CONCLUSION Human Resource Strategy by dk45442

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									Human Resource Strategy
2005 - 2008
             Contents                      Page

Aim                                           3

Introduction                                  4

Our vision                                    6

Strategic context                             7
    • Drivers
    • How will this affect us?
    • Modernisation and reform
    • Departmental values
    • The future role of Human Resources

Strategic themes                              13

Leadership                                    15

Resourcing                                    17

Building capability                           19

Performance, attendance and recognition       20

Working with partners                         22

e-HR programme                                24

Conclusion                                    25

To support the
department to deliver its
business objectives and
to allow us to deal with
new challenges and

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DETI                                                     •   are led and managed to deliver

Human Resource Strategy                                      high performance and to improve
                                                             the way we deliver services to the
                                                             public and to colleagues; and
                                                         •   are valued and treated with
Introduction                                                 respect, and we recognise their
                                                             different talents, backgrounds and
The DETI corporate plan 2005-2008 (see                       knowledge.
note 1 below) sets our strategic direction
over the next three years and, in                    This strategy follows our very successful
particular, how our work will contribute             2002-2005 HR strategy ‘Moving Forward’.
towards the economic vision (see note 2              We met all the objectives set out in the
below) for Northern Ireland. The economic            strategy including the following.
vision for Northern Ireland sees “Northern
Ireland as a high-value-added,
                                                         •   Investors in People (IiP)
highly-skilled, innovative and enterprising
                                                             We gained this standard for the
economy, which enables us to compete
                                                             sixth year in a row, with a very
globally leading to greater wealth creation
                                                             high score using the new IiP
and better employment opportunities for
                                                             Profile assessment tool.

                                                         •   ISO 9001-2000 Quality
This strategy supports our corporate plan
                                                             Management Award for our
by making sure our staff:
                                                             training function.

        •   have the right skills and
                                                         •   We introduced a new personnel
            knowledge to allow them to
                                                             management unit and appointed
            manage an increasingly
                                                             account managers to improve how
            demanding workload and to be
                                                             we deliver our service to
            able to respond to change quickly;
        •   are working in the right areas at
            the right level to allow the
                                                         •   We introduced new procedures to
            department to meet its objectives;
                                                             identify and manage vacancies to
                                                             improve the way we plan for, and
                                                             match people and their skills to,
Note 1 This information comes from the DETI                  jobs.
corporate plan 2005-2008.
Note 2 This information comes from ‘Economic
Vision for Northern Ireland’, DETI, October
2004.                                                        Back To Contents

•   The department’s senior                 We were also assessed against the
    managers agreed our diversity           Leadership and Management standard
    business case, we set up our            and the Personnel Division achieved the
    Diversity Board and work has            Commitment to Excellence Quality Award.
    started on our diversity action
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•   We published on-line our ‘Work
    Life Balance’ booklet which sets
    out the working options available
    to staff and managers.

•   We have set up a structured
    procedure to manage staff change
    and transfers due to increased
    use of technology across the

•   We continue to support the
    development of e-business across
    the department.

•   We have continued to reduce staff
    absences to work towards the
    Northern Ireland Civil Service
    (NICS) target of 5.9% by March

•   We put in place the Workplace
    Health Improvement Programme
    (WHIP) and provided a wide range
    of health and fitness events for

•   We put compulsory management
    training in place for executive
    officers at grade 2 and staff

Our vision

As a department, this strategy will put us
in a position to lead economic
development and be respected for our
policy-making, our ability to deliver
services, our professionalism and the way
we respond to customer needs.

To achieve this, we will:
    •   continue to develop and improve
        the way we work, the way we
        develop our policies and our ability
        to identify and place skilled people
        in jobs where they can be most
    •    use technology to improve
         efficiency and value for money;
    •    deal with and respond to change;
    •    provide an interesting and
         challenging work environment
         where staff have pride in their
         work; and
    •    allow our staff to contribute their
         best and value them for their
         contribution at whatever level they

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Strategic context                                 How will this affect us?

