This report will be published in an Additional Papers pack once it has been published for the Executive Committee.
The Head of Business Transformation, Organisational Development and Digital Strategy presented the report on the Council’s Workforce Strategy.
The following was highlighted for Members’ attention:
· There were three key themes to the Workforce Strategy, namely workforce planning and talent management, engagement, and health, safety and wellbeing.
· The key aim of the Council’s Workforce Strategy 2022-2026 was to have a workforce that was for fit for the future and able to deliver the Council Plan and Strategic priorities whilst promoting the wellbeing of the workforce.
· Action plans would be devised and implemented during the course of this Workforce Strategy to ensure that the aims of the strategy were being implemented in practice.
Following the presentation of the report, Members made a number of comments and questions were responded to as follows:
· Concern was expressed regarding the low rates of staff who provided their disability and ethnicity data at 18 and 23 per cent respectively,
· Officers responded that there was currently an annual survey where staff had the opportunity to provide data. In addition, staff were encouraged to keep their information up to date on the employee self-service portal.
· Officers commented it was preferable not to overload staff with surveys but instead combine multiple surveys and work on engagement with staff, including addressing any concerns that staff had about taking part in internal surveys.
· It was explained that this was a completely new workforce strategy and was not a refresh of any previous strategy.
· Some Members queried why this executive report was not classed as a ‘key decision’. In response, the Principal Democratic Services Officer explained that whilst this report concerned an important matter, there was a definition of an executive key decision set out in legislation. The above report did not meet the criteria of a key decision under the legislation.
· Officers explained that the Workforce Strategy would be underpinned by a number of action plans
· Some Members commented that remote working was not ideal in all circumstances as it could lead to lack of social interaction and, consequently worsening staff mental health. It was therefore deemed important that staff be provided with opportunities to work in the officer if they wished to do so.
· Officers commented that the Council operated a hot desking policy so that most staff could work from office but needed to book a desk in advance. The main consideration was, however, being customer-centred and needs of the customers dictated working arrangements.
· The strategy and action plans were still in the initial period but work was advancing on a number of areas, including streamlining the recruitment process by utilising recruitment platforms and business planning processes.
· Members requested that this Workforce Strategy, and the key performance indicators (KPIs) that were being developed in relation to the strategy and associated action plans, be reviewed by the Performance Scrutiny Working Group. It was agreed to refer this topic for consideration by the Working Group.
that the Executive Committee endorse the approach taken by the Chief Executive, as Head of Paid Service, to address the Workforce Strategy.