completion of a purpose-designed training facility in the John Gorton Building. The facility has been extensively utilised, relieving pressure on internal meeting rooms and reducing the need to use external training venues. Cultural Change Program Finance s Cultural Change Program included initiatives aimed at refining and improving workplace culture, leadership capability, the balance between work and life, performance and recognition, and internal communication. The program was instigated by the Secretary, strongly supported by Executive Board and is formally championed by Mr Simon Lewis PSM, General Manager of Asset Management Group. Improvements implemented include the delivery of targeted training, policy refinements, streamlined administrative processes and enhanced internal communication. The department also established a Staff Consultative Committee that has subsequently been consulted on a wide range of topics relating to workplace culture and HR issues. Finance Learning and Development Framework The Learning and Development Framework provides Finance staff with information to enable them to identify and access the most appropriate learning and development opportunities for their needs in both their current and future roles. The information is specified by employment level as well as by groupings, such as staff in management roles and graduates, to help staff identify what learning and development opportunities are most applicable to them. Leadership Development During Finance supported a range of internal and external leadership development programs for Executive Level (EL) and Senior Executive Service (SES) officers. 86

5 Selected SES Band 2 officers participated in APSC programs, including Leading Across Boundaries, Leading Australia s Future in the Asia-Pacific, and the Australian and New Zealand School of Government s Executive Fellows Program. One SES Band 2 officer attended the Advanced Management Program provided by INSEAD. Eighteen SES Band 1 officers attended leadership programs through the APSC, and 301 EL2 and SES officers attended an internal course titled Strategies for Successful Supervisors. Finance also offered introductory leadership courses to APS6 and EL1 officers. In Finance also continued its membership in The Leadership Consortium, a business-based leadership organisation that designs and delivers programs that focus on the needs and challenges of contemporary business. Forty officers from the EL1, EL2 and SES levels attended courses offered by the Leadership Consortium in Graduate Development Finance s Graduate Development Program helps provide graduates with the skills and knowledge required to underpin their future careers within the department and the APS. nine Human Resource Management During the Second Year Graduate Development Program and the Third Year Graduate Development Program were introduced. Graduates participating in the second year program are able to access further targeted training, while graduates participating in the third year program will now have the opportunity to participate in the Finance Postgraduate Study Program. Professional Skills Development During Finance offered a range of learning and development opportunities to staff. Twenty-three different courses were offered in a variety of fields. A total of 626 participants attended these courses. Undergraduate Study Program Finance also has an Undergraduate Study Program which allows Career Starters to participate in undergraduate tertiary studies at the University of Canberra whilst being employed full-time with the department. Participants can undertake a bachelor degree in business administration, commerce, or management. At June 2008 six Career Starters had enrolled in the program, four electing to study a Bachelor of Business Administration and two enrolling in a Bachelor of Commerce. Postgraduate Study Program The Finance Postgraduate Study Program, offered through the Australian National University, provides Finance staff with the opportunity to participate in postgraduate studies in management. Participants can undertake a Graduate Certificate in Management, a Master of Management or a Master of Business Administration. Two intensive courses were offered during with seventeen participants in each. Two students completed their Master of Management qualification during this period. Finance Learning Centre The Learning Centre provides Finance officers with the opportunity to attend seminars based around topical themes which are presented by internal speakers and high-profile external speakers from the public and private sectors. During presentations were focused on two themes: The Federal Election (2007) and Strong People Create Strong Organisations Supporting Personal Health, Wealth and Happiness (2008). In addition to these themes, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, Professor John McMillan, gave a special presentation on Lessons for Public Administration. 87

