Kate Sullivan (Lead Commissioner – Culture, Leadership and Performance) introduced the report, stating that the refreshed Our People Strategy 2020 – 2025 had been endorsed by the Staff & Pensions Committee and Resources and Fire & Rescue Overview and Scrutiny Committee in December 2020. Since then, the Strategy had been presented annually to both committees for review and to seek endorsement for plans for the year ahead. She directed members’ attention to the Our People Annual Review for 2022/23 and Year 3 (2023/25) Plan which showcased activities and performance against organisational priorities for 2022/23 and provided an overview of performance data and key priorities for the coming year. She advised that it was proposed to focus on five priority areas in 2023/24: Recruitment and Retention, Pay and Reward, Strategic Workforce Planning, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and Employee Engagement.
Councillor Gifford expressed support for the objectives of the Strategy. He noted that ‘Safe to be Authentic Self’ would be introduced as a measure of success for 2023/24. He queried how this could tracked by the organisation.
Kate Sullivan advised that it was proposed to monitor ‘Safe to be Authentic Self’ as a measure of success by means of responses to the Your Say Survey. A baseline of 79% had been calculated by combining relevant responses from the most recent Your Say Survey.
In response to Councillor Millar, Kate Sullivan advised that the Your Say Survey had highlighted concerns relating to rising costs of living. Data from the survey was being analysed to determine an appropriate response.
Sarah Duxbury (Assistant Director, Governance and Policy) highlighted that the Council was bound by the national negotiating framework for pay. However, there were additional ways that the organisation could reward its staff. The benefits of working for Warwickshire County Council were now being more prominently promoted, including within adverts for job vacancies.
In response to Councillor Hammersley, Kate Sullivan advised that temporary agency contracts were required for certain key areas of service delivery, such as social work. However, measures were in place to achieve the right balance without relying unnecessarily on agency staff.
In response to Councillor Millar, Kate Sullivan advised that the trial of the Vivup Highfive platform had shown the advantages of enabling peer to peer recognition. However, take up of the offer was not high. Subsequently, it had been resolved to make use of Microsoft applications which provided a similar functionality at no additional cost to the organisation. The STAR Awards continued to provide opportunities to praise colleagues, enabling individuals and teams to be recognised for making an outstanding contribution.
In response to the Chair, Kate Sullivan advised that the Council had been awarded the Silver Thrive at Work accreditation in Summer 2021 for a period of three years. Work was underway to gather evidence to secure accreditation for an additional three years.
Councillor Millar moved that the recommendation be accepted and was seconded by Councillor Kettle. This was supported unanimously by the Committee.
That the Staff and Pensions Committee notes the activity ... view the full minutes text for item 2