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APSC News September 2016: fostering a flexible, efficient, high performing APS

Bargaining resumes

Last month, the Government confirmed that the Workplace Bargaining Policy 2015 remains unchanged.

Employees who voted for new enterprise agreements in 2015 have, or in the near future, will enjoy their second pay rise.   Show more

The agencies with employees in this position include the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Communications and the Arts, the Department of Social Services and the Australian Public Service Commission.

Over the year to June 2016, annual wages growth across the economy was 2.1% and CPI increased by only 1%. This means employees receiving their second pay rise have made meaningful gains in line with market trends.

These employees are moving ahead in the knowledge that future pay rises are settled and a jointly supported enterprise agreement is in place.

Sixty enterprise agreements have been voted up in 57 agencies between June 2015 and September 2016. Forty-nine of these agreements have been finalised since a revised Bargaining Policy was announced in November 2015. Bargaining will now continue with the objective of delivering modern, easy to read enterprise agreements with pay increases for their employees.   Hide content


APS Transformation comes alive at AGLN conferences

This year’s Australian Government Leadership Network (AGLN) conferences have kicked off with capacity attendance in Brisbane and Sydney, and tickets are selling fast for our remaining conferences in Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.   Show more

AGLN Conferences provide a thought-provoking forum for leaders in the APS to exchange ideas, share knowledge and contribute to the development of Public Sector initiatives. This year our speakers are a mix of public and private sector experts in fields including digital disruption and big data.
Through the course of the day panel sessions cover topics such as workforce challenges of the future and offer real life examples regarding the harnessing of technology to deliver services in the way the community expects.

Register now for one of the remaining conferences at the locations below:

  • Hobart - Thursday 15 September 2016
  • Adelaide - Thursday 6 October 2016
  • Perth - Thursday 27 October 2016
  • Melbourne - Thursday 17 November 2016

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A new initiative: The APS Indigenous Mentoring Program

If you’re an energetic and experienced leader who would be proud to share your skills and knowledge with junior Indigenous APS employees OR if you’re a junior Indigenous APS employee who is keen to develop professionally and personally, we would love to hear from you!

For the first time, the APSC is developing an APS-wide Indigenous Mentoring Program and we’re seeking expressions of interest from all APS employees who would like to be involved. Contact the Indigenous Employment Team at indigenous [at] apsc.gov.au for more information!


Ripple making waves

Ripple is the APSC’s innovative new smartphone app designed to help employees better understand performance and motivation. A pilot was launched on 22 August and it’s already making waves. Show more

Ripple is a conversation starter. It’s an innovative way of getting people to think - and talk - about what on-the-job performance actually means. It asks the questions everyone should be thinking about in the course of their job: everything from accountability to work-life balance. If you’ve ever wondered what drives you and your colleagues in the workplace, how your employer compares to others and what makes some teams hum, then Ripple might be for you.

So, what are people saying about Ripple? It’s been described as ‘excellent’, ‘informative’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘easy to use’. But more importantly, participants are saying that Ripple’s already spurred lively workplace conversations about performance.

Ripple is currently being piloted along the lines of a randomised controlled trial with around 2,500 EL 1s from across the APS. Plans are being made to release it across the APS after the trial. This is likely to be in early 2017, so stay tuned to find out when it will be available for wider download.

For more information please contact ripple [at] apsc.gov.au  Hide content


Cabinet writing skills program developed through collaboration and is open for enrolments now!

Producing a Quality Cabinet Document is an innovative learning program that successfully combines Cabinet Division’s deep knowledge of the Cabinet system and the collaborative learning design and facilitation expertise of the APSC’s Centre for Leadership and Learning. Since March 2016, 600 APS staff from 23 agencies have developed their skills in writing for the Cabinet by participating in the course, with many participants commenting: ‘this was one of the best APS courses I’ve done.’

Sign up for this valuable one-day course online.


Workforce inclusion – Beyond targets

Diversity advisor to President Barack Obama and Program Manager on the President’s Executive Order on Diversity and Inclusion are just two of the many accomplishments of J. Bruce Stewart, who met with Deputy Secretaries last month. Show more

Going beyond targets when striving for diversity was a key topic in this discussion. Bruce’s idea of an inclusive workplace is based on a new IQ or Inclusion Quotient, which he defines as the ‘intelligent, deliberate acts that increase a group’s intelligence by making people feel like they are valued.’

Holding leaders to account was a vital piece of the US program. A goal of hiring an additional 100,000 employees with a disability within 5 years was set for leaders across Government agencies. In order to make this possible, the length of time taken for an employee to come on board needed to be shortened from 4-5 months to 10 days. A pre-screening process was put in place for candidates with a disability and this led to a shortened timeframe. It not only improved the experience for candidates but also acted as an incentive for managers to fill vacancies faster.

Additionally, regular contact across agencies meant that new ideas were shared. Agencies that maintained similar workforces were able to organise employee mobility opportunities easily.

Learning from the experiences of our international counterparts, including the US, is important for the APS. The APSC will continue to work with with Bruce so that we can continue to share lessons.

Want a simple tool to help your team on the diversity journey? Use Bruce’s SHIFT model to guide your thinking when implementing Diversity programs:

Storytelling – Ensure you have a strong narrative

Hacking Habits – Do things differently, change habits

Influencing Social Networks – Use the right change agents to spread the word

Feedback Loops – Offer ways for people to receive and provide feedback

Transparency – Ensure everyone understands how decisions are being made

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SES leadership alumni

When you’re building your leadership capacity, the learning never stops! SES leadership program alumni are invited to stay connected with colleagues and the leadership practices that make a difference. Keep an eye out for invitations from the Centre for Leadership and Learning at the APSC – your next opportunity is 22 September 2016. Show more

For the 22 September session we have asked Diana Renner to be our guest speaker. Diana is the co-author of ‘Not Knowing: the art of turning uncertainty into opportunity’. Diana also facilitates on a variety of leadership programs including Harvard University’s JFK School of Government ‘The Art & Practice of Leadership Development’ and the University of Adelaide’s ‘Transformative Leadership’.

Previous alumni sessions have featured Geoff Aigner, formerly of Social Leadership Australia, reflecting on the leadership opportunities and challenges for senior executives in the APS, and Ed O’Malley, from the Kansas Leadership Centre, sharing his thoughts on how we see and seize leadership moments.

SES alumni sessions are designed to give you food for thought, time to pause and reflect, and an opportunity to network with your SES leadership community. All past participants of APS leadership programs are invited to attend. Contact sesregistrations [at] apsc.gov.au for more information.   Hide content