Training up leaders

Rockhampton Regional Council is this year delivering a uniquely tailored Leadership Program to all supervisory and management staff that will enhance their efficiency and create a more effective work environment.

The program has spent a year being developed in-house and is designed to address key issues the council faces.

It was officially launched across the organisation in March 2014.

An external review of human resources management throughout Council undertaken last year identified gaps in the knowledge and ability of supervisory staff in relation to leadership practices, performance management and knowledge and understanding of policies and procedures.

An outcome of this review was that supervisory staff needed to be more accountable for the management of their teams and needed to have a better understanding of their responsibilities in implementing Council’s policies and procedures. 

“The program that has been developed is not just about Management skills; it is about creating a culture of leadership and accountability,” said Council’s Training Advisor Wendy Palmer,

Ms Palmer was tasked with developing a product that would enhance the skills and abilities of supervisors whilst specifically addressing the key elements that would support them in the role of efficient and effective management of day-to-day operations.

“It is allowing our managers, supervisors and team leaders to develop the skills, confidence and knowledge to be the leaders that we need for our Council into the future.”

Ms Palmer and other training team members researched all topics covered in off the shelf or run-of-the-mill management courses and identified what has worked in other organisations.

Whilst the program is industry relevant, it has been adapted to the Rockhampton Regional Council work environment and specifically relates to Council’s values, code of conduct and policies and procedures using common day-to-day situations as examples.

The six modules, which are delivered over a six-week period, are effective leadership, roles and responsibilities, safety and wellbeing, managing performance, workplace issues and workplace development.

Modules are attended by a maximum of 12 participants, which allows Ms Palmer to actively engage with each group, and more effectively focus on enhancing the skills and the abilities of each individual.

It is intended to roll the program out to every employee that has supervisory responsibilities as well as those employees who have the potential or desire to move their career in the world of leadership.

Ms Palmer’s contagious effervescent personality made her the right person to deliver the program, which she has already adapted to suit both office and field based supervisors.

“At first I used the same approach for both groups, but very quickly it was identified that the groups were entirely different.

“Quick thinking, and a good understanding and background of all the content of the program allowed me to quickly adapt as the sessions progressed based on the needs and levels of engagement from the participants.”

As the first training programs draw to a close Council are excited to see the changes in the level of accountability, knowledge and expertise of supervisory staff. 

Another six programs will be completed this calendar year.