How are we building a capable workforce?

Improving leadership and capability

To meet our future business goals, managers will need higher levels of leadership capability. We are ensuring that managers are capable and accountable for:

  • building and leading effective teams

  • continuously improving work processes

  • delivering improvement initiatives.

The Sydney Water Leadership Framework gives us a clear definition of managerial leadership, including their role and accountabilities.

During 2011–12, we rolled out the framework to supervisor-level staff after launching it to senior managers in the previous year. We have now introduced more than 400 managers and other people leaders to the program.

In 2012–13, we will train and support managers to ensure they follow the framework.

Our three-year Graduate Program also builds workforce capability. It provides development opportunities through rotational placements for graduates from a wide range of disciplines. It gives them opportunities to learn from experts and to gain experience in a variety of roles.

Our graduates develop a greater understanding of the water industry and identify future career opportunities. For more information on the number of graduates in the program, see ‘How are we tracking?’.

Rolling out our competency program

Our competency program delivers a greater understanding of skills and knowledge required for roles, by the people working in them. It allows us to review and recognise existing skills and assess any development needs.

In 2011–12, we completed the design and implementation of the program with the exception of some modules which we will defer to next year. Many managers and staff reviewed competencies and developed course materials to close any gaps in people’s skills and/or knowledge. We expect to complete all program modules during 2012–13.

In some cases, this has led to opportunities for staff to study for nationally-recognised qualifications or find a new career pathway that may be outside their particular work area.

Staff go social on Yammer

While we are connecting with customers through our new social media pages, our staff have also gone social!

In February 2011, we launched an internal social media tool called Yammer (like a cross between Facebook and Twitter) which enables communication and collaboration between staff.

‘Results from a staff survey told us that staff wanted more open dialogue and two-way communication, especially with leaders,’ said Sam Fulcher, Acting Internal Communications Manager.

‘Through Yammer, staff share information, discuss and collaborate on projects, ask questions or praise someone for a job well done. Staff from different locations can join the conversation, breaking down traditional silos.’

Our Managing Director, Kevin Young, regularly holds scheduled, hour-long, live discussions during which staff can ask questions or share their views.

About 1,900 staff are now on Yammer, posting over 750 messages each month in 179 different topic groups. Discussions and topics range widely from customer service to how we manage energy use.

‘Feedback from staff has been positive. They are happy to have a tool that makes it easy to collaborate with anyone across the organisation,’ said Sam.

Image of Sydney Water staff using Yammer

Yammer is an internal social media tool that makes it easy for staff to collaborate across the organisation.