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Management performance (page 2 of 2)

People management

The Museum places high value on the performance and capability of its people. It is committed to attracting, developing and retaining high-quality staff commensurate with a museum of national and international standing.

Workplace Agreement

The National Museum of Australia Workplace Agreement 2005–2008 was certified by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission in July 2005. Negotiated during the first half of 2005, the agreement reflects the Museum's sound workplace relations and was strongly supported by employees. The agreement delivers ongoing productivity gains to support 12 per cent salary increases over the full three-year period and maintains the Museum's position in an increasingly competitive labour market. Productivity initiatives in the agreement have been progressively introduced during the year, including:

  • a review of the Workplace Conversations individual performance management framework to further develop the links to team performance and productivity
  • focusing staff consultation arrangements on productivity improvement
  • employee commitment to improving productivity from information technology initiatives such as the new human resource management information system (including employee self-service functionality) and records management
  • employee commitment to other productivity improvements such as implementation of the Information Hub and improved management of the retail and publications inventory
  • reviews of staff workload management and rostering arrangements.

In line with government policy, Australian Workplace Agreements continued to be available to Museum employees.

As a 'pre-reform agreement' under the Work Choices amendments to the Workplace Relations Act 1996, the Museum's current Workplace Agreement will continue to operate under transitional arrangements set out in the Work Choices legislation until it is terminated. Employees covered by pre-reform agreements are not covered by the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard introduced under the Work Choices amendments.

Staffing and recruitment

Museum staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999 and employment conditions are established under legislation applying to the Australian Public Service and, in particular, the Museum's Workplace Agreement.

At 30 June 2006, the Museum employed 304 staff consisting of 228 ongoing and 76 non-ongoing employees, which represent a full-time equivalent number of 263.84. A full breakdown is shown in Table 1. Tables 2 and 3 provide additional breakdown, by division and employment category as at 30 June 2006, and by level, respectively.

Table 1: Staffing by employment status

STATUS

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

Ongoing full-time Principal Executive Officer (PEO)

0

0

0

Non-ongoing full-time PEO

1

0

1

Ongoing full-time Senior Executive Service (SES)

0

3

3

Ongoing full-time non-SES

62

102

164

Ongoing part-time SES

0

0

0

Ongoing part-time non-SES

13

48

61

Non-ongoing full-time SES *

1

0

1

Non-ongoing full-time non-SES

6

27

33

Non-ongoing part-time SES

0

0

0

Non-ongoing part-time non-SES

10

31

41

Total

93

211

304

Table 2: Staffing by division

DIVISION

ONGOING

NON-ONGOING

TOTAL

Directorate

19

3

22

Operations

43

9

52

Collections, Content and Technology

71

36

107

Audience and Programs

95

28

123

Total

228

76

304

75%

25%

Table 3: Staffing by Australian Public Service (APS) level

STAFF SPREAD ACROSS LEVELS

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

PEO

1

0

1

SESB2

0

0

0

SESB1

1

3

4

Executive Level (EL)2

9

13

22

EL1

13

15

28

APS6

14

35

49

APS5

8

29

37

APS4

14

33

47

APS3

12

31

43

APS2

21

52

73

APS1

0

0

0

Total

93

211

304

* This position was created to backfill an ongoing SES position on leave at 30 June.

Individual performance management

The Museum's staff performance management framework, Workplace Conversations, is a key productivity initiative in the National Museum of Australia Workplace Agreement 2005–2008, and it continued to be successfully implemented during 2005–06.

Workplace Conversations uses a 'guided conversation' approach and continues to be well-received by managers and staff. It uses Museum-specific work level standards to clarify job roles and expectations, and Museum-specific capability profiles to identify and reinforce work behaviours that support the Museum's objectives.

Workplace Conversations requires staff to have regular performance discussions with their manager. The formal guided discussions cover the scope and deliverables of the position, the support required to deliver, and a documented agreement on relevant learning and development opportunities. Clear links are made between a staff member's work and the overall strategic priorities of the Museum as well as the specific capabilities the person will concentrate on in the conduct of their position.

Following an open tender process in late 2005, the Museum contracted Interaction Consulting Group to provide performance management training and support services to Museum staff.

Continual evaluation of Workplace Conversations is integral to its successful implementation. A formal review of Workplace Conversations involving consultation with staff through various avenues was undertaken in April/May 2006 and appropriate changes were made for the 2006–07 cycle. The review concluded that the system is working well. Some changes will be implemented for 2006–07 to further strengthen the links between individual performance and overall Museum business planning processes.