Drivers                                           We recognise that these and other
                                                  influences in our environment will affect us
There are four strategic drivers that will        significantly. In particular, the above
affect HR over the next three years. These        factors will mean that for the current
are the main influences which affect our          corporate plan we will do the following.
three-year plans and that we need to
tackle for the plan to be successful.                 •   We will need to develop new ways
    •   Higher expectations for improved                  of working which fully use ICT,
        services from customers and other                 including using broadband to
        stakeholders (for example,                        provide a safe way for an
        businesses and universities).                     employee to connect to the
    •   Restriction on resources and the                  department’s computer network
        demand for improvements in the                    from their home.
        range and quality of service                  •   We will need to establish DETI as
        delivery detailed in ‘Fit for                     an employer that attracts,
        Purpose’ (see note 3 below).                      develops and keeps excellent
    •   How well technology can improve                   people.
        service delivery and change the               •   As a result of the reform
        way we work.                                      programmes we will have to move
    •   Competition from other sectors                    staff around within the department
        and areas for talented employees                  and the NICS, as we move
        (we are already seeing this in                    resources from support services,
        areas like accountancy,                           like personnel, towards front-line
        information and communications                    services.
        technology (ICT), HR, economics               •   We will need to invest in the skills
        and policy development) (see note                 and knowledge of the people who
        4 below).                                         change jobs to allow them to
                                                          contribute quickly.
                                                      •   Transform HR – under new
                                                          service delivery arrangements a
                                                          Shared Service Centre (possibly
                                                          with a private-sector partner) will

Note 3 ‘Fit for Purpose’ is a government                  provide administration services.
document published by the Department of               •   Introduce modern technology and
Finance and Personnel, October 2004.                                     replace old and inefficient systems

Note 4 This information comes from ‘NI Pay                will give us more management
and Workforce Strategy’, Department of                    information to support this new
Finance and Personnel (2004) and ‘Review of
NICS ADP Allowance’ August 2004,                          role. We will change working

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        practices for all managers and
        staff who will be using this
        technology themselves (using a
        computer or phone) rather than
        asking someone in personnel to
        get the information or deliver the
        service for them.
    •   Most of the HR services will be
        provided by outside organisations.
        The small HR section left must
        concentrate on doing work that
        cannot be done by the
        private-sector partner, or can be
        done for the same cost. This will
        include complicated casework,
        making decisions and highlighting
        how long-term business plans will
        affect HR.

These challenges mean major changes in
the structure of HR and in developing a
more value-added role, making us an
important strategic business partner in the
development of DETI and each of its
business areas.

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Modernisation and reform                                reform programme and its three main
The Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS)
Reform document ‘Fit for Purpose’ (see                      •     Putting the front line first – to
note 5 below) says:                                               focus on service delivery
                                                            •     Building capability – to improve
         “Public expectations for the                             efficiency and respond to change
         standards which key public                         •     Embracing diversity – fully use the
         services should meet are high and                        talents of all staff.
         rising. To help ensure that these
         expectations can continue to be                These themes are looked at throughout
         met, a programme of development                this strategy, particularly in ‘Resourcing’,
         and reform is underway now in the              and ‘Building capability’.
         wider public sector in NI.
                                                        Departmental values
         To deliver improvements in public
         services, public bodies                        The NICS Code of Ethics (see note 6
         themselves need to improve. They               below) emphasises:
         need to improve their efficiency;                  •     integrity;
         build their capabilities; and utilise              •     honesty;
         to the full the talents of their staff”.           •     impartiality (being politically
                                                                  neutral); and
To meet this challenge we need to                           •     objectivity (making judgements
respond to and focus on our customers                             just based on the facts).
and on the commitments in the corporate
plan. We need to be creative and work                   We have also identified four main values.
with others, including other government                 We are committed to demonstrating these
departments, the business community and                 values in our behaviour at every level in
universities, the Economic Development                  our working relationships and in all our
Forum, and other stakeholders. We need                  work. This strategy confirms how
to work together as an organisation and be              important these values are and how they
willing to respond to the different needs of            influence the way we will:
our customers.
                                                            •     approach our work;
                                                            •     communicate with the public;
Our approach to modern ways of working,
                                                            •     communicate with our colleagues
to e-business and to changing the service
                                                                  across the NICS; and
will continue to follow the Government’s

Note 5 This information comes from ‘Fit for             Note 6 This information comes from ‘NICS
Purpose’, Department of Finance and                     Code of Ethics’ NI Civil Service
Personnel, October 2004.                                Commissioners.                        

