Ten Elements, Three Perspectives and Four Stages


  1. Vision and Values
  2. Leadership and Accountability
  3. Organisational Communication
  4. Recruitment and Selection
  5. Learning and Development
  6. Human Resource Policies and Strategies
  7. Workflow Management
  8. Performance Management
  9. Risk Management
  10. Workplace Dispute Systems


Each table asks you to look at the work environment from three perspectives:

  1. Organisation
  2. Managers
  3. Individuals


Within each table there is a description of the type of practices to be found at four different stages of development of a positive work environment:

  1. Beginning
  2. Emerging
  3. Consolidating
  4. Established

Take a quick check

Your task is to rate your environment from the three perspectives for each of the ten elements and then transcribe the results onto the summary sheet to indicate your priorities for change.

In the next section you will be given resources to improve your work environment.

1. Vision and Values – Inspiring, Inclusive and Genuine

An organisation’s vision inspires staff to work towards a compelling shared goal. The values support the vision. They reflect the organisation’s beliefs and guiding philosophy. In the Victorian public sector the values and employment principles in the Public Administration Act 2004 underpin the relationship employees have with the Government, community and each other.

2. Leadership and Accountability – Strong Role Models

Leadership is the ability to influence others’ behaviour, decisions and actions. Accountability is the willingness to accept responsibility for the impact of your decisions and those of your staff, and not to blame others or your circumstances when things go wrong. Accepting responsibility for things that go wrong is the first step towards making improvements.

GO TO Leadership and accountability

3. Organisational Communication – Effective Networks

Organisational communication is the myriad of ways in which information about the organisation and its environment is shared between members. Communication can be formal or informal. Formal communication will normally be part of a well thought out communication strategy that includes forums, workshops and publications. Informal communication is the daily conversations that people have with their managers and colleagues in different parts of the organisation.

GO TO Organisational communication

4. Recruitment and Selection – The Right Skills and Attributes

Definition: Organisations compete with others for applicants. A recruitment and selection campaign that promotes the organisation’s positive work environment could lead to the attraction and retention of staff who have the right skills and ‘fit’ the workplace culture. It could give the organisation a competitive advantage

GO TO Recruitment and selection

5. Learning and Development – Supporting Change

Organisations offer staff professional development to keep their skills and knowledge up to date, improve their work performance and prepare them for career advancement. Development can range from formal studies to mentoring programs. Of particular importance is the transition to management, where an individual must learn how to encourage good staff performance and positive work relationships.

GO TO Learning and development

6. Human Resource Policies and Strategies – Relevant and Flexible

Human resource policies and strategies define the relationship between the individual staff member and their organisation. At their best they help to create a positive, safe and supportive work environment. They enable staff to balance their work and private commitments by removing unnecessary restrictions.

GO TO Human resource policies and strategies

7. Workflow Management – Autonomy and Participation

Workflow management is about having the right skills, support and resources to complete tasks to the right standard. Tasks may provide staff with a personal challenge to extend their skills and experience in areas that are of interest to them and relevant to their career goals. Staff work autonomously and are able to vary their day-to-day activities to meet deadlines and respond to changing circumstances. They can talk about workflow problems with their manager and colleagues.

GO TO Workflow management

8. Performance Management – Reinforcing Behaviours

Performance management contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams. It establishes a shared understanding of what is to be achieved during the year and an approach to leading and developing staff to ensure that it is achieved.

GO TO Performance management

9. Risk Management – Identifying Risks and Opportunities

Risks are anything that stands in the way of an organisation achieving its goals. Risk management is about identifying, evaluating and minimising those risks. It helps the organisation to take advantage of opportunities while also taking calculated risks based on an analysis of their likelihood and impact.

GO TO Risk management

10. Workplace Dispute Systems – Resolving Issues Fairly

Workplace dispute systems provide a fair and effective means of resolving overt and covert conflict between managers, staff and clients. While conflicts and differences of opinion are a natural part of life and can result in new ideas and improved practices, some conflict is destructive and reduces productivity. Such conflict should be dealt with quickly.

GO TO Workplace dispute systems

Summary sheet: What should your priorities be?


Organisation Managers Individuals 1. Vision and values 2. Leadership & accountability 3. Organisational communication


Organisation Managers Individuals 4. Recruitment & selection 5. Learning & development 6. HR policies & strategies 7. Workflow management 8. Performance management 9. Risk management 10. Workplace dispute systems