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Strategic Human Resources

Work Level Standards

HBA Consulting can provide advice and assistance in relation to the design, application and revision of Work Level Standards. WLS might be designed specifically for an organisation, might be referenced via a relevant Award or might be a generic set of standards that apply across multiple organisations (e.g. the Australian Public Service).

Work Level Standards (WLS) have an important role across a number of components of any HR framework, including:

  • Establishing new positions
  • Reviewing existing positons, including requests for re-classification
  • Assessing work performance (both performance management and managing underperformance contexts)
  • Restructuring
  • Broad band advancement
  • Job design

Job Classification

(HBA Consulting can provide expert, independent advice in relation to the classification of roles (e.g. establishing new roles, adjusting existing roles, broad banding advancement) at the APS, Executive Level (EL) and Senior Executive Service (SES) classification levels.

Our extensive HR and IR experience enables our senior consultants to provide high quality, practical expertise and advice to public sector Agencies (Federal and State/Territory jurisdictions) in relation to all types of classification review and assessment needs.

Typical scenarios where we are engaged to provide classification advice include:

  • Establishment of new functional areas within an organisation
  • Comparative assessments of classification and roles when amalgamating organisations to ensure equity and consistency of classification and pay
  • Dealing with requests for review of current classification under Enterprise Agreement or employment contract/policy arrangements
  • Restructuring/downsizing of organisations
  • Broadband advancement requests.

HBA Research products and services

HBA has a complete and up to date database of all Federal Government Enterprise Agreements. As new EA’s are approved, this data is updated to reflect the detail contained in the new Agreement.

This unique database enables HBA Consulting to provide our Federal Government clients with accurate and targeted information about specific aspects of EA’s that are important to them.

Examples of the types of queries and reporting requests that we get are:

  • Benchmarking of selected terms and conditions of employment with other relevant Agencies and organisations (e.g. similar size, function, central agency etc.).
  • Timing and quantum of pay increases (e.g. when, percentage increase, etc.)
  • Comparison of clauses on a specific issue agreed to by bargaining representatives (including unions) to inform management bargaining agendas

Staff Surveys

We work with our business partner organisation, Piazza Research to design and implement Staff Surveys and Pulse Surveys to support the collection and analysis of meaningful information about key HR issues such as:

  • Attraction
  • Retention
  • Workplace Culture

What makes our service offering unique is that we can, via our integrated partnership, develop survey content and process that draws on better practice market research and HR expertise to design, implement, analyse and identify the issues that are impacting on an organisation and identify options for improvement. This approach means that, right from the initial concept stage, the research capability and the HR capability are working together to develop a suite of questions that are meaningful, measurable and presented to in a way that can be reliably interpreted and then acted upon once the results are received. Too often, in our experience, HR are provided with staff survey data that they can interpret and don’t know what to do with.

Organisational Reviews

HBA Consulting has been engaged by a wide range of organisations in the public, private and not for profit sectors to review key aspects of their operations.

Typically, clients seek us out for assistance when:

  • Functions are being brought together via a merger or amalgamation process (e.g. machinery of government changes,
  • budget changes that mean decisions have to be made about new resource allocation arrangements (e.g. increased or decreased budget availability),
  • Board/CEO initiated reviews,
  • disputation about classification, functions and remuneration etc.

Our Senior Consultants have decades of classification, organisational review and design, industrial relations and change management experience that means that we can undertake these types of processes using a holistic approach that takes into account all of the key factors that can ‘make or break’ any change process.

Fundamentally, our approach centres on a ‘structure follows strategy’ methodology that focuses on what the outcome of the proposed change to structure is supposed to achieve, and then looks at how the organisation is currently structured and what needs to stay the same and what needs to change in order to deliver efficiently and effectively on the outcomes. At the same time as we are considering the design options, we are also thinking about what the industrial obligations and the practical implementation issues and risks might be of options as they are being considered.

Perfect design that can’t be readily implemented (especially in relation to required change timeframes and budget savings imperatives) isn’t really a viable option or solution. Early identification and consideration of issues like this is one of the key benefits of using the highly experienced HBA Consulting team when reviewing how your organisation works and what needs to change to meet the challenges of the future.