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    •   deal with others who have an                    Partners, which means:
        interest in our work.                           •   we involve stakeholders and
These values will help us to create a                       encourage people to take part and
working environment where we attract and                    communicate to achieve our
keep people with different talents and will                 objectives;
allow us to motivate and fully involve staff            •   we understand how everybody
with our work.                                              contributes to our shared aim; and
                                                        •   we are committed to working
We aim to be the following.                                 together across our branches,
                                                            division and departments.
    People focused, which means:
    •   we treat people fairly, with respect        These values will affect how we deliver our
        and honesty;                                work. They will affect the way DETI staff
    •   we recognise and appreciate the             are seen to work and behave with those
        contribution of people;                     they come into contact with every day.
    •   we listen to the views of others;
        and                                         We will continue to use best-practice
    •   we encourage and recognise                  measures such as Investors in People and
        strong leadership at all levels.            a staff survey every two years to collect
    Professional, which means:                      important information on the issues that
    •   we are committed to doing the               concern staff the most.
        best job we possibly can;
    •   we are reliable, honest and fair;           We recognise how important it is to have

    •   we have a positive attitude to              leaders who inspire others, particularly in

        work;                                       times of major change, and our recent

    •   we take responsibility for our              assessment against the IiP Leadership

        actions; and                                and Management Stretch Model will be

    •   we achieve best value for money.            used as a standard for measuring

    Proactive, which means:                         improvement at all levels within the
    •   we analyse customers’ needs to
        identify the services and products
        they need;
    •   we are open to change and                   Back To Contents
        encourage new ideas;
    •   we deal with issues positively; and
    •   we think creatively.

The future role of HR                                 people-management practices that have
                                                      proven results.
The future role of HR can be seen as that
of ‘business partner’ (see note 7 below).             We will continue to review our
Our aim is to:                                        organisational structure so that by moving
                                                      staff around we meet our business
    •    develop how well we work as an               priorities more efficiently.
    •    continue to change our processes             Change happens quickly in our business
         and culture to improve how well              and we need to be able to deal with this
         we deal with change;                         instinctively. We will have to change the
    •    support our managers to deliver              way we work to:
         results at business level and to                 •    meet our agreed staffing targets;
         meet the needs of our customers                       and
         effectively; and                                 •    put into place major reform
    •    work with directors and line                          programmes (including e-HR and
         managers to put our strategies                        the Accounting Services
         and plans into place.                                 Programme).
                                                          The new HR role will be to support
The Shared Service Model for HR service                   DETI in becoming:
delivery will mean fewer people are                       •    an organisation able to respond
employed in HR. However, HR will still                         quickly and flexibly to changing
have an important role in the department’s                     business needs;
strategy and plans.                                       •    an organisation that looks for and
                                                               deals with change; and
There is now well-established research                    •    an organisation where staff can
which provides clear evidence of the                           identify opportunities and act on
benefits of getting people issues right:                       them quickly.
“People management practices are a
better predictor of company performance               This more strategic role for HR will
than strategy, technology or research and             challenge the image of traditional
development” (see note 8 below.) The                  personnel management. HR exists to
future role for HR must include quality               support the delivery of services. Line
                                                      managers will be the front line of HR and

Note 7 This information comes from ‘Business          we know that, for our business to perform
Partnering – A New Direction for HR’ Duncan           well, it is people-management practices
Brown. Published by the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development (CIPD) 2004.                which can deliver results.

