Management foundations

Many managers find the transition from staff member to manager to be the most challenging of their career. Moving from being a team member or a technical expert, to working through others, requires a major shift in perspective. Different skills and behaviours are needed for a manager’s job.

The VPSC developed has developed resources to support public sector managers.

Welcome to management helps Victorian public sector managers be successful in their job. The guide helps them:

  • understand what the ‘manager’ component of their job entails
  • learn more about their strengths and weaknesses as a manager
  • identify their skill gaps
  • set their priorities for building knowledge or learning new skills.

Leading in the public sector includes materials for those working in the Victorian public sector. It is also suited to individuals and organisations that design and deliver development activities for Victorian public sector managers.

Managing a dispersed team

A dispersed team is one in which a manager and their direct reports do not work in the same physical location for a significant period of time. A dispersed team is created when one or more direct reports works on a regular basis for an entire working week:

  • in an office that is in a different location but part of the same organisation
  • in an office that is in a different location and part of another organisation
  • in the field (at clients’ homes, at project sites, at inspection sites, ‘on the road’ between sites); and/or
  • from home.

Some forms of dispersed work teams result from the intrinsic nature of the role (for example, conducting on-site inspections or visiting regional clients). Other forms of dispersed teams are the consequence of work arrangements in which team members work at different locations to aid work-life balance or to accommodate special needs.

A dispersed team may be an ongoing arrangement or a fixed term arrangement, for example, as part of a specific project.

To support managers in managing a dispersed team, the VPSC has developed the managing a dispersed team guidance to highlight the issues managers need to think about when managing a dispersed team. It also provides some practical tips on how to apply good people management techniques when staff are physically distant.

Flexible work

Flexible work has many benefits including attracting and retaining valued staff.

The VSB is committed to offering sector-wide flexibility in every role. Their All Roles Flex initiative focuses on ensuring flexibility in working arrangements and is available to all VPS Employees.

VPSC offers a suite of resources to support departments and human resource directors (HRDs) with successfully implementing, and managing mainstream flexibility.

Read more about flexible work

Managing poor behaviour in the workplace

Employees have a responsibility to ensure they are aware of, and comply with, the standards of behaviour expected of them.

Organisations, through their managers, have a responsibility to support employees in meeting their obligations. Organisations also have a responsibility to address behaviour that falls short of the expected standards.

This is necessary to protect the integrity of the organisation, the wellbeing of colleagues, and maintain public confidence in public administration.

VPSC provides guidance and resources to assist human resource practitioners and managers develop relevant policies and procedures for addressing behavioural issues with their employees in the workplace.

Explore Managing poor behaviour in the workplace

Dealing with high conflict behaviours

Dealing with high conflict behaviour in the workplace can be a perplexing but necessary task. If left unchecked, this type of behaviour can lead to high rates of turnover, absenteeism, stress claims and lost productivity.

The VPSC developed dealing with high conflict behaviours guidance to offer practical tips to anyone who works with a difficult person. It covers the most common situations in which people find themselves, such as:

  • working with others
  • managing performance
  • recruiting staff
  • understanding and being comfortable with conflict
  • restoring good relationships within the team.

Raising and responding to concerns about an employee’s behaviour is probably the most challenging aspect of managing people.