Trust, Service

& Accountability

Behaving Ethically

Workforce Systems

In addition to workforce planning, agencies with a strategic approach to the workforce will take action to embed the Ethical Framework into agency workforce systems.

These systems include establishing and maintaining systems and processes to select, hire, recruit and exit employees; determining employee compensation and benefits and employee performance appraisals; and developing employee performance and career opportunities. Challenges for best practice organisations include how to establish systems that can recruit for people with their skills, experience and ethical capabilities, how to identify and acknowledge employees with good ethical practice, and how to identify and address cases of unethical practice.

Specific actions include:


  • All new employees to take part in an induction process which must include the development of employee knowledge and skills needed to apply in their workplace the Ethical Framework, the Code of Ethics and Conduct (once finalised and issued), and other agency based ethics policies and standards of conduct. 

Training and workshops

  • An agency’s formal employee training programs to provide individuals with an official indication of the values, beliefs and practices expected of them and the skills to implement those requirements.  However, to be effective, formal training must be supplemented with ongoing on-the-job mentoring, coaching, performance feedback, discussions about performance and systems improvement, and other actions that promote ethical work practices
  • The appropriate mix of learning and development tools and programs will depend on the different situations, roles and needs of groups within an agency. All employees should receive formal induction initially, and ongoing reinforcement at regular intervals.  Any breach of the organisation’s values, once investigated, could be dealt with – at a minimum – by a program that involves all relevant employees to identify the causes of the unethical conduct and how to ensure ethical good practice in future. Ethical breaches that are more serious may require action in relation to misconduct allegations.

Rewards, Recognition and Incentives

  • Recognise, reward and incentivise high performance which is conducted in accordance with the Ethical Framework
  • Take a balanced approach to short and long term rewards.  An over-emphasis on short term rewards typically poses a greater risk of distortion of behaviour
  • Consider applying to the NSW Premier’s Awards and the Institute of Public Administration Australia NSW Awards to recognise and reward high performance and high performers within their agency
  • Other initiatives for agencies include:
    • changing the agency reward and recognition policies and systems so that they clearly rewards behaviours consistent with the Ethical Framework
    • increasing flexibility to develop, reward and recognise high performing staff exhibiting Ethical Framework objective, values and principles.


  • Recognise and promote employees who consistently demonstrate good conduct – that is, consistent with the Ethical Framework – as well as showing quality technical skills, knowledge and experience.