Development of the Museum's people

Through Workplace Conversations, Museum staff are encouraged to identify individual learning and development needs, and to further their skills through external development activities relevant to their field. As in previous years, a number of staff presented papers at conferences and seminars, undertook research and attended technical and professional workshops. Staff professional activities are listed in Appendix 8. In addition, two staff members took part in the 2005 Cultural Management Development Program (CMDP), with a further two enrolled in the 2006 CMDP. Three staff members attended the Advanced Workplace Skills Program (AWSP) during 2005–06. Both the CMDP and AWSP are collaborative development programs, run in conjunction with other cultural institutions in Canberra.

The National Museum of Australia Workplace Agreement 2005–2008 also enabled staff to access Museum-sponsored study leave, with special provisions for staff to learn languages other than English.

Other staff training focused on core behaviours, skills and knowledge required by people across the Museum and included:

  • awareness sessions on the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct and Values, and on preventing harassment and bullying in the Museum
  • sessions for the Museum's new Equity and Diversity Contacts to support them in their role of providing information to staff about harassment and bullying
  • seminars on OH&S for all managers and supervisors and generally, via induction training, for all staff
  • refresher courses for first aid officers, fire wardens and section health and safety representatives
  • regular and comprehensive orientation programs for all new Museum employees.

Workplace Conversations training was provided across the Museum — introducing new staff to the performance management framework and helping existing staff improve their communication, negotiation, conciliation, and work-planning and knowledge-building capabilities.

Consultative arrangements and employee relations

During the year the Museum continued to implement collaborative staff consultation arrangements in accordance with the National Museum of Australia Workplace Agreement 2005–2008. In addition to direct staff consultation at the workgroup level, the Museum continued consultation through the Museum Consultative Forum (MCF) and Workplace Development Committee (WDC) to facilitate consultation on broad issues for staff across the Museum. The MCF is designed to enable staff to have input into high-level strategic issues while the WDC focuses on operational issues across the Museum. The two bodies met regularly during the year.

Workplace diversity

The Museum values the skills and knowledge of all staff, and the contributions they bring through their different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. By promoting an inclusive environment, the Museum demonstrates its commitment to workplace diversity and equity.

This year, following significant work undertaken in 2004–05 to review the Museum's Workplace Diversity Plan, the Museum released its new Workplace Diversity Plan 2005–2008. The plan seeks to help create an environment that is supportive of people's differences by building diverse knowledge and capabilities within the Museum, having business processes that support diversity, and developing diverse ways to work.

Through implementing the plan, the Museum continued to encourage a staffing profile reflecting Australia's cultural diversity. This was done through measures such as recruitment strategies, promoting APS values relating to diversity, establishing an Indigenous Employment Working Group (a subgroup of the Museum Consultative Forum), establishing a network of Equity and Diversity contacts and raising awareness on ways to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace. Staff will also be encouraged from 2006–07, via Workplace Conversations, to consider ways to promote and support diversity as part of their specific and ongoing roles.

The Museum continued to successfully implement the government's Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse Society. In its 2004 report to Parliament, the then Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs again acknowledged that the Museum had achieved 100 per cent of key performance indicators relevant to its roles as a purchaser and a provider of services (with 71 per cent being met well).

The Museum will seek to attract suitable graduates through the Indigenous Graduate Program coordinated by the Australian Public Service Commission and is examining other ways in which to enhance entry-level employment opportunities particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Successful applicants through this process will commence in 2007.

As at 30 June 2006, the Museum staff who identified themselves as target groups are shown in the table below:


Museum staff who report as belonging to target groups

2004–05
(from annual report)

2005–06
(as at 30/6/06)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

6

7

People with disabilities

5

6

Culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

32

35

Females

176

210

Total

219

258

Better service delivery

The Museum continued to strengthen its human resource management and workplace relations operations during the year. Human resource processes, including those previously noted by the Museum's auditors, were significantly improved.

Building on the comprehensive review in 2004–05 of human resource business processes, the Museum commenced a two-phased implementation of its new human resource information system (HRIS) during 2005–06. Phase 1 was successfully completed and focused on payroll-related functions. Phase 2 incorporates self-service functionality and improved administration and reporting functionality. It will realise significant efficiencies across the Museum and is a key productivity gain identified in the Museum's Workplace Agreement. Phase 2 commenced during the year and will continue into 2006–07.

To better support key Museum staff in effectively attracting and selecting people for employment with the Museum, new and comprehensive recruitment procedures were developed that have a clear focus on better practices.

Post-separation employment

There were no applications for post-separation employment during the year.

Educational and developmental placements

The Museum continued to be a highly sought after venue for secondary and tertiary students seeking work experience. There have been two periods of interest: June to November 2005, with students mainly from year 12, and March to July 2006, with all enquiries from year 10 students. More than 35 high school students from Canberra and surrounding country New South Wales enquired about placement with the Museum. Of these, six were placed and worked across most areas of the Museum.

The Museum hosts interns from the 'Museums and Collections' postgraduate program, which is managed jointly with The Australian National University. Placements are also organised for students specialising in various disciplines from the Canberra Institute of Technology and the University of Canberra.