6 Study and Professional Membership Assistance Finance provides financial and leave assistance to staff wishing to participate in external study relevant to the operational needs of the department. At 30 June 2008, 118 officers were receiving assistance for programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Finance staff may also receive financial assistance for relevant professional memberships and subscriptions. In , fifty-two staff received approval for professional memberships and/or subscriptions. COMCAR Driver Training Finance provides ongoing driver training to COMCAR drivers. In sixteen driver training courses were held throughout Australia, involving 204 drivers and a total of 793 training days. The 2008 Workplace Relations Training Program covered appropriate workplace behaviour and commenced in June Driver Plus Program During the department also provided additional training to four COMCAR drivers to allow them to undertake administrative tasks such as payroll and travel processing during peak administrative periods. This Driver Plus Program has utilised the administrative skills and experience of the COMCAR casual driver workforce. Workforce Planning In November 2007, Executive Board noted the department s first three-year workforce plan and agreed to the ongoing development and implementation of a comprehensive workforce plan that is integrated with the business planning cycle. Integration work has commenced and will be complete for the business planning cycle. Remuneration, Rewards and Recognition The majority of Finance staff are engaged under an Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA), except for a small number of COMCAR staff. In line with the government s Employment Bargaining Framework, there have been no AWAs issued since February New employees are employed under the Finance Certified Agreement (CA) with a Public Service Act determination under section 24 (1) which brings salaries in line with current salary scales. The Finance CA and AWAs provide staff with flexible and competitive remuneration, including the opportunity to earn performance bonuses, choice of superannuation arrangements and generous leave provisions. Finance s employment conditions, as reflected in the Finance AWA, CA and HR policies, comply with government policy and legislative requirements. Finance is developing a new employment framework for all non-ses employees in line with the Government s Employment Bargaining Framework. A ballot of staff was conducted between Tuesday, 20 May and Wednesday, 28 May 2008 to determine the type of Collective Agreement that would be pursued for non-ses staff. The outcome of the ballot, in favour of a union-negotiated Collective Agreement, was announced to staff on Monday, 2 June Negotiation of the Collective Agreement will begin in the later half of In addition, the COMCAR Certified Agreement and the COMCAR Drivers Certified Agreement govern the terms and conditions of those COMCAR staff that have elected not to enter into an AWA with the department. Negotiations commenced on 23 January 2008 with the Transport Workers Union and the Community and Public Sector Union for a new COMCAR Drivers Collective Agreement. Remuneration Finance s remuneration framework for staff covered by the Finance CA supplemented by a determination under section 24(1), or an AWA, incorporates a series of pay points, including minimum and maximum guide points, for each classification from APS1 to EL2, and provides for annual pay point advancement that is subject to the achievement of an effective or better performance rating. The department conducts an annual remuneration review to ensure that Finance s remuneration remains competitive with the rest of the APS for both SES and non-ses employees. The 2008 remuneration review was conducted in June 2008 and resulted in a four per cent across-the board increase for non-ses staff. 88

7 The Secretary determines the salary of all SES staff. SES salaries are benchmarked against other public sector agencies and the private sector and these processes were informed by the outcomes of the remuneration review. Performance Management All Finance employees participate in the department s performance management arrangements except the small number of employees who transferred to Finance under Machinery of Government changes announced on 3 December Each employee has a performance agreement established in consultation with their manager. Performance is assessed against the performance agreement in November/December and in May/June each year. The performance agreement identifies an individual s key outcomes, commensurate with the relevant Finance Work Level Standards, and the employee s performance against the Finance Valued Behaviours. Learning and development opportunities are also identified. As foreshadowed in Finance s Annual Report, the department s performance framework was reviewed to increase the focus on the Finance Valued Behaviours in the delivery of outcomes. The format and process of the performance agreement have been streamlined. In 2008 an upgrade to the department s Human Resource Information Management System, Aurion, has also increased functionality of the performance management system. nine Human Resource Management Ratings are provided to staff following their end of cycle performance assessment in May/June. Staff rated highly effective or above receive performance bonuses. The maximum potential bonus for staff up to APS6 is five per cent of their annual salary. For EL staff, the maximum potential bonus is 7.5 per cent and for SES staff, it is ten per cent. The performance rating scale is as follows: Rating Development Required 0 Effective 0 Highly Effective 50% Superior 75% Outstanding 100% Bonus as a percent of maximum potential bonus The performance management cycle concluded on 30 June Performance bonuses for non-ses staff were paid in August Figure H: Staff Performance Ratings as a Percentage of Staff Rated % 50% 51% 40% Per cent 30% 20% 25% 22% 10% 0% 1% Requires Development Effective Highly Effective Superior Outstanding Rating 1% 89