Note 8 This information comes from ‘Impact of
People Management Practices on Business               Most of our costs are salaries and wages
Performance’ (1997) from ‘The Change
Agenda’ Simon Caulkin. Published by CIPD              and we must justify these costs by being

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as efficient as possible at all levels.
Managers have an important role in
delivering results that contribute to an
improved service and efficiency. We will
need to support them to achieve this

We will improve the way we analyse
management information to support
decision making with new IT systems. This
will mean managing attendance better,
managing performance and staff planning,
and offering HR new opportunities to add
value to their role.

What we have to do
    •    HR must support managers by
         providing expert advice and
         appropriate policy guidelines.
    •    HR practices must meet business
         and corporate needs.
    •    Managers must show a genuine
         commitment to developing the
         skills, wellbeing and effectiveness
         of all our people.
    •    Management at all levels, and
         especially in HR, must
         demonstrate leadership and DETI
         values in their behaviour.
    •    HR will need to be able to respond
         quickly and effectively to any
         political change, for example, if
         the Northern Ireland Assembly is

    HR must build on its professionalism
    with new knowledge and skills about
    HR practice as well as a good
    understanding of the department’s
    work, its customers and services.

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Strategic themes

There are six themes that
are essential to our future
      Performance, attendance and
      Building capability
      Working with partners
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Strategic themes

The following main themes are essential to
our future success in responding to the
modernisation and reform agenda, the
staff survey issues and delivering the
business objectives set out in our
corporate plan.

    •   Leadership
    •   Resourcing
    •   Performance, attendance and
    •   Building capability
    •   Working with partners
    •   e-HR

For each of these themes, we describe the
role for HR, whether it is performed by
NICS, by the department or by managers.
These roles show how HR must develop in
the next three years. For each theme we
have identified strategic objectives.

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Leadership                                            throughout the department know who they
                                                      are and what they do.
Good leadership is essential for effective
change in any organisation. Without good              This means that everyone who leads and
leadership, any attempt to change is not              directs others must:
likely to succeed.                                         •   inspire staff by personal example;
                                                           •   encourage an environment where
Research evidence (see note 9 below)                           staff are valued;
and our own experience shows that                          •   show our values in their
employees who are fully involved with their                    day-to-day behaviour;
work are more motivated, productive,                       •   establish an environment which
willing and able to deliver results. Satisfied                 accepts responsibility,
employees are more likely to do more than                      encourages managed risk-taking
their basic job description.                                   and creativity; and
We need to make sure we keep excellent                     •   commit to their own development
staff through effective management and                         and be open to constructive
leadership, and that staff are motivated                       criticism and feedback.
and challenged in any role so they achieve
job satisfaction.                                     In 2005, we will go through an assessment
                                                      process with the senior civil service staff to
We also know that positive staff attitudes            give them precise information on any gaps
and an organisation’s culture are strongly            in their skills and to inform their future
connected to positive performance. So it is           development.
still important to continue our work to
make our values more obvious in                       Our senior management team is already
everyday management and leadership.                   committed to taking action on leadership
                                                      issues and one aspect of this will be to
We recently invited Investors in People to            organise events to involve staff and to
assess us against the IiP Leadership and              develop our corporate identity and sense
Management Model. Feedback from this                  of team. We will review these events to
assessment and feedback from our 2004                 make sure they still meet our needs, and
staff survey will contribute to an action             we will continue to work as one
plan which will look at where we need to              organisation, looking at opportunities to
improve. We realise that we need to                   work better. We want to provide a service
improve leadership skills (particularly in            where customers who deal with different
managing change) at all levels, and that              parts of the department will recognise that
senior managers need to make sure staff               we are consistent and communicate well
                                                      between our business areas.

Note 9 This information comes from ‘Impact of
People Management Practices on Business
Performance’. Published by CIPD (1997).               Back To Contents

We recognise the important role of our              productive. Research (see note 10 below)
senior managers outside the Senior Civil            has shown that the strongest motivator of
Service group. These managers at                    all for employees is feeling valued and
head-of-branch level provide an important           involved. This can be:
link between the way we work and our                    •   being involved in decision making;
strategy and it is through them that we                 •   feeling able to say what they think;
deliver our plans. Staff throughout the                 •   believing that their views are
department look to them for motivation                      listened to; and
and leadership. During this strategy we will            •   believing that managers value
focus on recognising and involving heads                    their contributions.
of branch in planning and decision making,
and in leading change. One way we will do           The table below shows the difference that
this will be through our Senior Manager’s           involving employees makes to their
Forum.                                              performance.

