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Workforce management and support

Workforce management and support

Workforce planning

Consistent with its approach to fiscal consolidation and financial sustainability, the Gallery continues to be disciplined with staffing levels through ongoing scrutiny of recruitment by its SMG. At the same time, a balanced approach to workforce planning and managing employees is taken under the umbrella of the People Strategy 2018–20 Action Plan (Figure 7).

In order to support the Gallery's approach to workforce planning and managing employees the Gallery has developed a People Strategy 2018-20 which is made up for 4 key principles, attract and recruit, develop capability, support high performance and retain/strengthen culture.
The National Gallery's People Strategy 2018-20 Action Plan

Particular emphasis in this strategy is in relation to supporting capability development, health and wellbeing and other measures to build a positive workplace culture. The strategy comprises four key themes (attract and recruit, develop capability, support high performance and retain/strengthen culture) based on the employee lifecycle.

The infographics below show staff statistics for 2018 - 19 compared to 2017 - 18. As at 30 June the Gallery had 326 staff, 178 who were ongoing, 108 were femaie and 70 male. 148 were non-ongoing staff with 109 of those female and 39 male. Last year the Gallery had 308 staff with 170 of those ongoing, 110 were femaie and 60 males. 138 non-ongoing staff with 100 female and 38 males.
Staff statistics 2018-19 and 2017-18

Staffing

The Gallery has been effective in managing its staff and continues to invest in learning and development, workplace wellbeing and ensuring a diverse and inclusive environment. Through the performance framework, the Gallery is able to manage and develop employees to ensure that the work they undertake assists in achieving corporate objectives.

At 30 June 2019, the Gallery had 326 members of staff on a headcount basis, all employed in the Australian Capital Territory, which translates to a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 239.7 employees. This is an increase on last year’s headcount of 308 employees. The total number of staff at the end of the 2018–19 reporting period consists of 178 ongoing employees (166.9 FTE) and 148 non-ongoing employees (72.8 FTE), compared to the previous year’s 170 ongoing employees (161.5 FTE) and 138 non-ongoing employees (70.2 FTE).

Of the ongoing employees this year, 150 were full-time and 28 were part-time. Of the non-ongoing employees, 42 were full-time and 106 were part-time. Figure 8 shows the number of ongoing and non-ongoing male and female staff employed full-time and part-time at the end of both the current and previous reporting period.

The average staffing level for the year (fortnightly FTE numbers averaged) was 229.77 employees.

Agreements

The Gallery’s Director (APS SES Band 3) and four senior executive staff (APS SES Band 1) are on common law agreements and two executive-level staff are on individual flexibility arrangements. All other employees’ terms and conditions of employment are prescribed by the National Gallery of Australia Enterprise Agreement 2018–2021, which came into effect on 20 December 2018 and includes details of staff classification levels and salary ranges.

Each classification level has a salary range and one or more pay points attached to it. Advancement through pay points within each level is based on an assessment of an employee’s performance against his or her Individual Development and Performance Agreement (IDPA), which sets out work and behavioural expectations, career development possibilities and capability development needs and opportunities. All ongoing and long-term fixed-term staff are required to complete IDPAs.

Non-salary benefits

The Gallery offers a range of additional benefits that are not included under the provisions of the enterprise agreement:

  • annual flu immunisation
  • mentoring and coaching programs
  • in-house capability development programs
  • a confidential employee assistance program for employees and their immediate families
  • access to a serious illness register
  • study assistance to eligible employees
  • access to flexible working arrangements
  • contributions to relevant professional memberships.

In addition to the work health and safety initiatives and programs listed above, the Gallery also provides:

  • discounted gym membership with Club Lime and Fitness First
  • discounted childcare placements at Communities@Work’s Abacus Child Care and Education Centre in the Treasury Building
  • subsidised lunchtime yoga sessions
  • resilience training
  • salary packaging arrangements and financial education seminars through a partnership with Smartsalary.

Inclusion and diversity

The Gallery has identified inclusion and diversity as a key priority. This commitment is being articulated through the development of an Inclusion and Diversity Framework, which will drive the development of working groups and an action plan focused on the following areas: gender equality, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, disability and accessibility and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, intersex and queer/questioning (LGBTIQ+) inclusion.

A key mechanism to deliver the objectives of the framework will be the establishment of four diversity networks, including an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Network, an Ability Network, a Gender Equity Network and an LGBTIQ+ Network. Each of these networks will be supported by a SMG sponsor.

While the framework and diversity networks are in their infancy, the Gallery has undertaken a range of other initiatives to support improved diversity outcomes during 2018–19, including:

  • establishing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan
  • events to raise awareness of diversity (eg National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC Week and promoting and participating in International Women’s Day)
  • providing flexible working arrangements to encourage an increased uptake of arrangements by female and male employees
  • participation and collaboration with other organisations on a range of initiatives to build awareness of diversity and inclusion, including attending inter-agency forums and seminars.

The Gallery is committed to providing an organisational culture that embraces and actively promotes diversity. The Inclusion and Diversity Framework seeks to codify the Gallery’s commitment to providing a work environment that recognises the value of employees with different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences.

At 30 June 2019, women represented 67% of staff and men 33%. Of these, 17% were born overseas, 7% use English as a second language, 1.5% identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and 1.5% identify as having a disability. Table 3 shows the diversity profile of staff by salary classification level.

