First Guiding Principle – Effective Communication
(Accepted by Government – 07/07/06)
This Guiding Principle concerns itself with the methods and timing of information release and consultation during the process and notes the creation of an RPA Steering Group to oversee the implementation phase.
Government, and the Steering Group, should be guided by the principle that the support and involvement of staff and their staff representatives is required to give positive effect to change. The Commission considers that such cooperation will be readily forthcoming provided that people are treated with dignity and respect. Regular communication, particularly in relation to the personal and specific effects of change will provide a large degree of comfort and reassurance to each individual person who is proud to serve in the public sector.
The Public Service Commission recommends that the Steering Group ensures that arrangements are put in place, as a matter of urgency, to ensure that all staff are informed, in a timely way, about how change is to be implemented and what arrangements are planned to safeguard the interests of staff and secure their cooperation during, and after, the period of change. Such arrangements should be subject to industrial relations procedures to ensure staff representatives are properly involved in the processes.
The Commission further recommends that each organisation provides its staff with an identified contact point (or contact points) to which RPA specific queries might be directed, or from which staff might seek RPA specific information.
In relation to formal communications, the Public Service Commission recommends that electronic means of communication, including e-mails and websites, should be supplemented by the prudent use of regular newsletters and direct contact through seminars, workshops, conferences and staff meetings.