Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ballarat council planning ‘The Way Forward’

The City of Ballarat is set to hold a range of engagement sessions with staff across the organisation as part of its cultural change program. 

Council says the program, named The Way Forward, will set the scene for a new workplace era at the organisation.  

A series of workshops have been held online, face-to-face and in group forums throughout May and June with further engagement sessions tabled for July and August. 

Council says the engagement sessions will empower staff to outline ideas and suggestions about how the organisation can move forward under the 16-point Action Plan, released as part of the Governance and Culture Assessment Review in January. 

There will also be one-on-one ‘listening post’ conversations for staff with specific concerns or who feel they have unresolved issues while staff will also be able to provide anonymous feedback. 

City of Ballarat CEO, Evan King (pictured) said the organisational-wide engagement phase was designed to address past issues for some staff, identify issues and barriers within the organisation, and create a list of agreed priorities that will help to fix these issues.

Staff will also develop a vision of what the City of Ballarat workplace will look like moving forward. 

Mr King said planning had been underway for the past few months to develop a comprehensive program of works that will transform the organisation from the inside out. 

“While, as CEO, I will lead the work, our staff are integral to setting the agenda for this change and will also drive the change that we want to achieve,” he said. 

“The result will be a healthier and happier workforce which I am confident will lead to greater employee and customer satisfaction from our ratepayers and residents.” 

Mr King says changing the organisation’s culture would involve a comprehensive program of works.  

“This program of works will include three phases, and we will continue to review and ensure the program is working and embedded into our organisation.”

“We want this change to be lasting and one that will shape our organisation, establishing the City of Ballarat as a ‘workplace of choice’ and an organisation that our community truly values.” 

Works are progressing to develop a Workforce Strategy (Action 1) under legislative responsibilities outlined in the Local Government Act 2020 and to develop the City of Ballarat as an Employer of Choice (Action 2). 

Work is also underway for the City of Ballarat to meet its requirements in Gender Equality under the Gender Equality Act.

“This work, which feeds into numerous actions in the Gender Equality Action Plan, will ensure the City of Ballarat is a gender equality leader in local government with a gender-balanced workforce, pay equality, zero tolerance for sexism, and implementing bias free human resource practices when recruiting,” Mr King said.

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