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Employee support and development

Key questions

  • How effective are Council’s current employee development programs in equipping employees to meet Council’s strategic objectives?
  • What are the critical skills areas Council needs to address in 4 and 8 years’ time? Is there a strategy in place to provide existing employees with the opportunity to develop these skills?
  • Is Council’s employee performance management system linked to its learning and development system? How effective is this?
  • Does Council have an effective strategy to induct new staff? Is this linked to Council’s strategic direction?
  • What strategies does Council have in place to reduce unnecessary staff turnover? Do these strategies address the particular needs of EEO target group members and mature age employees?
  • Are exit interviews undertaken and their findings discussed and acted on?
  • Do Council’s business succession planning strategies provide opportunities to all employees to develop and attain individual career objectives?


Strategic issues
Managing and recognising performance - the framework and mechanism that aligns individual, business unit and Council objectives. An important element of the Integrated Planning and Reporting process is identifying and implementing assessment methods for determining whether objectives are being achieved.

Learning and development - the process of identifying development needs at business unit and individual levels, and providing programs to develop skills and knowledge to deliver the community’s objectives. This includes mentoring programs, leadership development, apprenticeships and traineeships.

Business succession planning - establishes a merit-based process that recruits a flow of employees, develops their skills and abilities, and prepares them for advancement, all while retaining them to ensure a return on the organisation's training investment. Business succession planning can protect against the loss of corporate knowledge in the current climate of an ageing workforce nearing large-scale retirement. Business succession planning is separate from individual career planning, which is linked to learning and development.

Workforce culture - having a workforce culture that embraces work/life balance and engages with employees in policy development and decision-making will assist in developing a healthy organisation that performs well through staff loyalty. It will also minimise recruitment costs through lowering staff turnover rates.

Development of professional/collegial networks - these relationships can assist Council with skills sharing and peer support and can include Regional Organisations of Councils, Strategic Alliances or special interest groups such as the Local Government Aboriginal Network, and LGMA’s Human Resources Special Interest Group.

Rewards and recognition - where rewards or recognition are offered to council employees as incentives, it is important that a clear and transparent policy and process be developed with selection criteria which ensure integrity and fairness.

Flexible working arrangements - offering flexible working arrangements such as family-friendly work practices will promote a positive and healthy organisational culture, encouraging staff loyalty and improving retention rates.

Employee Assistance Program - a work-based intervention program designed to enhance the emotional, mental and general psychological well-being of all employees and includes services for immediate family members. The aim is to provide preventive and proactive interventions for the early detection, identification and/or resolution of both work and personal problems that may adversely affect performance and well-being, including coping with change. Providing an independent EAP for staff is now common practice for many councils.

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