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APS News August 2017: fostering a flexible, efficient, high performing APS

The biggest news for August is the release of our social media guidance. It reflects extensive consultation late last year with staff and managers across the public service, in particular about providing more clarity for employees about what is and isn’t okay. The simple message is this: each time you post to Facebook, or send a SnapChat, or otherwise engage online, stop and think.  Ask yourself if it’s appropriate, check that it wouldn’t call into question your impartiality as a public servant. You’ll find all the guidance here. Please Ethics [at] apsc.gov.au (email us if you need more help).

And the biggest news in July was Innovation month – check out some of the great initiatives and prize winning programs just below. This newsletter also highlights the results of one of our recent innovations, Ripple, which has made a great splash (sorry) in the performance management space.

Making Innovation Happen

Tours of innovation labs like DFAT’s Innovation Exchange

A workshop at Questacon to promote innovative thinking

Discussions on how biometric technology is being used in some APS Departments.

These are just three of 50+ thought-provoking events held across Australia during Innovation Month.

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While it’s impossible to capture all the innovation that was on offer via this article, the team who manage this terrific month blogged about it here.

Lead by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the aim of these events was to showcase work that fosters innovation in the Australian Public Service (APS). And they certainly achieved this goal. The month of innovation inspiration was capped off with the following winners of the 2017 Public Sector Innovation Awards announced on 26 July:

You can view all finalist and winning pitches for the Awards here.  Hide content

Ripple: Making waves in performance

Results are in on the Commission’s smartphone app, Ripple.

Targeted at driving high employee performance, the concept was simple. A good conversation begins with a good question. Employees trialled the app and were asked one question per day on performance drivers, with cumulative APS wide results available immediately.

We had a feeling that people would like Ripple, but how much people liked it really took us by surprise. It was a consistent feature of our user experience feedback that people found it useful and engaged with it daily. Three quarters of people reported new insights into the way they worked.

But it didn’t stop there. Benchmarking surveys showed participants made observable improvements in 13 performance indicators. The top seven were:

  • An active contributor to the successful functioning of your team
  • Supportive of organisational values
  • Aware of their own capability strengths and weaknesses
  • Efficient in the way they work
  • Motivated and engaged
  • Performing effectively in their role
  • Aware of how their role supports the organisation’s broader objectives

Ripple has also proven to be a catalyst for further innovation. We are excited to build on Ripple’s success and to continue exploring how unconventional approaches can present real opportunities for the APS.

We are the Champions!

The APS Disability Champions Network met on 23 June 2017. The Champions are senior level advocates who come together to focus strategically on APS-wide disability employment matters.

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The Champions discussed workplace accessibility, assistive technology, job design and flexible work arrangements, and managerial capability. Actions from the meeting included the sharing of resources and initiatives to assist agencies in improving workplace accessibility for their staff across the APS. Resources being shared include best practice accessible emergency evacuation plans; and pooled assistive technology services.

The Champions will meet again on 12 October 2017.

Click here to view the minutes from the June meeting. For further information on Diversity and Inclusion, contact diversity [at] apsc.gov.au ( ).   Hide content

The 2018 APS Graduate Development Program

Expressions of Interest from agencies are NOW being taken for the 2018 APS Graduate Development Program (GDP).

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The GDP is open to APS graduates with the support of their employing agency. The GDP is an integrated learning experience where graduates attend workshops during the year with much of the learning provided in their employing department or agency. Graduates are supported by self-directed learning, a work based project, individual coaching and networking opportunities offered through the GDP. Graduates who complete the GDP are able to take advantage of credit arrangements for further learning with the Australian National University, University of Canberra and CPA Australia.

An outline of program inclusions can be found here . If you would like further information on the program please contact the APSC GDP team on apscgdp [at] apsc.gov.au.   Hide content

Preparing for the Future of Work

With a stellar line-up at the remaining Future of Work conferences in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, all APS staff are invited to register to learn more about the Future of Work.

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Attendees will benefit from conversations with Senior APS executives and private sector experts and an interactive workshop on building capacity to become a future-capable organisation.

Thanks to platinum sponsors Ranstad, QUT and StatePlus, and major sponsor APS group benefits for supporting the 2017 AGLN conference series.  Hide content

The Art and Skill of Collaboration

The Art and Skill of Collaboration is a critical leadership capability and is essential for successfully progressing complex policy, service delivery and regulatory issues.

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If you’re an APS executive wanting to develop your skills in working collaboratively with stakeholders, consider registering for our three-day workshop focussing providing participants with insights, skills and strategies for developing strong collaborations that achieve results.

Effective collaborations in the APS bring together stakeholders with a range of different values, perspectives, and definitions of success. When collaborations work well, it can harness this diversity to achieve more innovative, impactful and integrated outcomes.

Click here for more information, or call the APSC leadership development team on 02 6202 3765.   Hide content

APS HR practitioners share experiences with colleagues from PNG

Bees aren’t the only things that make a buzz! It also happens when a group of 27 HR practitioners from the Papua New Guinea public service spend a day with APS HR practitioners.

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The group took some time out from studying a Graduate Diploma of Human Resource Management at the University of South Australia - sponsored by Australia Awards PNG - to discuss the practicalities of human resource management in the APS.

The day was an outstanding success, with the noise levels and enthusiasm remaining high throughout the day. Participants discussed topics such as organisational performance and capability, absence and performance management, staff development, workforce planning and growing as a HR practitioner. The Commission is grateful for the contribution made by the eight APS agencies who released staff for the day. The day showed that despite our differences, the human resources issues we face are very similar.

Many APS agencies work closely with counterparts in Papua New Guinea to improve their service delivery capacity. The Commission complements this work by focussing on human resource management – a key enabler of effective service delivery. To find out more about the Commission’s work in Papua New Guinea contact James O’Reilly on 02 6202 3714 or email International [at] apsc.gov.au.  Hide content

The APS Learning Centre is moving!

The APS Learning Centre ended its operation at 16 Furzer Street, Phillip on 31 July. Until our new Centre is open for business on King Edward Terrace, Parkes there are interim venue arrangements for learning programs. Contact the team for more details about venue locations at Nationalcalendarteam [at] apsc.go.au

Last reviewed: 
7 June 2018