Local government employers know that only a properly motivated, skilled and rewarded workforce can deliver the best possible services to communities across Scotland. Local government needs to make the best use of its resources and that depends on competing for and securing the right people in the right jobs at the right time, with the right skills– and at an affordable cost.

Effective people are at the heart of excellence public services and our award winners have all delivered leading-edge projects where innovative ideas and practical solutions are helping their organisation rise to the challenge of securing a workforce for the future. Their work includes attracting and retaining high calibre employees, building capacity through greater flexibility and productivity, developing effective partnerships, and developing workforce planning arrangements.

Scottish Borders Council: Future Leaders Development Programme

The Future Leaders Development Programme represents a ground-breaking, substantial and coherent approach to leadership development for middle to senior managers, initially in Education and Lifelong Learning and, in its second phase (in light of the outstanding success of the first 2 years), for participants drawn from across the whole local authority (SBC). The programme aims at building and maximising the leadership potential of staff identified as aspiring or future leaders. The programme is innovative, firstly, in that it brings together into a mixed (or “blended”) approach a variety of non-directive yet challenging modes of learning, with coaching delivered by trained coaches at its core, over a 12 month period and, secondly, in that it brought together staff from all sectors of education in its first phase and, in the second phase, has brought together staff from virtually every sector of the local authority service into one learning community, where the emphasis throughout is on creating space, stimulation and opportunity for sustained reflection on leadership:

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Renfrewshire Council: iLearn Learning Management System

The iLearn project has involved the design, procurement and implementation of a combined e-learning, policy management and communication Learning Management System (LMS). Renfrewshire Council is the first, and we believe the only, local authority in Scotland to use one integrated system to provide:

  • a range and depth of online development opportunities for all employees at a time and place that meets both individual and organisational needs;
  • 360 degree assessment for all managers;
  • both managers and employees with instant access to new and revised policy information;
  • a means to assess understanding of key policy issues;
  • a means for continual and two-way communication with employees; and
  • real time management information in all areas.

Since the system launch in July 2010,over 1500 employees, across the whole organisation are now regular users of the system. There have been more than 8500 accesses, with over 5200 online e-learning modules completed. This system has saved over 420 hours of development time and reduced delivery time by as much as 66% compared to learning delivered using a traditional classroom based approach. This new approach has delivered efficiencies of at least £330,000 to date and continues to deliver savings.

Download more information: SWF 12 iLearn Learning Management System

East Lothian Council: PRD approach

East Lothian Council has internally developed a new and more effective approach to improving individual performance levels which enables all employees to develop and maximise their potential and to help deliver and feel connected to, key corporate priorities. This approach was developed in-house through the ongoing involvement of service managers and the senior management team and involves employees at all levels, and across Council service areas. The new framework named Performance Review and Development (PRD), draws upon best practice research and provides an internal solution to develop the qualities needed in a rapidly changing local government environment to deliver high-quality services. PRD also provides a performance ‘line of sight’ between each employee’s role and the delivery of priority outcomes for our council and has helped underpin a change in culture and improved service performance.

Download more information: SWF 19 PRD approach

Glasgow City Council: Shaping The Future

 Glasgow City Council took the bold step to embark on a modern and exciting approach to empowering its workforce to support the delivery of The Shaping the Future vision.  Turbulent change as a result of the economical downturn means that the council requires a workforce that is capable of responding to the challenges and opportunities they face and are equipped to seek new ways of working. Through an innovative employee development programme encompassing the whole of the workforce, Glasgow City Council is creating an environment where staff has the ability to improve the way we work. The impact of this programme is already clearly visible across the organisation as various service reform projects and continuous improvement opportunities have already delivered results.  This approach will ensure that as a modern, efficient and effective organisation, our staff will have the capability and motivation to deliver better services to the citizens ofGlasgow.

Download more information: SWF 22 Shaping The Future

Aberdeen City Council: Growing our Own  

This project is aimed at tackling long-standing difficulties in the recruitment and retention of Environmental Health Officers.  It offers development opportunities for staff and has potential to enhance Aberdeen City Council’s image as an employer of choice for those wanting a career in Environmental Health.  The initiative also forms part of the Service’s succession management plan and enables the service, as a provider of varied and essential statutory services, to be more flexible and responsive to the many service demands placed upon it.

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Aberdeenshire Council: Kaizen For Daily Improvement (KDI)

In 2008 the Senior Management Team of the Council recognised that there was a need to develop a culture of empowerment, involving all staff, to drive forward the improvement agenda and to deliver significant improvements to the Council. As a result, working with an external partner, the Kaizen for Daily Improvement (KDI) programme was developed which aims to embed sustainable continuous improvement as daily activity in all areas of council operations. KDI focuses on streamlining processes, designing them to meet customer needs in terms of quality, time and cost. The programme empowers all staff to identify and implement improvements to the way in which they work.

Download more information: SWF 14 Kaizen For Daily Improvement (KDI)

Midlothian Council: Securing employee engagement through People Strategy development

Midlothian Council engaged its workforce in the development of a new aspirational People Strategy against a background of a challenging period of transformational change and financial restrictions. Using an extensive consultative and diagnostic process, following the articulation of a clear strategic management commitment to progressive change, the process ensured that the strategy that would meet the needs and aspirations of employees and managers. By demonstrating that we had actively listened to our employees in the development of the Strategy, and producing a strategy document that was very different from anything our employees had ever experienced before, we acted in a transparent and open way, thereby starting to deliver the organisational and cultural change we sought even before formal implementation of the new strategy had commenced.

Download more information: SWF 21 Securing employee engagement through People Strategy development