Report of the Strategic Director Corporate Services and Governance
The Committee received an update report on the progress of the Council’s Workforce Plan. The purpose of the Council’s Workforce Strategy and Plan is to ensure the Council has a workforce that can support delivery of services our residents want and need, services that provide value for money, are fit for purpose, flexible and customer focussed. The strategy outline how the Council aims to ensure it has the right people, with the right skills and behaviours, working in the right jobs, at the right time.
The workforce strategy is based on five themes, skills and behaviours; recruitment and retention; pay, reward and recognition; wellbeing and engagement; and performance and change.
A workforce plan provides a detailed delivery plan for each of the five themes. The plan is a dynamic document which is continually developed to respond to the Council’s current workforce requirements, and to prepare for future changes.
The following update is on the progress made since the last report to Committee in October 2018.
Gateshead Leadership Development Programme (GLDP)
The Council seeks to maintain and develop strong, diverse and competent leaders who can deliver its corporate and public service ambitions. Therefore, a key priority is to invest in the development of our employees as leaders of the organisation, so they are equipped to deliver services to support the Thrive agenda.
The content of a new leadership development programme is currently being drafted, once finalised, it will be rolled out to the leadership team, service managers and all other managers within the Council. Ultimately if resources allow, the ambition is to provide leadership development to those employees who are not yet in management positions but are ‘ready’ to move up, therefore developing leadership potential.
The modern employer is expected to support and engage its staff in the work they do, to help unlock their potential and maximise the overall performance of the organisation. One drive for this is to adopt a coaching style in the conversations we have with each other and in the way we work.
Learning and Development Framework
A learning and development framework is available on the intranet as a one-stop shop for managers and employees to access information on courses and other resources and guidance to support their development. The framework has been in place for some time and the Workforce Development Team is currently evaluating its content, with a view to streaming the available modules and move to a greater emphasis on e-learning as a flexible, cost effective way of providing training.
Mentoring and Coaching
One of the initiatives identified in the Council’s Workforce Plan which will build leadership capacity is to provide opportunities for employees to access mentoring to support their development. Mentoring is a development technique based on the use of one-to-one discussions to enhance an individual’s work skills, behaviour, performance and/or knowledge and involves a more experienced employee using their greater knowledge, experience and understanding of the work or the workplace to support the development of a more junior or less experienced employee.
Apprenticeships are government funded work-based training programmes for people aged 16-65, combining on and off-the job training. Recruiting apprentices and using apprenticeship programmes for current employees helps organisation to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
The HR/Workforce Development team is leading on the Council’s apprenticeship programme with the development of an apprenticeship strategy and delivery plan which aims to:
· Embed a positive apprenticeship culture
· Maximise workforce capability by identifying and promoting a range of suitable apprenticeship opportunities for new apprentices and existing employees
· Provide advice and support to managers on apprenticeships
· Negotiate apprenticeship training programmes on behalf of the Council
· Support and reflect the council’s wider responsibilities e.g. as a corporate parent and achieving targets for care leavers entering apprenticeships
· Engage with training providers and other local authorities to maximise apprenticeship provision within the region
Work is ongoing to develop an employee recognition scheme, and officers are in the process of working on a Financial Wellbeing Scheme. This month a salary sacrifice scheme is being introduced for employees who wish to make Additional Voluntary Contributions to a pension fund which would allow them to increase benefits which can be withdrawn from 55 onwards.
Work is ongoing to update the workforce strategy and plan and officers are currently talking to service directors with regards to their needs.
It was suggested that there should be something with regards to Equality and Diversity. It was noted that it is not listed as a separate theme but is touched on.
It was suggested that in terms of the development of staff there should be a way of looking at work staff do outside of the Council which may mean they have skills which could be transferrable to support their work within the Council. The Council does offer an Employer Supported Volunteering Scheme which gives employees the opportunity to develop new skills and gain experience which may be transferable to the workplace.
RESOLVED - That the information contained within the report be noted.