Department of the Environment and Water Resources, 2007
Social Performance: Introduction
Social sustainability means taking care of our own workforce and the local communities where we operate, providing better quality of life for our staff and other Australians.
Out of the thirteen improvement goals set for the Department of Environment and Heritage’s (DEH’s) social performance, eight (63%) were met. In 2004-05, there were also thirteen social performance improvement goals set, and eight of those were achieved.
Key aspects of DEH’s social sustainability performance in 2005-06 include:
- DEH employed 2062 staff, up 64 people (3%) from 2004-05
- staff turnover was 28.3%, down from 28.7% in 2004-05
- outstanding issues from the 2004 DEH staff survey have been addressed
- 617 Health Futures assessments were provided for staff
- 144 staff (7% of the workforce) received financial support for tertiary study
- average age of DEH employees increased from 41.1 to 41.4 years between 2004-05 and 2005-06
- 39 965 public inquiries were answered by the community information unit.
New social performance improvement goals for 2006-07 are:
- develop a range of retention strategies targeted at different segments of our workforce which have higher than average turnover rates
- increase graduate intake for 2007 up to a total of 30 people
- conduct a new staff survey in 2006
- review all DEH OH&S policies and procedures
- revise and implement our strategy for Indigenous recruitment and career development
- develop a stakeholder engagement strategy for the department.
Case study: DEH graduate field trip, 2005-06
The DEH Graduate Programme is an important part of how we bring high-performing people into our workforce. Each year, the graduates plan, organise and budget for a five day field trip. This trip takes them into the community for a first-hand view of environmental and heritage issues, including DEH’s role in these. In 2005-06, the field trip took our graduates to sites in Tasmania.