Strategic Priority 3, 2017–18
BUILDING WORKFORCE CAPABILITY
[SOURCE OF CRITERIA: APSC CORPORATE PLAN 2017–18, PAGE 13.]
Activity: Grow and support future leaders
Key performance indicator: Leadership development is contemporary and builds confidence in the practice of leadership.
Measure: Evaluation and assessment data indicates a positive shift in capability.
2017–18 result: All seven leadership programs for EL2 and SES staff have resulted in significant positive percentage point shifts of capability. There is strong overall agreement on the value of the programs, with more than 95 per cent of participants intending to implement their learning back in their workplace.
Activity: Transform middle management capability
Key performance indicator: Managers are more confident and skilful in performing their role, including exercising their authority.
Measure: Management in Action Program is released and implemented across the APS.
2017–18 result: The APS Management in Action Program was released for agency use in May 2017.
Key performance indicator: Managers are more capable and confident, particularly in relation to diversity and inclusion.
Measure: Evaluation and assessment data indicates positive shift in capability.
2017–18 result: Evaluation data from the Learning Centre and in-agency delivery indicates an average increase in capability of 50 percentage points across the Management in Action Program objectives.
Activity: Strengthen digital and data capability
Key performance indicator: Staff in agencies have appropriate digital and data capability.
Measure: Digital and data capability initiatives delivered on time.
2017–18 result: The digital and data capability initiatives were delivered on time.
Measure: Evaluation data shows capability shifts.
2017–18 result: Evaluation data from the pilot statistics workshops indicated an average increase in capability of 35 to 40 percentage points. Evaluation data from the pilot digital leadership program showed an average increase in capability of 56 percentage points.
Activity: Build HR capability
Key performance indicator: Workplace Relations Capability Program implemented.
Measure: Satisfaction of participants in the Workplace Relations Capability Program.
2017–18 result: The Workplace Relations Capability Program was launched in October 2017. Almost 300 human resource and workplace relations practitioners from across the Commonwealth have attended small group sessions and events since the start of the program. Evaluation of the associated events indicates that agencies were satisfied with the content of APSC events. Survey feedback showed that most attendees were likely or very likely to attend future events.
Measure: Satisfaction of agency management with their workplace relations capability.
2017–18 result: The APSC is preparing a review of the Workplace Relations Capability Program, to start at the 12-month anniversary of the program’s introduction. Results from this review will inform future aspects of the program and help us understand the program’s impact on the satisfaction of agency management with their workplace relations capability. It is too early to determine whether the program has had an impact.
Key performance indicator: HR Boost project implemented.
Measure: Participating agencies report improved HR capability.
2017–18 result: The focus on HR capability was overtaken by the broader APS reform agenda.
Performance analysis: strategic priority 3
GROW AND SUPPORT FUTURE LEADERS
During 2017–18 more than 500 middle and senior managers representing over 50 agencies participated in the suite of seven APS leadership programs. Evaluation results for all programs pointed to positive shifts in capability. The programs with the highest overall capability shift were Women in Leadership (+42 percentage points), SES Band 1 Leadership Development (+41), EL2 Leadership in Practice (+38) and SES Orientation (+27). The large capability shifts could be a result of the nature of the target audience: these programs cater largely for individuals at career transition points or undergoing a role change.
APS leadership programs continue to be refreshed to ensure that they are building the desired capability. The first and second cohorts of the redeveloped SES Band 2 leadership program completed the program in August 2017 and May 2018. Two further groups began during the first half of 2018. The program focuses on strengthening skills in systems thinking and working across boundaries. It includes an immersive visit to a regional community, during which participants learn about local leaders’ experiences dealing with complex matters affected by government policies at the local level. The program produced strong responses from participants, who were challenged at both personal and professional levels.
A pilot Women in Leadership program concluded in November 2017. Aimed at Executive Level employees, the program strengthens participants’ leadership identity, presence and practice. The pilot produced positive outcomes, with participants identifying significant increases in capability and self-confidence in many program areas—in particular, ‘brand’, ‘presence’ and ‘networking’. A second cohort began in February 2018, the program having been fully subscribed for a number of months before it started.
Transform middle management capability
The APS Management in Action program was released for agency use in May 2017. It uses scenario-based learning to build skills in the use of management authority to achieve business outcomes. The Commission has run the program twice in the APS Learning Centre and has provided facilitators for four in-agency deliveries. Evaluation data suggests a capability increase of 50 percentage points across the program’s learning objectives.
Strengthen digital and data capability
During 2017–18 the Commission developed a suite of learning programs aligned with the framework in the APS Data Literacy Learning Guide. This included five elearning modules and a face-to-face statistics workshop. The elearning modules were to be released in July 2018. The statistics workshop was piloted in June 2018 and will be released in early 2018–19. Evaluation results from the pilot workshops show an average increase in capability of 35 to 40 percentage points.
The Commission partnered with the Digital Transformation Agency during the reporting year to build digital capability in the APS. We worked with subject matter experts to develop learning design standards for 12 specialist digital capabilities. These standards are available for agency use via the Digital Transformation Agency’s Digital Training Marketplace. Further standards will be developed in 2018–19.
The Commission designed, developed and piloted a digital leadership program that will be rolled out during 2018–19. The program is designed to support senior executives in building an agency culture that seizes opportunities to deliver digital products and services in keeping with the evolving expectations of citizens, business and other users of government services. Early results are promising: pilot program participants reported an average shift in capability of 56 percentage points, and all intend to experiment with what they learnt during the program in their workplace.
A talent attraction and retention strategy focused on digital specialists was also developed during 2017–18. The Commission piloted a digital aptitude and skills assessment with 100 participants from 20 agencies.
Build HR and WR capability
In 2016 the Commission undertook research into the subject of building workplace relations capability and surveyed workplace relations and human resource practitioners. Workplace relations is a constantly evolving field, so the Workplace Relations Capability Program seeks to enhance workplace relations knowledge and capability throughout the APS.
Since the Capability Program was launched, on 31 October 2017, the Commission has held two events, hosting over 170 guests and featuring panels of senior Commonwealth public servants and former Fair Work Commissioners to discuss aspects of contemporary workplace relations.
The program has also hosted small group sessions: over 100 Commonwealth human resource and workplace relations practitioners have participated. The ultimate aim is to bring practitioners and ideas together to build and enhance workplace relations capability.
A three-part guide to enterprise bargaining, developed in consultation with Commonwealth agencies, will also be published. The guide will provide practical advice for agencies throughout the bargaining process. The development of formal industrial relations training to assist people starting out in industrial relations in the Commonwealth is being considered with a view to enhancing the capability of existing practitioners.
The Commission will also be reviewing the program 12 months after its beginning, with the aim of refining aspects of the program and its operation.
The Commission built the HR Boost community in 2017–18 and met twice. The community included SES Band One representatives from 10 APS agencies. During the year the community shared knowledge and experiences, coordinated development opportunities for staff, and were involved in a number of presentations. The HR Boost community, along with innovation leaders throughout the APS, discussed what HR will be like in the future and how it can support an organisation’s capability as we seek to adapt to and capitalise on the future of work.
The HR Boost community will be incorporated in the SES Band One Connect community in 2018–19 with its broader community of agencies.