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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 06/12/2005
The Development of a workforce plan for Waverley Borough Council



Summary & Purpose
This report is to: -

1. advise Members of the intention to produce a Workforce Plan for Waverley Borough Council;

2. explain, in headline form, what a Workforce Plan is; and

3. share, for comment, the first (draft) action plan for implementing the Plan.


Environmental implications:

There are no direct implications although the Plan, insofar as it addresses staffing resources, will be the route through which the Council ensures that it has staff with the appropriate skills and knowledge to deliver the Council’s Environmental requirements.

Social / community implications:

As above. Also, insofar as the subject of the report addresses the staffing requirements of the Council, the local community is a rich source of recruitment. The Council’s employment policies are key to delivering equality of opportunity in employment. The Workforce Plan will support the Council in promoting equality of opportunity by ensuring that there are no barriers to recruitment for any section of the community and by actively promoting opportunities where appropriate and where it is lawful to do so.

E-Government implications:

There are no specific e-Government implications.

Resource and legal implications:

The development and implementation of the Plan will be carried out within the Council’s existing HR resources and will have the affect of focusing activity within the HR function. The subject of the report addresses how the maximum benefit may be obtained from the Council’s workforce.
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Background

1. Waverley has had in place for many years a Human Resources Strategy, an attendant Training and Development Strategy and a Recruitment Strategy. These set out the aspirations and objectives of the Human Resources function in Waverley. These documents were last updated in 2003 in the lead up to the Comprehensive Performance Assessment of Waverley (copies of these documents can be made available on request).

A Workforce Plan

2. Within the framework of the strategies referred to above, the Workforce Plan will be a management action plan for implementing the aspirations in the strategy documents, in the context that applies in Waverley Borough Council.

Workforce Planning – An Explanation

3. Workforce Planning is about planning and acting now to ensure that the Council has the right people, in the right places, with the appropriate skills necessary to deliver, effectively, the Council’s aims for the future. It involves identifying where the Council is trying to get to in terms of its workforce needs, where the Council is now in terms of its workforce and determining how it is going to get where it wants to be.

Why Workforce Planning?

4. The Local Government Pay and Workforce Strategy, produced by the ODPM, identifies the need for all local authorities to produce a Workforce Development Plan by March 2005. The Pay and Workforce Strategy document identifies five national priority areas. These are set out in Annexe 1 to this report. After each of the priority areas there is a description of the relevant activity that applies in Waverley.

5. Also, the Council's 2003 CPA inspection report (paragraph 55) identified that 'Workforce Planning is presently underdeveloped'. This was seen as a weakness. Now, the Audit Commission’s 2005 Comprehensive Performance Assessment process recognises the importance of people as a key resource and will look for evidence that authorities are undertaking workforce planning and development.

Workforce Planning in Waverley

6. Waverley has always, of necessity, carried out a form of Workforce Planning but it has been ad hoc and more reactive than proactive. Developing a specific plan will give more structure to this work activity and will switch the emphasis in the direction of a proactive service.

7. An analysis of the components of Personnel activity that fall within the five national priority areas has been carried out and, from that, a first draft of an Action Plan, under the Workforce Planning banner, has been completed. This is contained in Annexe 2 to this report.

8. At the start of this process and as a benchmark, a ‘health check’ questionnaire for Workforce Planning has been completed and is attached for information as Annexe 3.

Observations of Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee

9. The Committee, at its meeting on 21st November, considered the proposed Workforce Planning Action Plan and agreed to commend it to the Executive.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the draft Workforce Plan for Waverley Borough Council be adopted.

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Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Richard Wood Telephone: 01483 523387
E-mail: rwood@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/exec/2005-06/187


ANNEXE 1
National Priority areas

Leadership Development - ensuring the authority has effective leadership at all levels.

Utilise the Performance Review and Development Plan [PRDP] process to assess management skills and identify areas of strength and weakness.
Develop training initiatives to utilise and build on strengths and also to meet areas of weakness
Identify and develop future leaders (talent spotting)
Identify specific skills and competencies our Leaders require

Developing workforce skills and capacity - providing opportunities and support for all employees and managers to develop their skills

Continue to develop the training programme to meet needs identified through the recruitment/induction and PRDP processes and to support corporate objectives and areas of priority
Assess legislative/national changes to provide training opportunities for staff to develop skills/knowledge required
Address new skill required to achieve corporate objectives e.g. Procurement Resource and Change management, Partnership working, Strategic skills,

Organisational development - managing people and performance to deliver service improvement and a customer-focused, responsive culture

Develop management training for all managers not just younger/ newly appointed managers
Link target areas under PDRP scheme to service plans

Resourcing recruitment and retention - attracting and retaining top quality employees including addressing diversity and local government’s image

Review Waverley’s recruitment package and consider retention packages
Increase our Race equality scheme rating
Develop strong links with local educational institutes to promote local government as a career option and develop our work experience programme
Investigate partnership opportunities with other Districts to provide training/career opportunities for staff
Assess future needs for professional staff and consider introduction of bursaries/sponsorship for students in “shortage” professions Planning, EH, committee administration
Investigate “real” reasons for leaving by reviewing and enhancing the exit process
Identify Key staff and plan their retention and development Pay and reward - creating fair pay and reward structures, which motivate employees to deliver quality services

Using Waverley’s Hay job evaluation procedure consider creation of more trainee posts with incremental progress not by length of service but by qualification/ achievement of skills/competencies
Review retention and flexible working arrangements as retirement approaches
Review equality of pay and benefits