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HR Taskforce supports good HR practices

Thursday 09 March 2016

A government Human Resources (HR) Taskforce comprised of 45 HR practitioners working across the public sector was established last month.  The practitioners represented most government agencies and three state owned enterprises. 

The role of the taskforce is to advise and support public sector managers embed good HR practices within government agencies. The establishment of the taskforce is part of the government’s Public Sector Strategy goal to ensure we have progressive and high performing public sector employees. 

The two day workshops were held at the Office of the Public Service Commissioner’s office in Avarua and facilitated by Commonwealth Secretariat-funded HR specialist Mabel Shuma-Dalgaard.  The training included an overview of the benefits and responsibilities of the taskforce members, in relation to understanding the governments HR policies such as recruitment, job evaluations, remuneration, performance management, leave and training.  Developing job descriptions was also covered with participants who had not previously received this training. 

Key learning for the participants included “the linkages between performance management and job descriptions to agency business plans, strategic plans and the national sustainable development plan.”

The workshop provided members of the taskforce with HR knowledge and tools to support good HR practices within agencies.  The participants were asked to contribute to further HR policy development, including the review of these policies and processes to improve individual and agency performance.

One participant said “the content was very inclusive and the pace of delivery was really good” with another saying “open discussions on topics and practical experiences shared with remedies were noted.”

Participants felt the training was relevant and would recommend the training for public sector managers to understand the value of the HR function and its direct link to strengthening individual and agency performance.

“We see your involvement as positive for your agency, the public service as a whole and for your own professional development” said Human Resources Manager, Owen Lewis.

The taskforce members will receive job evaluation training in May from New Zealand private firm Strategic Pay.  Strategic Pay own the job evaluation system used to evaluate jobs across the public sector and have previously provided training on job evaluations and developing job descriptions.  They also coordinated a Labour Market Remuneration Survey in November 2014 which informed a review of the government pay scales and development of the remuneration policy.

END Contact: owen.lewis@cookislands.gov.ck