Herefordshire Council’s Human Resources and Workforce Strategy
- Meeting of Scrutiny Management Board, Monday 28 November 2022 2.00 pm (Item 36.)
- View the background to item 36.
To consider Herefordshire Council’s Human Resources and Workforce Strategy.
36. HEREFORDSHIRE COUNCIL’S HUMAN RESOURCES AND WORKFORCE STRATEGY
The committee considered Herefordshire Council’s Human Resources and Workforce Strategy, with questions to Councillor Liz Harvey - Cabinet Member - Finance, Corporate Services and Planning and Tracey Sampson - Director of HR and Organisational Development and a report from the Director of HR and Organisational Development to provide a summary of progress against the strategic aims in the council’s workforce strategy.
The Director of HR and Organisational Development was invited to present the report. She explained that this was the first time that the strategy had been brought before a scrutiny committee of the Council. Thereafter, the committee questioned Councillor Liz Harvey - Cabinet Member - Finance, Corporate Services and Planning and Tracey Sampson - Director of HR and Organisational Development on the development of the Human Resources and Workforce Strategy.
Questions included questions on organisational staffing structure, communicating Council priorities and values, the use of agency workers and cost implications, support employees, particularly female staff, with childcare responsibilities.
The Cabinet Member was asked about the Council's organisational staffing structure and the extent that it links clearly to delivery of Council priorities, key competences and service and organisational outcomes and asked the Cabinet Member whether she believed the organisational structure the Council had was the most optimum to deliver what she and on the Executive would like the Council to deliver and whether there was work being done on organisation structure.
The Cabinet Member commented that she felt that the structure fairly well aligned to the County Plan and the services the council is delivering. Staff can see how they work that they do aligns to the council plan and the deliverables in the Delivery Plan and the structure is quite well fitted to its purpose. Whether it is an optimum structure depends also on working within the organisation and a one council approach and cross cutting services. She welcomed, however, any suggestions from the committee on how this might improved.
It was also asked whether the Council's KPIs and staffing of the different departments reflected the priorities of the Council. It was asked to what extent that Herefordshire Council priorities and values are communicated to staff and the extent to which it was made clear how what they do makes a difference to delivery of the Council's priorities and services to local residents.
It was asked to what extent the Council brand is communicated to staff and for recruitment. It was asked to what extent the Council provided appropriate facilities to support employees, particularly female staff, but, it was emphasised, not only female staff, with childcare responsibilities.
There were questions on the overall level of agency spend for the Council as a whole had increased from £2.4 million to £10.9 million over the four years to 2021 to 2022 and that the main departmental pressure to this appeared from the children and young people's services department, but also that other Council departments with escalating agency staff costs.
At the end of the questions to the Cabinet Member and Director of HR and Organisational Development the committee considered and debated its key findings. It was agreed that the key findings be agreed and drawn up for further consideration at the next meeting, which may form the basis of the report to Cabinet.
Recommendation 1: Clearer linkages are made between the council’s updated workforce strategy to the council priorities, organisational staffing structure and the delivery of service plans.
Recommendation 2: In line with the above, key performance indicators are built in to the updated work strategy to help evidence the impact the workforce has in relation to delivering the council local and statutory priorities
Recommendation 3: The committee would like to see time series data captured from 2018 - 2022 in connection to gender pay and reported back to the committee, ideally, as part of the update to the workforce strategy being planned for September 2023.
Recommendation 4: Noting the sharp increases in both cost and reliance of interim/agency workforce – particularly in children’s services – the committee would like to explore the strategies being developed, in the updated workforce strategy, aimed at retaining and recruiting permanent staff:
a) Through open market recruitment and
b) Incentive schemes designed to retain interim staff to stay at the council on a more permanent footing.
Recommendation 5: The learning and development offer provided by Herefordshire Council to its employees is given high prominence within the evolving recruitment and retention strategies and programmes.
Recommendation 6: The strategy be designed to enable policies and practices to be developed to reflect the 75% female to 25% male workforce
- Herefordshire Council’s Human Resources and Workforce Strategy, item 36. PDF 289 KB
- Appendix 1 for Herefordshire Council’s Human Resources and Workforce Strategy, item 36. PDF 260 KB
- Appendix 2 for Herefordshire Council’s Human Resources and Workforce Strategy, item 36. PDF 120 KB