Our main resource is our staff, and we rely          Type of job                   Difference in
on them to achieve objectives year by                                              performance
year. We realise that demands on staff are           Low complexity jobs                19%
always increasing, and that a work-life              Moderate complexity                32%
balance is necessary. It is important to             jobs
recognise that our success and our                   High complexity jobs               48%
reputation for commitment and
professionalism comes from the quality of
                                                    We need to offer our people enjoyable,
the staff we employ. So we aim to:
                                                    challenging and stimulating work which will
    •    make their work more meaningful;           lead to high levels of involvement, job
    •    make it clear why they are doing           satisfaction and performance.
         what they are doing, and how this
         fits with our corporate plan,
         operating plan and the plans and           Strategic aims
         programmes of their divisions and
         branches; and                                  •   To develop and apply excellent
    •    make sure staff appreciate the                     leadership skills that lead to
         value and importance of their                      increased involvement, motivation
         work, and become fully involved                    and productivity.
         with it.                                       •   To build a strong corporate
                                                            identity that staff identify with, and
Employees who are fully involved with                       are loyal to.
their organisation are more motivated and

                                                    Note 10 This information comes from ‘Engage
                                                    Employees and Boost Performance’ Hay Group
                                                    Management Ltd, 2002.

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Resourcing                                              •   controlled recruitment and
                                                            promotion; and
By April 2008, we need to achieve the                   •   effort, to match people who are
following targets.                                          moved to posts which best suit
    •   To combine or reduce support                        their skills, experience and
        services and make savings in staff                  interests.
    •   To develop recruitment policies.            We have a great deal of experience in
    •   To encourage greater exchange of            delivering this traditional aspect of the
        staff between the NICS, and the             personnel role.
        private, public, voluntary and
        community sectors.                          However, our HR staff and line managers
Each of these targets will affect HR.               need to develop their skills in managing
                                                    the potential of our staff. They need to
To be more efficient involves making the            encourage employees to be enthusiastic
best use of our resources by improving              about their work and the department’s
delivery processes and placing resources            success – we recognise that this is not an
in areas where they can have the greatest           easy task.
effect on front-line services.
                                                    Our success will depend on being able to
The overall target for the NICS is to               attract, recruit and keep a range of
reduce staff by 15% by 2007-2008.                   different and talented people. We need to:
Taking account of our plans to strengthen
service delivery areas, this means that we              •   manage our staff better because
will reduce our workforce overall by                        they are an important resource;
around 53 staff.                                        •   keep staff interested by providing
                                                            challenging and stimulating work;
Also, a number of staff will change jobs, as            •   recognise that traditional working
a result of civil servants returning from                   patterns may not attract the best
Invest NI, and because of the e-HR and                      people and keep high performers;
Accounting Services Programmes. HR will                 •   improve planning to replace
need to manage the consequences of                          people who retire or who move to
these staffing changes to make sure that                    other work areas (as more people
they are achieved in an orderly and                         expect to work until they are 65);
structured way and take full account of                 •   consider working arrangements
normal retirements and resignations.                        for staff who want to continue to
                                                            work so they can do so while still
These commitments need:                                     developing other interests to
    •   careful and considered planning;                    prepare for full-time retirement;
    •   some staff moved to new work;

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    •   recognise that people work best
        when they can effectively balance
        work with their other
        responsibilities (such as looking
        after children and the elderly) and
        support this with appropriate
        flexible working arrangements;
    •   manage and encourage good,
        reliable staff who are not
        motivated by promotion, but who
        are more productive when they
        are stimulated and involved with
        work which interests them; and
    •   keep in touch with staff on career
        breaks, secondments and on loan
        to other organisations to
        understand the best way to use
        their experience and manage their
        return to us.