8 Rewards Finance formally recognises and acknowledges exceptional contributions by staff through the presentation of the Secretary s Awards every six months. These awards celebrate the achievements of teams whose work exemplifies the Finance Valued Behaviours and who make significant contributions to the department s outcomes. Outstanding performance can be demonstrated by, among other things: excellent customer service; leadership, including as a member of a team; achieving more efficient processes; or outstanding policy and program outcomes. In the following teams received Secretary s Awards: Secretary s Awards for Achievement Gateway Unit, Financial Management Group For outstanding achievement in implementing the whole-of-government Gateway project assurance methodology to a high standard and with a minimum of disruption. Electorate Office IT Team and Ministerial Wing Communications Team, Financial and e-solutions Group For the outstanding delivery of IT support services to the Leader of the Opposition travelling party during the 2007 Federal Election. Election Planning Taskforce, Corporate and Parliamentary Services and Financial and e-solutions Group For the implementation of a comprehensive and high quality election support strategy, which resulted in the effective and efficient delivery of advice and services to key stakeholders during the 2007 Federal Election Federal Election Costings Co-ordination Team, Budget Group and Corporate and Parliamentary Services For outstanding achievement in managing the election costings and related processes during the 2007 Federal Election. AusTender Team, Asset Management Group For outstanding achievement in the successful delivery of AusTender a first class whole-of-government procurement opportunities and contract reporting system which improves transparency and reduces red tape for FMA agencies. Red Tape Team, Future Fund and Red Tape Branch, Financial Management Group For making an outstanding contribution to reducing red tape, and thus improving efficiency and productivity, in internal Australian Government administration by developing and proposing specific initiatives, and by developing a framework to achieve a sustained reduction in red tape. Entitlements Management Branch, Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (M&PS) For the planning, design and successful implementation of a new Telephone Call Management System which has resulted in significant improvement to M&PS interface with its parliamentary clients. The ICT Skills Team, AGIMO For their professionalism, dedication, creativity and leadership in developing and delivering the ICT Professional and Skills Taskforce Report. The Health and Ageing AAU, Budget Group For sustained high quality contribution to policy outcomes despite significant demands, often with tight timelines, and effective collaboration with the Health and Ageing agency in significantly improving estimates accuracy. Learning and Development, Knowledge Management and Information Services, Corporate Group For professionalism, dedication and sustained commitment to developing and implementing a Learning and Development Framework that positions Finance as a leader in this field. 90

9 Other Information on Human Resource Issues in This Report A discussion of the department s occupational health and safety arrangements and performance is in Appendix D. An overview of the department s staffing profile, salary ranges, performance payments made and voluntary turnover is in Appendix E. An assessment of the department s performance as an employer against the Commonwealth Disability Strategy is in Appendix F. Table 14: Performance Information for Key Performance Area 2 Professional and Respected Staff Key Performance Area Objective: Supporting business groups by providing a broad range of high quality support and co-ordination services, and co-ordinating a range of departmental and portfolio activities that affect the governance of the department. nine Human Resource Management Target Ministers satisfaction with the quality, relevance and timeliness of advice for Australian- Government decision-making. Learning and development opportunities provided by the department satisfy a significant majority of participants. Improved management of Finance s official information through progressive uptake of the electronic document and records management system. High level research and targeted information services satisfy the business requirements of a significant majority of clients. Improved accuracy, currency and effectiveness of Finance s websites. Result Ministers in both the previous and current governments have indicated their satisfaction with the quality, relevance and timeliness of advice provided by the department. Finance provided a range of generic and tailored development opportunities targeted at enhancing the skills and capabilities of staff in key areas such as leadership, professional skills and tertiary studies. Feedback provided indicated that a significant majority of participants were satisfied finding the opportunities to be both high quality and relevant. Finance initiatives to achieve improved management of information include: All new staff undertake preliminary records management and electronic document management (EDMS) training during induction. Formal EDMS training is available to all staff on an ongoing basis. During a total of ninety-five EDMS training sessions were run for Finance staff. High level research and targeted information services were provided to Finance s business groups. The number of research and reference queries received during increased by eighteen per cent over those received in Feedback indicated very high satisfaction levels. A number of Finance websites were refreshed during the year, including the redevelopment of the main website which included consolidating six websites into a consistent format. Reviews of the content prior to the launch of the refreshed websites also improved the accuracy and currency of information. 91

10 Target Workshop on security requirements held for all Finance staff during Expenditure on formal ( off the job ) learning and development is greater than 1.5 per cent of departmental running costs. Eighty per cent of graduates are satisfied with opportunities provided as part of the Graduate Development Program. Ten per cent increase in usage by staff of the Finance intranet site. Increase annual staff retention rate by one per cent Result In : all ongoing and non-ongoing staff, including contractors, working within Finance were required to participate in security awareness sessions, twenty-four security sessions for new staff were conducted and these were attended by a total of 814 staff, security awareness training was delivered to all staff via an on-line assessment and was completed by 1,248 staff, and an additional twenty-seven security briefings and workshops were conducted for various purposes. Finance spent 1.85 per cent of its operating budget on learning and development opportunities for staff in compared to a target of 1.5 per cent. Finance offers a comprehensive Graduate Development Program which includes training, mentoring and networking opportunities. In in excess of eighty per cent of graduates were satisfied, identifying that sessions under the program met their objectives and were of a high quality. There has been a twenty-four per cent increase in usage of the intranet by staff. Staff turnover reduced from 19.5 per cent in to 18.1 per cent in resulting in a 1.47 per cent increase in the staff retention rate. 92

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