The Cancer Institute NSW works in partnership with all involved in the cancer community to reduce the incidence of cancer and improve survival and quality of life for people with cancer. The Institute’s passionate and proud workforce is committed to lessening the impact of cancer.
Employee engagement had been consistently high, as measured by the People Matter Employee Survey (PMES) conducted by the Public Service Commission across the NSW public sector. But the 2017 PMES showed a decline in overall employee engagement, as well as in trust in senior managers and confidence in change management, recruitment decisions and grievance processes.
Although the results remained in line with the NSW health cluster and public sector more broadly, the Institute’s leadership team took immediate action to understand how the results went from great to good, and how to bring them back to great. It engaged Nous to explore the Institute’s engagement and culture and to create a three-year Organisational Development Strategy. The Strategy sought a comprehensive approach to people, leadership and culture, and to detail how the Institute supports staff to thrive, manage and lead now and in the future.
To inform the OD Strategy, all staff across the Institute were consulted. This involved desktop research, analysis of existing workforce and engagement data, an all-staff survey and face-to-face focus groups to identify strengths and areas of focus.
The OD Strategy identified initiatives to deliver an immediate response to the recent dip in staff engagement, along with a medium-term platform for organisational development. This two-tiered approach created a robust, systematic and coordinated process for addressing key issues, while building the desired workforce and culture of the Institute into the future.
The OD Strategy included several initiatives that Nous is continuing to partner with the Institute to implement, including:
Since the strategy was launched, the Institute has achieved significant improvements in employee engagement, leadership capability and ways of working. The People Matter Employee Survey found that in 2019 the Institute was one of the top-performing NSW health (and public sector) organisations. The PMES results showed that for 2019, compared to a year earlier, before the Strategy was launched:
In addition, the OD Strategy has significantly strengthened the capability and confidence of leaders, individually and as a cohesive leadership team. This will enable the Institute to continue to actively solve challenges and deliver on current and emerging priorities.