 Strategic aims

    •   To manage our staffing levels to
        achieve the target reductions
        while continuing to deliver and
        improve our performance.
    •   To make sure we identify, develop
        and fully use the talent,
        enthusiasm and commitment of all
        our staff to meet our current and
        future needs.
    •   To respond to the changing
        expectations of people at work.

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Building capability                                          compulsory at each grade up to
                                                             Staff Officer.
One of the main themes set out in ‘Fit for
Purpose’ is building the capability to                Strategic aims
improve public services and increase
efficiency. This theme means developing                  •   To make sure that our people
knowledge, professionalism and the                           have the right skills, knowledge
general abilities of the staff in NICS and                   and attitudes to deliver excellent
DETI to deliver our corporate objectives.                    service and meet the challenges
                                                             of change, the demands for
For DETI this means that:                                    increased professionalism and
                                                             modern ways of working.
    •   we need staff who are adaptable                  •   To improve careers and to allow
        and flexible;                                        staff to progress by giving them
    •   development must be part of work                     the skills for their current grade
        rather than an optional extra;                       and the skills and attitudes they
    •   we will continue to need expert                      need to progress further.
        staff in finance, HR, ICT, statistics,           •   To make sure that we make
        economics, and information and                       appropriate arrangements for
        project management to develop,                       high-quality general management
        manage and deliver sophisticated                     skills training which is aimed at
        and specialist services;                             managers at all levels whose
    •   we must develop skills such as                       needs we have assessed and
        developing policy, legislation,                      prioritised.
        marketing, project management                    •   To introduce mentoring for middle
        and change, and management                           and senior managers.
        skills to support and improve                    •   To provide access to appropriate
        professionalism;                                     cost-effective information services
    •   we must continuously develop and                     to support staff in making
        improve management skills by                         decisions, research, developing
        providing high-quality                               policy and informed, effective
        management development                               management.
        opportunities that are accredited
        by outside organisations;
    •   staff at all levels will need the             Back To Contents
        skills to deal with and respond
        effectively to change; and
    •   effective people-management will
        be a priority and developing our
        managers will continue to be

Performance, attendance                             job-evaluation service to make sure that all
and recognition                                     posts are graded correctly, that workloads
                                                    are manageable and there is no
Performance                                         unfairness.

Managing performance is important to our
success in achieving our business
                                                    The attendance record of most of our staff
objectives. For us this means:
                                                    is good. Our professional approach to
                                                    managing attendance has reduced the
    •   providing challenging and
                                                    number of days lost for each person each
        stimulating work;
                                                    year by over 1.5 days during the last three
    •   having high expectations about              years. However, in 2003-2004 we lost an
        performance and setting high                average of 11.8 days for each person (for
        standards;                                  each staff year) through sickness, which
    •   managing staff resources                    cost us about £640,000.
        effectively to make sure high
        levels of performance are                   Although this is below the NICS average,
        achieved and maintained;                    we recognise that we need to do more
    •   encouraging good attendance and             work. The current level of absence is not
        reducing absence;                           acceptable to the taxpayer and to the staff
    •   making sure that our people are             who do not have this level of absence and
        well-trained and developed; and             who are put under extra pressure from
    •   making sure the wide range of               high absence levels.
        talent available to us is fully
        involved and that good                      To maintain the levels of performance and
        performance is appropriately                attendance that we need to achieve our
        recognised and rewarded.                    business objectives, HR will continue to:

