KU Children’s Services (KU) believes staff are truly the heart of the organisation. Everything the organisation does aligns to this belief from the core Strategic Plan objective to have a ‘Thriving Professional Workforce’ through to placing staff at the centre of organisational responses to COVID-19.
KU’s best in sector employment value proposition is multidimensional and continuously evolving to reflect the needs and desires of a diverse workforce.
As a not for profit organisation, KU is proud to invest more than 80% of revenue in salaries and wages – offering sector-leading pay and benefits. KU also works hard to ensure the workplace culture allows people to thrive, innovate and develop lifelong careers. A recent staff survey revealed 95% of employees agree that “we live our KU values”. The organisation follows through with commitments to its people and is transparent.
KU warmly welcomes new staff into the KU family, invests in their future, and supports them as people.
The 2021/2022 Employer of Choice submission demonstrates achievements across the fundamental six pillars including: Organisational Culture; Leadership and Strategy; Employee Education, Training and Development; Employee Health, Safety and Satisfaction; Performance Management; and Recognition and Remuneration.
KU’s values are embedded into the culture and not only influence the organisation’s work, but the way staff work with each other and the broader community. There are six values in all: Childhood; Integrity and Relationships; Leadership; Innovation; Sustainability; and Diversity and Inclusion.
Through annual employee engagement surveys, the degree to which KU staff connect with these cultural values is measured. The 2021 survey reported an overall engagement rate of 92%. KU proactively pursues diversity in teams, and is producing the next generation of leaders who will continue to drive KU forward. Reflecting this, 96% of staff agreed that KU is a diverse and inclusive workplace where people feel valued and safe to bring their whole selves to work.
Leadership and Strategy
The KU values are modeled at Board and Executive level at every opportunity. This can be attested to by the breadth of engagement of the workforce across many varied service models and programs, and the quality outcomes that KU delivers for children and families. In 2021, KU created and formalised a leadership model in parallel to a strategic leadership plan that will be implemented over three years from 2022 to 2024.
Education, Training and Development
The best and brightest talent are proud to work for KU and are deeply connected to the organisation’s purpose. KU is proud to nurture careers that can last a lifetime. KU has developed a unique Professional Learning and Development Program to build the skills, behaviour and expertise now and well into the future. Essential to this is the development of a business-wide high-performance culture, supported by individual and organisational learning and development that is closely tied to the KU values.
Health, Safety and Satisfaction
In order to ensure KU’s employment offer continues to lead in the early education sector while reflecting the KU values, a three-year plan focused on holistic wellness is being rolled out. Through the COVID-19 experience, this plan focuses on maintaining mental health and wellbeing, building resilience and using kindness to deepen connection.
KU is proud to support employee wellbeing through a comprehensive range of programs and benefits including discounted private health insurance, flexible work practices, paid domestic violence leave, along with counselling and crisis support through the Employee Access Program.
There are many opportunities at KU for staff to have a voice. Input, comments and feedback are welcomed and the organisation acts and innovates accordingly.
Performance management at KU is a continuous process of appraisal, review and professional development, all designed to help identify employees’ strengths and determine clear career pathways. The introduction of me@KU, the organisation’s bespoke human resource information system, has facilitated even stronger collaboration between employees and their direct managers.
Recognition and Remuneration
KU’s conditions of employment include the highest rates of pay in sector for staff employed under two Enterprise Agreements – the KU Children’s Services Teachers Agreement and the KU Children’s Services Administrative Employees Agreement.
As a not for profit organisation with limited resources, KU works doubly hard to ensure the workforce know their commitment is appreciated. In addition to a number of health and wellbeing benefits, other rewards include Individual and Team ‘Making the KU Difference Awards’, salary packaging a referrals program and KU salary packaging.
For more information about KU Children’s Services, go to www.ku.com.au/childcare/about-us.