Working to peak performance

As is the case throughout Greater Lithgow, Council recognises that its people are its key asset. With this in mind, over the past 12 months an extensive exercise has been taking place to ensure, across the organisation, everyone has the opportunity to reach their peak performance and achieve greatest job satisfaction.

"The first step was to identify competencies required for all positions," said Stuart McPherson, General Manager. "Based on this evaluation all staff moved onto an appropriate band and level under the Award.

"Stage two involved identifying specific competencies required for all positions. These were tied back to the Annual Management Plan and Council's Corporate Plan to ensure everyone was working to achieve common goals and objectives.

"At the same time, this process was used to identify any shortcomings in skills or additional training needs to maximise the full potential of all staff. The result was the formulation of an organisation wide Training Plan."

By the end of the year, an annual appraisal system for all staff will be in place. This is a consultative process for discussing performances, identifying any problem areas and mutually agreeing to training requirements.

"Salaries are looked at separately," Stuart McPherson explained. "The appraisal is solely based on working for peak performance and achieving greatest job satisfaction. Salaries, on the other hand, are guided by market demand and what Council can afford."

He said that, throughout this process, Council has received good support from staff, management and unions.

The Joint Consultative Committee has worked very hard, resulting in 94% of staff satisfied with their band level, competencies and training program.

During 1995/96, $114,000 was spent on staff training and development. In 1996/97 this figure will reduce to $102,000 as Council moves to make greater use of more cost effective, and less disruptive, in house training.

Complementary plans have also been developed. These include an Equal Employment Opportunity Management Plan, Interviewing Techniques, Recruitment and Induction Plans and an Harassment Prevention Program.