Managing Change in the Government sector

Problem

The Government has introduced a new Employment Act and associated Capability Framework. Organisations across the Government were adopting the new requirements and associated organisation structures, consequently employees were being asked to apply for new roles in accordance with the new Capability Framework.

Preparing for public sector change

When the Government implements an organisational restructure and introduces a capability based framework as the foundations, there are varied responses. It creates a sense of opportunity for some and anxiety in others with everyone else somewhere in between. Our role has been to educate and assist in the building employees confidence in their positions. This assists them in being able to successfully demonstrate their skills and capabilities, and show that they are aligned to the new framework.

This has not been easy for some.

Solution

Develop a program to support executives and employees to identify and market their skills and capabilities for roles arising from the implementation of a new organisation capability framework.

The program has included a several workshops, as well as one-to-one support and access to our on-line transition portal. We designed the program to be available at all times, in order to provide employees with the practical support required for them to work within the new capability framework.

Practical and proactive support services

Our programs have the following objectives:

  • Understanding how to apply for Public Sector roles under the new application conditions of the GSE
  • Be confident to submit an EOI for the current restructure
  • Gain knowledge of how to apply for roles in the private sector
  • Be able to identify your work achievements using the STAR method
  • Understand best practice in writing resumes, cover letters and targeted questions
  • Build confidence in interview techniques

Programs have been delivered across major cities and in regional centres and has involved approximately 2,000 employees.

Stawell Gold Mine

Problem

The management of Kirkland Resources (formerly Stawell Gold mine) decided to place the gold mine in care and maintenance mode effective immediately. The decision resulted in approximately 140 employees being made redundant.

Solution

Management engaged Choice Career Services to assist them not only in the planning of the announcement, but also in the subsequent delivery support services to assist the affected employees.

Importance of planning

As a manager planning for a difficult announcement such as this, you can leave nothing to chance. It is essential to anticipate every situation and establish plans to manage all likely outcomes.

Our role in the planning phase was to assist management in having a methodology and plan which would address the needs of all employees. This included everything from the communications message itself, the management to be involved, engagement of possible services and the venue for the announcement. We also assisted in the planning of post announcement activities for employees and related stakeholder management issues.

These communications explained the reason for taking the decision, the implications of the decision for those affected and the next steps to be taken to assist all employees. The key issue of the communications to employees is to address the question going through each employees’ mind; how does this affect me?

The organisation made it very clear to the employees that it was doing everything within its powers to assist the employees in dealing with the impact of the announcement, and in addition it would be providing practical transition support services to assist the employees to find new employment.

We helped the client plan the activities of the week of the announcement in terms of timing (it was deliberately done pre Christmas so as to provide employees with certainty re their financial situation) and the activities and actions in the immediate days after the announcement.

For an announcement that would heavily impact a town of Stawell’s size, the announcement was very well managed. Employees were naturally surprised and upset by the news but they reacted in a very mature way. The transparency and honesty about the reasons for the decision, as well as the clear efforts to make support services available, built a strong sense of trust and goodwill with the employees towards the company’s management.

Practical and proactive support services

Our advice to the client was for delivery of services on a one to one basis. This builds employee engagement and provides a better opportunity to address their needs. The next step is to develop a transition support plan to achieve the goal.

Our services commenced immediately after the day of the announcement. Services have included:

  • Supporting employees prepare applications for redeployment roles at other sites within the group
  • Career planning
  • Resume and application preparation
  • Building networks
  • Interview skills
  • Contacting potential employers about the employees from Stawell and their skill sets. This has resulted in a number of employers making contact with us to gain access to the employees.
  • Arranging financial planning support to relieve some of the immediate financial anxieties.
  • Proactively engaging with employers from the mining industry, local community, all levels of Government and the wider region of western Victoria has generated a broad range of new employment opportunities.
  • We have delivered an ‘Employer Expo’ where a no. of employers came to Stawell to present their interest in recruiting some of the employees from Stawell. A no. of these employers were from the mining industry.
  • Small business planning assistance and retirement programs were also made available to support the employees.

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