Succession Planning

Most organisations are ‘data rich and analysis poor’ when it comes to information about its workforce and the individual employees that make it up. This means that they often collect and store large amounts of data about their employees but they are not sure about how to confidently make sense of it in a way that helps to meet the current and future business needs and capability requirements now and for the future.

In terms of succession planning, the data needed to provide a solid basis for the development of the ‘current state’ of the organisation and then to develop scenarios to begin to anticipate and then plan for the future needs of the business and the capability and capacity of its people to deliver on these outcomes is often held in disconnected data sources including:

  • corporate and annual business plans
  • recruitment documentation
  • performance management assessments
  • learning and development plans
  • individual employee skills and capability profiles

HBA Consulting and its business partner, CAMMS Management Solutions can provide the HR expertise and the Business Intelligence capability to bring disparate organisational data together and make sense of it in the context of succession planning. The approach can be used at a whole of organisation level, or used to target the needs of a specific work team or group.

Job Design

The requirement to create or review Job Design within a workforce can occur for a range of reasons, including:

  • The creation of a new function
  • The abolishment of an existing function
  • The amalgamation of functions and/or services
  • Changes to technology and systems

It can also occur at all levels – from Senior Executive to line employee.

HBA Consulting has extensive experience in developing and reviewing Job Design. When we undertake this type of work, some of the key reference points for us are:

  • The underpinning industrial obligations in relation to role classifications (e.g. Award or Enterprise Agreement related Work Level Standards)
  • The industrial requirements for consultation when undertaking the creation or review of a role – especially when the role applies to a number of employees
  • The strategic plan for the organisation
  • Contemporary and relevant job ‘benchmarks’ within the industry or functions that the job design is being developed (e.g. what are the design characteristics for similar roles in similar industries at present?)
  • The specific needs of the senior management team that will be leading and managing the work outputs of the area in which the revised job will be located.

Our consultants have decades of senior management and executive experience in undertaking job design processes and implementing the workplace change that results from any job design adjustments. Our unique combination of HR and IR related capabilities means that the finished product will be robust, implementable and consistent with workplace policy and industrial frameworks.

Management Reporting

From our experience, most HR areas are ‘data rich and analysis poor’. That is, they collect a lot of employee data, commencing at recruitment and orientation time, and then collect even more information over time via payroll, performance management, increment and pay adjustment and termination processes. Then they often don’t do enough with it to add real value to the way in which the Executive and management team understand their workforce, what is going on within it, apply some forecasting to possible issues/risks before they happen and providing a consistent, meaningful set of baseline measures that link employee and business performance together.

We have established a business partnership with CAMMS Group to provide organisations with a access to a single source of advice and assistance with the development of meaningful management metrics that link to existing data sources and produces tailored, easy to understand Executive and management reporting in a ‘dashboard reporting’ format.

Our partnership with CAMMS means that we can provide our clients with an integrated ‘end to end’ solution – which maximises the likelihood of success by avoiding the need to have separate HR and IT providers that need to be managed by the organisation in order to deliver a single outcome.

Change Management

A constant in all organisations is the need to manage change – whether it be incremental change as services naturally evolve over time, or on a large scale when many parts of an organisation amalgamate or cease to operate – especially during private sector mergers or when there are Machinery of Government changes in the public sector.

Central to delivering the bets possible outcome from any change process is to ensure that all of the proposed changes are carefully and holistically identified and considered before beginning any implementation process.

A ‘current state’ and ‘future state’ assessment focusing on the following key elements of change will provide a good starting point for implementing a successful change:

  • Organisation – structurally and functionally, what remains the same and what will change/cease to operate?
  • People – who are impacted in the organisation, what is the nature of the change, what are the employment and industrial obligations underpinning any change?
  • Processes – what impacts will the proposed changes have on the way that work and services are structured and delivered?
  • Technology – does the change impact on how existing business technology will operate and will the change involve the introduction of new technology or systems?

Years of practical experience in designing and leading complex and sensitive change processes means that HBA Consultant’s are able to provide advice and assistance that maximises the likelihood of implementing a successful change, while managing the risks and complexities that almost inevitably are associated with the uncertainties that come with organisational change.

