Like many Australian councils, Glen Eira Council is dealing with several significant challenges. The most common of these include rate capping and budgetary constraints, increasing community expectations, a shift to digitisation and digital adoption in their workforce, diversity and even climate change. Each issue presents a suite of business-critical challenges that require significant cultural resilience, agility and adaptability.
Glen Eira Council engaged Dattner Group to conduct an organisation-wide audit and qualitative baseline assessment relating to organisational values. The council has had a change in leadership direction recently, which highlighted a need to review and redefine the values. A review would enable staff to truly buy into a new set of values that is fit for the future and can be ‘lived’ by staff. It would also provide an opportunity for employees to be involved in the review process. Looking to continue to uphold values and leverage them to drive behaviour, the council wanted to reassess where they where at.
Dattner Group designed and delivered a Values Audit. The key elements of the assessment delivered five stages over four months:
The purpose of the audit was to:
The audit report presented the visible values within the organisation, as compared to the published values. The visible values became the basis of an internal process, where the leadership team further refined the values and supporting behaviours. The staffing body then reviewed the outputs in detail. Dattner Group consulted regularly with the leadership team to ensure the work was valuable, targeted and the outcome was successful.
Following this rigorous consultative process, the 1400 staff and leadership team agreed on a new set of organisational values (including a few of the existing values that were still prominent in behaviour), and a clear set of underpinning behaviours that defined the values. The result of this now is continuity in behaviour, a values-set with organisational buy-in and engagement to, and a collective framework for, greater accountability.
Author, Ami Summers – Coach, co facilitator and Senior Cultural Auditor