Visible leadership

Within Corrections, visible leadership embodies the expectation that managers will be strong and active leaders who inspire their teams. Beyond Corrections, visible leadership is about us taking a lead role across the public sector and demonstrating to our partners how we an work together to reduce re-offending.

Having access to the right tools is essential, but ultimately, it is our people who we must invest in.

1. Staff Safety

Each and every one of our staff wants and deserves a work environment that is safe and free from violence. The reality is that many offenders see using violence and threats as a normal part of life. We will create ‘a new normal’, one that challenges and changes violent and anti-social behaviour.

By implementing the Staff Safety Action Plan “Keeping Each Other Safe” we will improve safety through a determined focus on visible leadership, training our staff, effective communication, enhanced resources, appropriate tools and improved processes.

Staff want workplace safety to be driven from the frontline, and it will be. Strong frontline leaders will lead teams that have the training, resources and tools they need to stay safe at work. We will improve how we share information to enhance our safety and we will send a strong message to offenders that violence is not an option; not in prison, not in our service centres, not in people’s homes, not anywhere.

2. Community Engagement

It’s not enough to lead only inside Corrections. Reducing re-offending provides the opportunity to engage with local communities to work on problems that concern everyone.

Getting more people on board to support the change we all seek with offenders requires us to reach out more to groups who have not traditionally worked with us. This means becoming more active within our local communities, with our local councils, with local business and industry, and among the many social service providers and networks that deliver support services.

All of us have a role to play in telling our story so that more people understand the important work we do and are motivated to get in behind our efforts.

3. Regional Flexibility

Bringing the Department’s operations together into a one team structure, under the leadership of four Regional Commissioners, was an important step in decentralising accountability for service delivery. The challenge now is to increase the flexibility that each commissioner and their regional teams have to deploy resources to achieve our four priorities.

At the regional level this means strengthening our business planning, financial management, and governance capabilities. Delivering more value through new ways of working and the introduction of initiatives that lift our overall performance are all part of a growing set of leadership expectations.

At the National Office level we must work to free up the system so that the environment regional staff work in is increasingly responsive to the needs and expectations of local communities. Supporting regions to introduce initiatives that shift our service forward, and delivering good policy and programmes for nationwide implementation will ensure we keep moving ahead as one team.

4. Leadership Development

The 2013 Your Say Survey confirmed that most staff at Corrections are actively engaged in the work they do. Where staff are not as
engaged as they should be, we’ll ensure they have strong leadership, better resources and a more supportive work environment.

We will set clear expectations of our people, develop performance and hold people to account where their performance is unacceptable.

We will grow people’s management capabilities through the Visible Leadership, emerging senior leaders and regional emerging leaders programmes.

Managers will listen to our people and one team co-operation will be encouraged by building virtual networks where staff can come together to discuss and develop new approaches.