Baw Baw celebrates organisational change

Article image - Baw Baw celebrates organisational change Taking the FISH! Philosophy global: following on from the Expo, Baw Baw Shire Council staff have been encouraged to take holiday snaps with the FISH! DVD. Pictured here is Council employee Joe Magyar at the Grand Canyon in the United States. Following significant organisational change in late 2010, Baw Baw Shire Council’s Human Resources team wanted to celebrate the stronger, more positive and resilient organisation that has emerged.

As a result the HR team put together the first annual ‘Employee Benefits Expo’ in 2011 and, due to popular demand, held another Expo in 2012, creating a space in which to celebrate the excellent work being done across the organisation.

All employees were invited to attend the Expo, which featured exhibitors from the education, healthcare, financial services and arts sectors.

Feedback from the exhibitors indicated that this is the first time they had had the opportunity to participate in anything of this kind, and that it provided them with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the organisation’s needs.

A number of internal groups also prepared exhibitions, including the health and wellbeing and social club committees, environment and health, and emergency management teams.

In total, 16 individuals attended the event to represent their organisations, and additionally, many of them very generously donated their time, items to be raffled, door prizes and other promotional materials.

The aim of the Expo was to further develop an emerging culture of recognition and engagement in the organisation. To help achieve this, the program was themed around the FISH! Philosophy —‘Play, Make Their Day, Be There and Choose Your Attitude’.

The Expo also sought to increase staff retention by building on the benefits offered to employees in the workplace, such as participation in further education. The success of the Expo is evident in the rate of study assistance applications received in the following financial year, tripling that of previous years.

Another notable outcome is the increase in the use of the Employee Assistance Program over the past twelve months, which suggests employees are developing a better awareness of the service.

The Expo has proven to be a sustainable, low-cost innovative HR solution, which contributes toward addressing many of the workforce challenges in local government.

The Employee Benefits Expo is now a feature event at Baw Baw Shire and the HR team are looking at ways to make it bigger and better, with the possibility of rolling out a road-show event to reach employees located across different sites.