Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) has been a major area of focus this year. We developed and implemented a safety improvement plan. We have also maintained an active wellbeing program, achieving platinum plus status with the Healthier Work Plan.
Our COVIDSafe plan, and our risk assessment have been regularly reviewed and updated with changing circumstances.
We completed a workplace hazard inspection, and have ensured implementation of remediation actions, all of which were minor.
Training and awareness
We have ensured that staff have undertaken training in their responsibilities as workers, supervisors and officers. We have maintained an ongoing education and awareness program, including highlighting incident management and reporting.
We have supported an active Health and Safety representative, and ensured that all staff are consulted on WHS matters through our Workplace Consultative Committee, which includes the role of the Health and Safety Committee.
Building on our success during 2019-20 in moving rapidly to a large proportion of staff working from home, we have embedded remote working as an option in our Flexible Working policy. Analysis undertaken in May 2021 showed that of the total available working hours, about 10% of hours are worked from home, and about one-third of OPC staff regularly work from home. This analysis demonstrated that working remotely is being taken up by a significant proportion of staff, who are using it to benefit both OPC and their own circumstances.
The OPC People Committee is an active part of our consultation and engagement framework, and supports OPC leadership with input on a range of staffing matters. Highlights of the People Committee’s work during 2020-21 include:
- providing input to OPC leadership on ways in which OPC can demonstrate the value it places on staff, and identifying an area of emerging concern regarding workloads for some staff;
- providing input to the November 2020 workplace hazard inspection;
- providing input to the 2021 Health and Well-being plan;
- developing a proposed Action Plan to respond to the results of the 2020 Employee Census; and
- developing an approach to recognition of staff for long service.
2020 Employee Census results
The 2020 Employee Census occurred in October 2020, with results made available in February 2021. Analysis of OPCs results shows that 88% of results were improved (49%) or maintained (39%).
Overall, these results are very pleasing. The positive change in the results about internal communication and consultation from 2019 to 2020 demonstrate that where OPC puts intention and effort, change can and will occur.
An Action Plan to respond to the results, based on the proposal put by the People Committee, described actions linked to the four focus areas developed following the 2019 Employee Census. These actions included areas to celebrate, maintain, monitor and take action.
The focus areas are outlined below.
Valuing our people
We promote a culture of respect and understanding, where we value our staff and their contributions to achieving our objectives.
Building our capability
We attract and retain a great workforce that builds our capability through effective performance feedback.
Inspiring innovation and creativity
We promote and inspire opportunities for innovation and creativity.
Diversity and inclusion
We acknowledge and encourage diversity in and outside our workforce.
We are co-designing a new performance management system with a reference group drawn from across the agency. As part of that work, during 2020-21 OPC developed a core capability framework in consultation with all staff. This framework outlines core capabilities in the areas of personal behaviours, relationships, results, and people management. A fifth area, technical expertise, will be further developed during 2021-22.
To support the new performance management, all supervisors participated in the highly regarded NeuroLeadership Institute “CONNECT” training in April 2021, designed to address the barriers to effective performance conversations from a brain-friendly perspective, and develop positive habits that enhance OPC’s feedback culture. This training is being supported by an ongoing sustainment plan to ensure that these conversation habits are embedded.