- Title page
- Foreword from the Minister of State Services
- Introduction from the State Services Commissioner
- Chief Executive Statement of Responsibility
- The Nature and Scope of our Functions
- Our Operating Environment
- Our Strategic Direction
- Our Medium-term Measures of Success
- Operating Intentions
- Organisational Health and Capability
- Managing Risk
- Departmental Capital and Asset Management Intentions
Organisational Health and Capability
To deliver on the State Services Commission’s purpose statement: We provide leadership to the State Services so that government works better for New Zealanders – within a challenging operating environment, we are comprehensively reviewing and revising our business strategy and operating model. This work is well advanced but still under way as we prepare this Statement of Intent. Implementation of the new approach will commence from May 2011 and will be the focus of our efforts to strengthen organisational capability over the next three years.
To successfully provide leadership to the State Services, we have to be able to close the gap between what is being asked of us and what we can deliver. Our environment has changed, and Ministers are demanding change from the State sector. Agencies have to change to meet these challenges, and the PIF reviews conducted so far show that many will struggle to respond. Our stakeholder and staff surveys over recent years have identified the need to clearly define and communicate our purpose and role, and we need to identify how we will work differently to support system, sector and agency change and lead State sector reform.
Four key shifts have been identified as underpinning the change:
The new business strategy and operating model will enable the State Services Commission to support the delivery of the results that really matter, be proactive in our leadership of the system, support the system to manage through change swiftly and successfully, and be flexible in our ability to deal with a challenging environment and changing ministerial priorities.
In 2010/11, the State Services Commission developed a three-year People Strategy to provide a platform for ensuring that both productivity and engagement within the organisation are raised. Our people strategy has four key objectives supported by a multi-year work programme.
1. Foster a positive culture of personal leadership and accountability.
2. Ensure senior management performance reflects the expectations of employees and stakeholders.
3. Monitor and manage workforce capability so that the State Services Commission has the right mix of people and skills to be effective and agile.
4. Use effective relationship management and collaboration to improve the State Services Commission’s performance.
The People Strategy will enable the State Services Commission to take the objectives of the new business strategy, where our people work more proactively with agencies and sectors to deliver on priority results, and articulate what this means in terms of specific skills and workforce planning processes.
To be able to deliver we must have robust, high quality and cost-effective processes in place across our corporate functions.
We will continue to investigate options for a single model of supply across the three central agencies through the Central Agency Integrated Corporate Services Project. The aim is to improve performance and effectiveness through better coverage of specialist roles and by cutting duplication and waste so we are doing more for less in the medium to long term. We have taken some steps to work more closely, particularly in sharing information and information technology procurement. We are now moving to another level and putting together a medium-term work programme to identify what corporate functions we require to better support front office performance.
During 2010/11, we received the first benchmarking report from the Better Administrative and Support Services (BASS) programme. The report identified that, overall, the State Services Commission compares favourably in the provision of its support services with other similar agencies in its cohort and with the general BASS average (see table below). However, the assessment did provide insights into some corporate functions, including finance and accommodation, where more efficient practice could result in savings while preserving quality. Structural changes were made to the State Services Commission’s finance function in late 2010 to improve its operational efficiency and over the next three years, we will use benchmarks from annual BASS assessments to inform and direct other improvements in corporate services.
Initial baseline measures
NZ Peer Group (median)
NZ Full Cohort (median)
Total amount of running costs directed at Administrative and Support Services functions.
High quality infrastructure is critical to supporting our people to deliver on our work programme.
The results of the BASS process and the fact that our headcount has decreased considerably in the last five years has prompted examination of options for fit-for-purpose and cost-effective accommodation. A final option for accommodation will be decided before the start of the 2011/12 financial year.
As part of the Central Agency Integrated Corporate Services Project, the State Services Commission, the Treasury and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet are progressing the development of common IT infrastructure and common finance systems. Delivery of these integrated systems is expected to progress across 2011/12.
Demonstrating our success
The State Services Commission recognises that high employee engagement leads to increased individual and organisational performance. Our new business strategy and operating model is an ambitious undertaking, and critical to its success will be the close and active involvement of committed staff. A highly engaged workforce is essential to support an increased focus on quality client relationships and effective knowledge management.
In recent years, the State Services Commission set a stretch target of staff engagement reaching the 75th percentile of the Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Survey in 2011. It is unlikely we will reach this target during 2011. The State Services Commission needs to be a strongly engaged organisation if it is going to be effectively positioned to play a key leadership role in addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the State Services. Achieving this level of change in engagement will remain an important goal over the next three years. In particular, we will focus on three statements that we have identified as critical to improving our engagement:
Q1: I know what is expected of me at work.
Q2: I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
Q3: At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
We continue to be committed to building staff engagement through implementation of the People Strategy. A People Strategy priority, currently under way, is development of managerial and leadership capability. We expect that this focus will result in a lift in staff productivity and engagement levels. Managers will be accountable for improving their teams’ overall engagement through effective team action planning, setting clear expectations and using strengths-based approaches to people management. We will use the next annual engagement survey, scheduled for August 2011, as a measure of progress.
Equality and diversity
The State Services Commission will continue its commitment to the four groups identified in the Equal Employment Opportunities policy for the Public Service – Māori, ethnic or minority groups, women and people with disabilities – and to appointment on merit, ensuring we meet the needs of our diverse workforce. We will monitor employee engagement survey findings by age, gender and ethnicity and will monitor our workforce by collecting data on gender and ethnicity distribution at each tier of management. Where required, we will develop response plans to issues raised as a result of our findings.