To support workforce diversity, the Gallery offers flexible working arrangements and a family-friendly work environment. All employees can work flexibly and access working-from-home arrangements. At 30 June 2019, 10% per cent of employees worked part-time. The Gallery is also accredited as a breastfeeding-friendly workplace. To assist employees with balancing work and family commitments, the Gallery provides a carers room, offers daily breaks for nursing mothers returning to work and provides access to subsidised places at a nearby childcare centre.

The Gallery also has a pool of long-term older employees, with 17.5% of its workforce aged over sixty. The Gallery supports employees considering retirement with access to financial advice and other arrangements. Options to support our older employees include encouraging them to consider casual and part-time work or becoming part of our member/alumni network. The Gallery’s willingness to work with employees who are considering transitioning to retirement and to stay connected with long-term and dedicated employees ensures that institutional knowledge is maintained.

The Gallery also offers employee assistance and has a contact officer network to assist employees who may require support in relation to either work or personal matters at any stage in their career of life.

Table 3: Staff diversity profile at 30 June 2019

Classification

Female

Male

Born overseas

English as second language

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

Disability

SES Band 3

-

1

-

1

-

-

SES Band 2

-

-

-

-

-

-

SES Band 1

2

2

-

-

-

-

Executive Level 2

15

7

4

1

1

-

Executive Level 1

16

8

6

2

-

1

NGA Level 6

39

11

8

3

3

-

NGA Level 5

44

15

9

3

-

1

NGA Level 4

22

11

5

2

-

-

NGA Level 3

15

24

10

3

-

2

NGA Level 2

9

17

4

3

1

-

NGA Level 1

55

13

11

6

-

1

TOTAL

217

109

57

24

5

5

Performance management

The Gallery’s values are embedded into recruitment and performance management policies, practices and development programs to help promote desired behaviours and, in turn, support higher organisational performance and employee satisfaction. The key elements of performance management include:

  • regular and meaningful conversations between employees and managers to encourage high performance with a focus on the Gallery’s corporate plan and priorities
  • mobility and encouraging employees to build their capabilities
  • integration of performance review with discussions regarding individual capabilities and development interests, which formally occur every six months as a minimum
  • working with employees to define the skills, capabilities, knowledge and behaviour they need to have or develop to perform their work and progress their career.

In 2018–19, additional support has been provided to both employees and managers to ensure performance is being effectively managed through a range of learning and development offerings.

Recognition of outstanding performance

The Gallery recognises and rewards outstanding performance as a critical element to deliver the bold agenda for the Gallery and toward attracting and retaining the best people. The Gallery recognises exceptional contributions by employees by presenting Australia Day awards to teams and individuals whose work exemplifies the Gallery’s values and who made significant contributions to the Gallery’s program of work in the 2018–19 year. The 2018 award recipients were announced in conjunction with an Australia Day morning tea.

After feedback from employees, it has been determined that the Gallery will shift how it recognises exceptional performance by developing its own awards and recognition program, which will run annually in line with the Gallery’s birthday. This program is being developed and will seek to raise awareness around the Gallery’s core values and recognise exceptional efforts and contributions by individual employees and teams.

Mobility

The management of human resources and, in particular, the way the Gallery provides mobility opportunities for employees and undertakes recruitment has resulted in a highly capable and committed workforce that is flexible and able to respond to priorities.

Ensuring a strong and sustainable mobile workforce provides employees with opportunities to build their capabilities and experience. The Gallery provides opportunities for mobility to enable employees to work in different roles and on different projects. Mobility is achieved through promotion, collaborations with other institutions and opportunities to undertake different types of work, including project work, ongoing business and surging to high-priority activities such as changeover of gallery spaces and temporary exhibitions.

The Gallery encourages employees to gain different experiences through cross-institutional collaborations, temporary or permanent moves and secondment-type arrangements to or from other cultural institutions and agencies. Providing mobility opportunities supports employees to develop capability in new areas and increases the overall capability of the Gallery.

Learning and development

During the year, the Gallery provided a substantial amount of training and capability development through the online learning platform Lynda.com. Provision of an eLearning platform enables the Gallery to improve the availability of training and information sharing in the workplace as well as make training more accessible to more employees at a time and place convenient to them.

The Gallery continues to invest in staff development. This commitment has been reflected in a doubling of the training and development budget. Portfolio areas now have direct control over ensuring the training provided to employees is even better targeted and focused on the priorities of individual areas.

To develop the leadership capability of its managers, the Gallery entered into a cross-institutional mentoring program in early 2018. This concluded in November 2018. The program was very well received, with thirteen employees participating. In June 2019, three employees participated in a similar cross-institutional program focused on reflective leadership.

Learning and development has been identified as a key priority for the Gallery. Its commitment to the continued development of employees is reinforced by its response to a 2019 employee pulse survey and by establishing this area of workforce planning as a strategic milestone. The strategies and programs in place aim to provide opportunities for all employees to develop capability in general and capacity in core organisational skills such as bullying and harassment management, project management and privacy and risk management.

To further enhance these priorities, the Gallery began implementing a LearnHub in April 2019 to deliver an eLearning platform that provides access to key regulatory and Commonwealth training modules in areas such as bullying and harassment, work health and safety, diversity and inclusion and privacy and cultural awareness and competency. Full implementation of the LearnHub with Lynda.com was completed in July 2019.

Formal complaints

The Gallery has a range of policies in place that allow employees to raise concerns or make formal complaints. In line with these policies, the Gallery seeks to resolve complaints, where possible, at the local level. Formal and informal complaints, including bullying and harassment, are reported to the SMG and the National Gallery Council for oversight.

The Gallery also provides a range of support services for employees encountering workplace issues, including access to confidential counselling and support services and a network of work health and safety representatives and contact officers.