Part 5: Assessing organisational health and capability

Annual Plan 2008/09.

“Developing our people” is a critical business objective to achieving our vision of being a benchmark provider of independent assurance services. This was highlighted in our Five-year Strategic Plan, which Parliament supported with additional funding in 2004. This objective has become increasingly critical as the labour market for financial and audit expertise has tightened.

Since 2004, we have made good progress in:

  • building up our capability to carry out performance audits;
  • implementing our project office approach to improve the way we manage projects;
  • building up our Research and Development capability;
  • improving how we manage inquiries;
  • merging the corporate services teams of Audit New Zealand and the Office of the Auditor-General;
  • implementing Audit New Zealand’s comprehensive professional development programme for audit staff;
  • investing in leadership and management development of senior staff;
  • improving the self-awareness of senior staff through a comprehensive 360 degree feedback process;
  • building a “future business model” that better defines our requirements for audit staff within Audit New Zealand;
  • improving our recruitment strategies, including starting an internship programme at Audit New Zealand; and
  • devoting greater resources to our Human Resources team, so they can better support staff development.

However, we continue to experience difficulties in recruiting suitably qualified and experienced senior staff because of industry and labour market shortages. Retaining good staff is therefore critical, and the ongoing investment in development is essential.

The aim of the investment in leadership and management development is to improve the performance of our leaders and managers, to deliver on our vision as the “benchmark provider”. Investing in our leaders and managers is also important because:

  • to respond to environmental changes, our leaders and managers need to deliver high quality audit and assurance services with an increasingly proactive and innovative approach;
  • it gives them the increased motivation, commitment, and capability to take responsibility for developing themselves and their staff;
  • they will demonstrate the style and behaviours we need to develop a “constructive” culture; and
  • they need the skills and ability to lead the cultural change required by our commitment to organisational development.

During 2008/09, we intend to focus on:

  • continued strengthening of the management and leadership capability of our senior people;
  • maintaining and extending the national professional development programme;
  • improving all staff members’ Individual Development Programmes;
  • ongoing investment in targeted areas of generic training (for example, te reo, presentation skills, media liaison, and writing);
  • resourcing and aligning the mix of staff in Audit New Zealand to better align with our “future business model”;
  • improving and expanding our High Potential and Talent Management programmes to recognise, reward, and develop our high performers;
  • maximising the quality of our national internship programme; and
  • further aligning our human resources policies and procedures to support the recruitment, retention, and development of the best people.

Measuring our organisational health and capability

As with previous years, we will use an existing framework to measure our organisational health and capability. Central to this will be our annual survey of all staff. The survey provides us with an indication of overall staff satisfaction, and this year we intend to increase the focus on staff engagement. We will also use the survey to measure staff assessment of:

  • their own professional development;
  • the implementation of our strategy;
  • management and leadership effectiveness; and
  • the usefulness of business processes and systems.

As well as the annual staff survey, we will also continue to measure important statistics against previous years to provide us with a picture of our capability. These include:

  • staff numbers and the distribution of staff by function, gender, and ethnicity;
  • numbers of internal promotions to senior roles;
  • average investment in staff training and development; and
  • data on staff tenure and turnover.

In 2008/09, we aim to maintain or improve:

  • our overall rating as assessed by staff in our annual survey;
  • our audit staff numbers; and
  • all of the main capability statistics from the previous year.

Appendix 4 sets out a summary of information from previous years.

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