Warringah Council, NSW — Case Study
Total transformation of culture at Warringah Council
In 2010, one of the largest councils in NSW was faced with all its metrics on staff engagement and customer performance, as one of the poorest performing councils in NSW.
In the government sector, our teams have been engaged in cultural change at a number of local governments in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Warringah Council engaged us in a three-year partnership program, to support and strengthen the cultural change they were implementing throughout the whole organisation.
Griffith was approached to work closely with the key leadership levels across the organisation from the General Manager, Deputy GMs and Group Managers to deliver a program to support the executive team as they created a new model using design thinking that would quickly and completely disrupt the established negativity and past entitlement mindset that prevailed and was an impediment in the cultural climate, preventing the Council from progressing and implementing its vision.
Warringah had attempted to implement wide ranging changes in structures and processes to create new levels of customer service. However, these changes were themselves a source of a greater increase in negativity, frustration and stress levels due to increased reporting workloads and expectations of high performance. Without implementing a vision of strategies to build resilience and recovery for the individuals in the organisation then the vision of cultural change for leaders and employees, would remain baseless. This is the arena in which the Griffith programs were able to create the shift towards needed results.
Over a two-year period, a cultural and leadership program was implemented for all leaders and staff, that established remarkable improvements and results.
Results speak louder than words.
Their recent internal culture survey shows improvements in employee engagement by 19% and increases in employee satisfaction of 9% over a 2-year period. In the 2013 National Awards for Local Government, Warringah Council rated in the top 2 for DA processing times, in the Top 3 for long term financial sustainability, and in the Top 5 for Asset Infrastructure management in NSW.
The program success created a sustainable model of high performance but that was based on an environment of self-empowered, positive employees that had built resilience and were self-directed, and focused on continuous improvement.