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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Chapter 4 - Developing our people

In 2015-16, a number of whole-of-service activities have been undertaken to support the learning and development of State Service employees. These activities have occurred alongside the initiatives supported within agencies.

Building HR Capability

In 2015-16 SSMO has continued to work with agencies to support the development of HR capability across the State Service. One of the initiatives was the Human Resource Managers (HRMs) Forum, where HRMs identify and prioritise workforce issues that they will progress within their organisations, as well as across the Service with SSMO. An example of an issue considered in 2015-16 was reviewing agency Executive reporting on employment matters.

In addition, SSMO and agencies have been exploring a number of opportunities to partner with the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI). SSMO has also, on behalf of the State Service, worked with other jurisdictions to develop a Joint Success Profile Chief Human Resources Officers Framework.

Workforce planning

In their 2015-16 Agency Survey submissions, the majority of agencies stated that they were undertaking activities to address workforce capability gaps, as well as skills shortages. This included introducing workforce strategies that were aligned with their agencies’ priority areas, as well as using tailored recruitment activities that focused on attracting particular occupational groups or individuals with skills assessed to be critical to the future success of the agency.

Agencies also reported on how they managed talent within their organisation in their Agency Survey submission. There was a wide variety of responses to these questions - a small number use specific strategies, such as Tasmanian Audit Office’s reward and recognition program, whereas others, such as the Department of Treasury and Finance use their existing performance management processes.

Facilitating secondments

SSMO continued to facilitate and support secondments in and out of the State Service during 2015-16. Secondments not only build the skills, experience and knowledge of State Service employees taking opportunities to work in the private sector, the community sector and other public sector roles, but also enable people outside the State Service to build their skills by working within agencies. In 2015-16, a total of 24 secondments were in progress. Roles that are being undertaken through secondment arrangements are varied, and include lecturers, union organisers, curriculum team leaders and general managers. Organisations that are currently working with the State Service to provide secondments include the CSIRO, a number of public sector unions, the University of Tasmania, the Catholic Education Office and Detached Art. Supporting secondments, particularly in and out of the private sector, will continue to be a focus in 2016-17 to support the Population Strategy.

Study Assistance

Eleven agencies reported that 116 male employees and 439 female employees received direct study assistance, such as through providing altered work patterns, study leave and financial assistance. The study discipline areas included accounting, law, economics, project management, nursing and counselling.

What our employees said

  • 63% of employees believe that ‘working in the organisation provides me with the opportunity to maintain or increase my professional knowledge and skills’.
  • 87% of employees responded positively to the question ‘to date, have your learning and development needs been addressed in the agreed timeframe?’
  • 69% of employees agreed with the statement ‘in the past 12 months, have you undertaken any skills development activities? Examples could include attending a course, online learning, or mentoring/coaching.’

*2016 People Matter Survey results. See Appendix B for more information.

Activities of The Training Consortium

The Training Consortium (TTC) operates within SSMO to support the learning and development requirements of public sector agencies through the delivery of an extensive calendar of events. TTC’s activities are a major driver in building the capability of our people.

In 2015-16, 107 events were delivered across the State with 1,787 registrations. The average number of participants per event increased from eight per event in 2014-15 to 14.4 per event in 2015-16. Events covered a broad range of topics including public administration, people and resource management, public policy, personal development and leadership. A number of new courses were introduced, such as:

  • Improve your decision making
  • Having the difficult conversation
  • Building and maintaining great working relationships
  • Career check-up

In TTC's 2015-16 client survey, 87% of participants rated the quality of TTC courses / events as excellent or very good.

TTC also supported member organisations by arranging 24 in-house courses, which were attended by 101 participants.

To build collaboration between TTC member organisations, which are not only State Service agencies, TTC also hosted a range of member networking activities aimed at sharing ideas across the membership, such as Strategy Execution with Jereon de Flander (Belgium), and Tackling age and disability discrimination in the workplace with the Hon Susan Ryan AO (Australia).

Another notable event was the Breakfast forum with David Hall, CEO of Jetstar Australia, who spoke on the societal impact of sound management and leadership. This event was delivered through a partnership between TTC and the Australian Institute of Management.

Tasmanian Council of Social Services

Photo: Hon Susan Ryan AO, pictured with Noel Mundy,
Chair of the Tasmanian Council of Social Services

Building State Service e-learning capability

This year also saw strengthening of whole-of-service e-learning systems and courses, principally progressed and supported by TTC.

Achievements included the introduction of a Learning Management System with the capability to host e-learning modules, such as the current mandatory State Service training courses WHS Tasmania; a; Recognise, Refer, Respond and the WHS Refresher. The Recognise, Refer, Respond course was specifically commissioned by TTC as part of a coordinated approach to State Service’s family violence training.

A review of the TTC is being conducted in 2016-17 to ensure that TTC continues to provide contemporary training and development opportunities for the public sector.

More information about the training and development provided to State Service employees is included in the TTC Annual Member Report, available on the TTC website at

Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) - Tasmanian Division

In 2015-16 Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Tasmania continued to engage TTC to provide secretariat and event management services to support the development of public sector employees. For example, TTC worked closely with IPAA Victoria to present the IPAA Vic/Tas Executive Forum in February 2016 Re-imagining government: Re-imagining public administration. The international keynote speaker was Barry Quirk, Chief Executive, London Borough of Lewisham in the UK, and the event also included an impressive range of local and interstate speakers. This was the third Executive Forum that IPAA Tasmania has presented in partnership with IPAA Victoria.

IPAA Tasmania also held eight events during the year, including the first in Launceston for a number of years. Events included the successful IPAA Connections events, with speakers such as Donna Adams, Deputy Secretary Business and Executive Services, Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management, as well as the State Budget Briefing in May 2016, and the State of the Service Address 2015, held in December 2015.

More information about IPAA Tasmania’s activities is available on its website at

Performance management

Performance management helps to provide employees with feedback on their performance, as well as the opportunity for them to work with their managers to identify development needs and training opportunities. In 2015-16 SSMO continued to work with agencies to consider ways to improve the performance management of employees to ensure that they are adequately supported and achieving State Service priorities.

In 2015-16, agencies reported that 11,282 employees had participated in a formal performance management review. In 2015-16, 16 Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) were in place across five agencies, a reduction from 33 PIPs reported in 2014-15. PIPs are undertaken to provide additional supports to particular employees to help them to improve their performance, such as access to:

  • coaching and mentoring;
  • additional supervision support from managers;
  • peer support; and
  • access to external and internal training courses.

Over 702 managers and supervisors participated in agency-specific performance management training in

In addition, most agencies reported that support for managers and supervisors is also available in a one-to-one setting and includes mentoring, coaching, and providing toolkits, guides and templates.

What our employees said

  • 58% of employees agreed with the statement ‘I have received formal feedback on individual performance’.
  • 78% of employees agreed with the statement ‘I have received informal feedback on individual performance’.
  • 64% of employees agreed with the statement ‘The performance management process helps me to identify and understand my work priorities’.
  • 78% of employees agreed with the statement ‘My workgroup always tries to improve its performance’.
  • 77% of employees agreed with the statement ‘My manager encourages people in my workgroup to monitor and improve the quality of what we do’.

* 2016 People Matter Survey results. See Appendix B for more information.


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