Topic - Policy documentation – what process documentation do councils use and which support tools such as work instructions are most effective?
- Fraser Coast currently working through creation of the documentation.
- Suggestion from Mount Isa – start getting ideas down and brainstorm ideas with officers working with the current procedures and then have other people with policy skills sets formalise the procedure for you.
- Toowoomba – currently reviewing procedures and sitting down with the team an officers on the ground to ask them what is effective, achievable and practical in the role that they are delivering. No need to force the supervisor to do it on their own.
- Redland - Has a two tiered approach. Tier one is like a “procedure for dummies” (highly detailed) and Tier 2 is more of an overview flow chart option for more experienced officers to check and refer to.
- Software solutions to support making it easy to find and refer to make documentation available in the field is a crucial piece of the puzzle to get right. This can take time and requires an expert in the system to set it up. Without it the documents don’t make it into the hands of the people that need them.
- Redland and Fraser Coast use Tech 1 P&R and Pathway to manage workflows of documents using the built in CRM capability of each of these software systems. Set up of the workflows in the back end are crucial in order to properly leverage the available functionality of the software system. Refer to Tech 1 user groups from other councils for advice/support.
Topic – what strategies are different councils using to address the safety and retention of officers in the compliance space, many teams are experiencing high burnout rates and teams imploding.
- Mount Isa – Safety officer has a manager facilitates the sharing of what is going on in each of our roles which is a good way to feel good about what you are doing and that what you are doing is supported. Immediate team culture of venting, support, appreciation.
- Fraser Coast - The team were absent a senior person for a number of months and they felt alone so having a new manager and daily connection with the team has started to change the feelings of disconnect and loneliness.
- Toowoomba – One Officer is based in a team that is compliance across the board – high and continual turnover of staff due to stresses or moving onto better career opportunities in the organisation. Team has gone through times when one or two people carry the workload of a team of 5 for years (not weeks or months = unsustainable). As team leaders we looked at stresses – scenarios taking compliance action against people who don’t have the financial means to solve their problems. Networking with other support facilities external to council has helped relieve some of the stress the compliance officers are feeling. Focus on not just taking compliance action, but connecting people to other support so that compliance officers can feel that they are part of finding a solution rather than just delivering the bad news or playing the “bad guy”.
- Logan - have a mental health officer based in their teams. Without a representative on the call there was no further information or details available as to how this works. LGMA will endeavour to connection of a contact there to ask how they are approaching this and invite Logan to present on this at a future Compliance Village.
- Mount Isa - It is difficult in local laws with animals, we deal with a lot of hate and little happiness. We aren’t based in Head Office so miss out on morning teas and other mental health initiatives like yoga. We’re in a depot or on the road so we don’t have the same access to social destress.
- New legislation of legal liability for mental health – 1 April 2023
- Fraser Coast – A possible solution for lowering stress levels is to look a where we are overservicing. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? Where can we do less or change the process to be more efficient. Having the courage to do things differently and push back on why we do things the way we do.
- Toowoomba - example from other officers in other LGs on how they are approaching problem solving e.g. water related complaints when high rainfall. Brisbane City Council has a process for asking complainants to approach solving the problem themselves with educational pieces to see if they can solve the problem