New approach to developing capability

Gympie Regional Council in Queensland has recently changed its approach to reviewing performance and developing capability.

Council found that the traditional model of performance management wasn’t producing development outcomes that would support the future talent requirements of the organisation – particularly professional capabilities. Contemporary approaches to performance management need to support the expanding skill requirements that result from fast changing technologies and customer expectations.

Research has shown that the best companies have shifted to conversations with workers that occur much more frequently than once a year, are less focused on the past and more on the future, and involve continuous adjusting of goals (Peter Cappelli, Director of Wharton’s Centre for Human Resources).  

Gympie Regional Council is enabling its leaders to coach their people through Performance Development Conversations.
Council has developed a capability framework to support the conversation process called Activ8.

The framework is used like a coach’s handbook; it outlines professional capabilities and desired behaviours, which can be used to frame conversations and identify development opportunities.
The change in Council’s approach to developing capabilities reinforces that performance feedback is ongoing rather than episodic, and is looking forward rather than just backward.

Since introducing them in October 2016, the conversations have resulted in more meaningful development plans and have enabled a more strategic and targeted learning and development program for Council.