Leadership matters

State of the NSW Public Sector Report 2016
This year is the Public Service Commissioner’s fifth report on the State of the NSW Public Sector. A lot has changed in five years with evidence of real results starting to emerge. However, there is always more to do and, in one key area, a need to energetically build greater capability: leadership.
  • At a glance, key statistics from the NSW public sector census show some revealing trends. The public sector has declined in overall size for the fourth year in a row, at a time when overall employment in NSW continues to grow. The public sector is changing shape, as numbers grow in teaching, police and health between 2014 and 2016.

    Read more in Chapter One

  • As public expectations of services increase, the capability of public sector senior executives is key to successfully driving outcomes. Leaders across the sector have driven increased efforts in customer, collaboration and innovation. However, employee perceptions indicate opportunities to improve communication and change leadership efforts. Agencies are making efforts to address these perceptions, noting further areas for focus.

    Read more in Chapter Two

  • An emphasis on providing excellent and efficient customer service requires new or recalibrated skills for the workforce. Service delivery and collaboration are organisational capability strengths in the public sector. Data, technology and process design are emerging organisational capability gaps, and the sector plans to address these gaps through recruitment, and learning and development.

    Read more in Chapter Three

  • Improved sector performance is driven by having a workforce that better reflects the community it serves. Leaders are driving diversity initiatives with accountability metrics in place, and there is strong support for diversity based on employee survey responses. However, closer analysis of indicative data indicates challenges in representation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees, and employees with disability.

    Read more in Chapter Four

  • High levels of employee engagement correspond to improved productivity, innovation, better customer service and lower absenteeism. Employee engagement has increased slightly, with strong results reported for engagement with work in particular, although the drivers of engagement vary across the sector.

    Read more in Chapter Five

  • There have been major changes in how public sector services are designed, delivered and evaluated, starting from the way work is done from the bottom up. Key shifts in mindset can be observed across the sector, driving shifts in culture. The values are a common thread across the sector to set high standards of personal and organisational conduct.

    Read more in Chapter Six

  • The progress and achievements of the sector since government sector reform can be observed, recognising the milestones achieved so far. Considerations for change are identified where focused attention could drive further success.

    Read more in Chapter Seven

Agencies are now moving from first-phase reform to a more mature set of workforce management arrangements.

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