We have performance management                          •   provide support and advice to
arrangements in place that clearly set out                  managers on performance
the responsibilities of managers. There are                 management and issues that arise
guidelines (the ‘competence framework’)                     from managing attendance;
(see note 11 below) that describes what is              •   tackle poor performance with line
needed for effective performance at each                    managers by taking action to
level of the organisation.                                  provide knowledge and skills
                                                            where they are needed;
We also provide a fair and consistent                   •   use agreed procedures to tackle
                                                            inefficiency where performance
                                                            standards are not achieved or
Note 11 The NICS Competence Framework is
a document which describes the skills and
abilities staff need at each grade.                Back To Contents

        attendance is consistently not                 corporate plan) despite having
        satisfactory;                                  fewer resources and needing to
    •   extend the Workplace Health                    respond to change quickly.
        Improvement Programme;                     •   To make sure we maintain current
    •   involve the Occupational Health                levels of attendance and achieve
        Service;                                       further improvements.
    •   use improved management                    •   To make sure that line managers,
        information to prevent people                  with the full support of HR, take
        taking advantage of sickness                   action to deal with attendance
        absence arrangements and put in                issues, and at the same time
        place new NICS policies to make                manage the extra responsibilities
        improvements in this area; and                 they have as a result of e-HR.
    •   influence Central Personnel Group
        to put best-practice measures into
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        place to further reduce sickness

To create a positive culture where we
recognise good performance and
celebrate success, HR will:

    •   monitor appraisal standards to
        make sure we are fair and
    •   encourage managers to use the
        performance review process as an
        honest and positive development
        experience that focuses on
        continuous improvement; and
    •   publicly recognise learning
        success and other staff
        achievements each year in an
        event that celebrates success.

Strategic aims

    •   To make sure our staff perform to
        the best of their ability so we
        achieve our targets (set out in the

Working with partners                               redefine our HR role. (We also deal with
                                                    this in the e-HR section below.)
Working with partners is an important part
of how DETI works. We have a wide range             Partnership with the trade unions
of partners who give us experience, allow
us to use our resources better, and add             Staff often express their views through
value to our work.                                  representative groups and we have a long
                                                    and good history of working with the trade
We need to look at the following five main          unions. Our overall aim is to work
areas.                                              co-operatively to improve efficiency, while
                                                    taking account of the views of staff. We
    •    HR’s strategic partnership with our        will continue to work co-operatively with
         operational and policy business            the unions and to be open and
         areas                                      straightforward in exchanging information
    •    Partnership with the private-sector        to make sure we solve problems together
         provider of e-HR                           as soon as possible. We will also look at
    •    Partnership with the trade unions          what we need to do to continue the reform
    •    Partnership with other                     agenda and we will review our
         departments and agencies                   arrangements to consult staff to make sure

    •    Partnership with our employees             that the structures and processes are in
                                                    place to fully support progress.

HR’s strategic partnership with the
business                                            Partnership with other departments and

This concerns the new value-added role
for HR and we have already dealt with               It is essential that our staff take a wider

this.                                               view of their work and consider how it
                                                    affects others and how the work of other

Partnership with the private-sector                 departments may affect us. It makes good

provider of e-HR                                    business sense to work jointly with other
                                                    departments to avoid repetition, to

In the future, a Shared Service Centre              increase co-operation, and to share

(possibly run by a private-sector partner)          resources.

will provide a range of HR services to all
NICS departments under a long-term                  Partnership with our employees

                                                    Our employees are partners in our

These arrangements mean a completely                business, they have a large stake in our

different way of working and we need to             success and they need to be involved in
                                                    our decision-making process.

                                                    Back To Contents
To involve staff in our business we need to          Strategic aims
recognise and respect the value that each              •   To make sure the main aims of
person can bring and to allow them to                      HR match our strategic priorities.
reflect the range of views in the society we           •   To redefine the new HR role by
serve. We can achieve this level of                        creating a legal partnership with
involvement if we genuinely value people’s                 the private-sector contractor.
different skills, points of view and talents,          •   Working with senior managers, to
and take action to find new ways to get                    develop a new role for HR which
different points of view and experience                    plans for and supports the
and use them in our work and                               business objectives of the
policy-making process.                                     department.
                                                       •   To look for opportunities to work
Diversity                                                  with the trade unions on issues
                                                           important to us both.
Fit for Purpose identified managing                    •   To make sure that the views of all
diversity (people’s differences) as being                  staff are represented to improve
essential to allow the NICS to change and                  and modernise our formal
modernise. It fits with our well-established               relationship with employees.
approach to equal opportunities and the                •   To show we respect and value our
approach we have developed to diversity.                   people as individuals, recognise
We have already developed and agreed a                     their different backgrounds and
business case for valuing differences and                  experiences, allow them to
have staff on the departmental diversity                   contribute to our success and find
board. We have produced a workbook that                    satisfaction in their work.
will be a part of putting the European
Foundation for Quality Management’s                  Back To Contents
(EFQM) business improvement model in
place across the department.