Workforce Planning

The biggest operating cost for most organisations is associated with employing people. Yet one of the most common business planning ‘gaps’ is associated with workforce planning.

Why is this a typical gap for many organisations?

From our experience, this gap exists for one or more of a range of reasons, including:

  • A focus on working ‘in the business – not on the business’;
  • A lack of experience in knowing what a good workforce plan looks like and what the benefits of one are to the efficient and effective management of a business;
  • Lack of clarity in relation to what data is required and how it needs to be interpreted in order to support and inform the operations of the plan and the business;
  • A need to apply judgement and estimation to the planning process – which sometimes worries managers and executives ‘in case they get it wrong’.

HBA Consulting has broad and deep experience in the development and review of practical, tailored workforce planning solutions for our clients. We have also presented public programs of Workforce Planning in Australia and Singapore.

Human Resource Strategy Development and Review

The biggest operating cost for most organisations is associated with employing people. Yet one of the most common business strategy ‘gaps’ is associated with a lack of a comprehensive Human Resource Strategy that enables key components of the overall corporate strategy to be delivered.

Like Workforce Planning, HR Strategy development often doesn’t happen for a range of reasons, including:

  • A focus on working ‘in the business – not on the business’;
  • A lack of experience in knowing what a good HR strategy looks like and what the benefits of one are to the efficient and effective human resource management of a business;
  • Lack of clarity in relation to what data is required and how it needs to be interpreted in order to support and inform the operations of the plan and the business;
  • A need to apply judgement and estimation to the planning process – which sometimes worries managers and executives ‘in case they get it wrong’.

Unless there is a clear line of sight between corporate and Human Resource strategy, it more likely than not that the outcomes sought by the organisation through its people will be compromised and lacking in focus and consistency of application across business units.

HBA Consulting has assisted many organisations to develop and review their HR strategy and to improve the alignment between corporate and HR strategy.

Workplace Health and Safety

Workplace Health and Safety (WH&S) is a vital part of the employment framework, that focuses on ensuring that the employer meets its legislative obligations and provides all of its employees with a safe and healthy environment to work in.

There are a number of elements that go to make up a robust workplace health and safety environment in the workplace. These include:

  • The establishment and maintenance of compliant workplace policies and procedures that enable a safe and healthy workplace for all employees;
  • An understanding of the personal and role based obligations of key players in delivering a sustainable, safe and healthy workplace environment;
  • Establishment of a program that ensures that new people understand WH&S how the workplace operates in a health and safety sense, that existing employees are regularly and appropriately reminded of their obligations in relation to WH&S, and that Executive teams have ongoing and relevant visibility of the WH&S environment and risks for the organisation and how these are being managed;
  • Reporting and governance structures are designed and operated properly.

Workforce Restructuring

Workforce restructuring is a normal part of the cycle of business operations. Restructuring can be associated with growth or reductions in the size and shape of the workforce. It can also be driven by technological changes in the way that work is done, or via acquisition and merger processes. In the public sector, restructuring can be driven by machinery of government changes, elections and policy changes.

In our experience, many organisations start restructuring by taking their current organisational chart and looking at where things need to change. We suggest that this is like ‘putting the cart before the horse’.

We suggest an approach that focuses first on ‘form follows function’ or ‘structure follows strategy’. Restructuring needs to be underpinned by a clear and well communicated business rationale. Changes to the workforce structure need to be aligned to future corporate objectives – not just a ‘bottom line’ budget figure.

The transitional process from current to future structures needs to take into account key issues such as:

  • Corporate objectives
  • Industrial and employment obligations
  • What’s staying the same – not just focusing on what is changing
  • A focus on people and helping them through the change process – and bedding in the new arrangements

Our consulting team have extensive ‘hands on’ experience in working with organisations to assist them to design and implement workforce restructures.

For more information contact Gary Champion Principal HBA Consulting or 02 62474490


29 Somerville,
PH : 02 6247 4490


Level 32, 101 Miller St,
North Sydney NSW
PH: 02 8019 7164


Level 2 Riverside Quay,
1 Southbank Boulevard,
Southbank VIC,
PH: 03 9982 4544


Level 19, 10 Eagle Street,
Brisbane QLD
PH: 07 3303 0807