We have agreed a diversity action plan for
the first year of the 2005-2008 corporate
plan and we will review and update this at
the end of March 2006.

Our aim is to use managing diversity as a
focus for all our work on including people
at work and increased staff commitment –
particularly staff who may have felt in
some way that they were not included.

e-HR programme                                        development services will all be in place
                                                      on-line or by phone from a contact centre.
Using information and communication
technology (ICT) gives us opportunities to
                                                      Strategic aims
change the way HR provides services.

                                                          •   To make sure all staff (and
We want to use ICT with a private-sector
                                                              especially line managers) move to
partner to change the way HR provide
                                                              the new ways of working needed
services. The e-HR programme will
                                                              by the e-HR programme.
introduce new and more efficient ways of
providing staff, payroll and recruitment
                                                          •   To manage the three-year change
services and will co-ordinate certain
                                                              period without disrupting normal
administrative services into a shared
service centre run by the private-sector
partner. This will allow our HR staff to
concentrate on the strategic issues and                 Back To Contents
decisions that affect our ability to meet our
corporate objectives.

The development of e-HR will change the
current roles of line managers and HR
staff, and these changes will develop as
technology takes over more and more
routine administrative tasks and we
introduce HR services on the intranet for
line managers and staff to use. As a result,
current HR service delivery will change
considerably. We will also need to work to
make sure staff accept these changes in
the way we work so that the e-HR
programme is a success.

We plan to start putting this into place in
2005-2006 and introduce it gradually over
three years. Payroll is likely to be the first
HR service to change and we expect the
new arrangements to be in place by
August 2006. We will complete the
programme by 2008 when resourcing,
employee relations, performance
management and learning and

Good leadership is essential for
effective change.

Our success will come from the way
our people can anticipate, adapt and
respond to change.

Back To Contents

Conclusion                                          achieving business targets despite facing
                                                    significant change. Our success will come
The department and HR have to change in             from the way our people can anticipate,
many ways. The rate of change is likely to          adapt and respond to change.
increase quickly and public and political
expectations of service levels will continue        We know that employees who are fully
to rise. We need to be able to continue to          involved with the organisation are more
attract talented people who will be                 motivated, more productive and deliver
committed, involved in their work, will             greater benefits. When we put this
achieve high levels of performance and              strategy in place we will involve all our
deliver excellent value for money.                  staff and communicate well with them.
                                                    Through the senior management forum
This strategy examines the issues that are          and various organisational development
central for HR to continue to support the           events, staff will have the opportunity to be
department’s success and set a new                  involved in decision making and to
direction.                                          express their opinions knowing
                                                    management will listen to them and value
The Government’s modernisation and                  their contributions.
reform document Fit for Purpose
encourages the NICS to improve its                  We will respond confidently to the
systems, skills and abilities to provide            challenges of the ‘Fit for Purpose’ reform
relevant and appropriate public services.           agenda, and we look forward to working in
The three main themes of the reform                 partnership with all our people and our
agenda are shown in the strategic aims in           stakeholders to allow us to deliver our
this HR strategy.                                   business objectives effectively.

Good leadership is essential for effective          Like our previous HR strategy, we will
change, and this is one of the main                 review this strategy every year to make
themes of this strategy. We are committed           sure it is still relevant and to show its
to improving our leadership at all levels,          progress.
and to becoming an organisation where
leaders lead by personal example and
inspire others.                                     Back To Contents

We need to involve staff to change and
improve our business and service delivery.
We have high-quality, professional and
motivated staff who are committed to


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