Office for the Public Sector

Culture

Public Sector Values

The Public Sector Values have been developed to make it easier for us to work together by forming a culture and a vision that we all share. They have been encapsulated in the Values and Behaviours Framework to help you embed them in your organisation.

Values Informer Presentation from Office_for_the_Public_Sector

The values reflect that as a public sector we are focussed on the ever changing needs of South Australians and the place of Government in helping to grow the State’s prosperity and wellbeing.

They were developed by more than 600 public sector employees of varying professions working together with the South Australian Government, Senior Management Council and organisational development specialists. They are a guide to behaviours and practices that apply to all employees, regardless of position, technical expertise, or location.

These values reflect the ongoing cultural evolution of the public sector and the world in which we work.

Service

We proudly serve the community and government of South Australia

Organisational practices

  • Prioritise the needs of the community in the design and delivery of services.
  • Uphold the rights of each individual to access services as easily as possible.
  • Establish service standards that apply to all customers.
  • Collaborate with business and community partners to improve service delivery and respond to complaints.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Serve people courteously, fairly, and effectively.
  • Know who your customers are, understand their needs, and take their views into account.
  • Recognise and value internal and external customers equally.
  • Go the extra mile in order to deliver the best outcomes.

Taboos

  • Don’t disrespect, ignore, or devalue others, particularly those you serve.
  • Don’t use a process or procedure as an excuse for stalling or handballing an issue.
  • Don’t provide lower standards of service to customers who are employed in the public sector.
  • Don’t refuse to listen to, or act upon, complaints about poor service.

Professionalism

We strive for excellence

Organisational practices

  • Promote best practice in leadership and management, and prioritise employee performance management.
  • Build impartial relationships with the Government of the day.
  • Encourage pride in the profession of public service.
  • Foster a culture that drives innovation to improve service and productivity.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Exhibit the highest standards of professional behaviour, including working conscientiously and competently in a polite and helpful manner.
  • Provide honest and objective advice and carefully implement direction without undue delay.
  • Pursue individual growth and professional learning to develop strengths and improve weaknesses.
  • Strive to create new and better ways of doing things.

Taboos

  • Don’t accept underperformance, or tolerate, and thereby promote, bad attitudes.
  • Don’t act in a way that is contrary to the priorities and decisions of the Government of the day.
  • Don’t act in a way that brings the reputation of the sector into disrepute.
  • Don’t accept ineffective practices when outcomes could clearly be improved.

Trust

We have confidence in the ability of others

Organisational practices

  • Establish strong partnerships between organisations.
  • Create organisational structures that give employees the greatest possible freedom and autonomy.
  • Establish collaborative work practices through strategically and culturally aligned work places.
  • Build a systematic approach to establishing and enhancing the community’s trust.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Encourage people from other teams and organisations to work with you to achieve the best possible outcomes.
  • Embrace responsibility and deliver on commitments to colleagues and leaders.
  • Rely on colleagues to collaborate in pursuit of common goals and objectives.
  • Follow through on obligations to individuals and the community, and keep them informed of progress.

Taboos

  • Don’t allow structural and cultural barriers to hinder success.
  • Don’t tolerate a difference between what is said and what is done among colleagues or leaders.
  • Don’t refuse to recognise that others may be able to do the job as well as you.
  • Don’t allow administrative priorities to interfere with your relationship with the community.

Respect

We value every individual

Organisational practices

  • Applying empathetic people management skills to bring out the best in employees and prioritise their wellbeing.
  • Implement programs that reward and recognise excellent outcomes.
  • Educate employees about diversity’s role in strengthening our workplaces and communities.
  • Promote respect for the impact of decisions on the lives of employees and the community.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Identify and understand the situation, feelings, and motives of your associates.
  • Acknowledge the contributions of your peers.
  • Appreciate openly that people have different backgrounds, circumstances, needs, and capabilities.
  • Listen considerately to colleagues, customers, clients, stakeholders, and partners.

Taboos

  • Don’t take a “one size fits all” approach to working with people.
  • Don’t neglect to recognise the work of others.
  • Don’t discriminate.
  • Don’t give greater weighting to your own opinions over others’ without clear justification.

Collaboration and Engagement

We create solutions together

Organisational practices

  • Build systems and processes that strengthen partnerships with all sectors of the community.
  • Facilitate closer relationships within and across public sector organisations, including other service providers.
  • Create systems that enable open feedback and transparent decision making.
  • Encourage open dialogue to understand the diverse needs of the community.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Engage genuinely with stakeholders and the community and work with them to improve outcomes.
  • Build professional relationships with peers in other teams and organisations.
  • Involve people in decisions that affect them.
  • Ask questions to jointly define problems and identify solutions.

Taboos

  • Don’t act on untested assumptions about colleagues, customers, clients, stakeholders, and partners.
  • Don’t make decisions or take actions without engaging those most affected.
  • Don’t ignore potential personal biases in decision making.
  • Don’t ignore diversity or treat it as an obstacle to decision making.

Honesty and Integrity

We act truthfully, consistently, and fairly

Organisational practices

  • Implement and uphold the Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector.
  • Create a culture that encourages openness and transparency.
  • Ensure all decisions and actions can withstand scrutiny.
  • Create a culture that promotes frank and honest discussion.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Follow the values and standards contained in the Code and model that behaviour as an example for others.
  • Fully and accurately disclose information and share available resources without being prompted.
  • Take action based on the best available evidence and argument.
  • Conduct difficult conversations with empathy, sensitivity, and a determination to resolve issues.

Taboos

  • Don’t tolerate or fail to report unethical behaviour or misconduct.
  • Don’t inappropriately share or withhold information or resources.
  • Don’t ignore the evidence, or manipulate it to justify a pre-determined decision.
  • Don’t neglect to raise issues with those directly involved.

Courage and Tenacity

We never give up

Organisational practices

  • Develop people to think innovatively about policy, services, and people management.
  • Help employees to be resilient in challenging times.
  • Minimise unnecessary bureaucracy and be flexible in the approach to solving problems.
  • Build systems that encourage innovation and accept occasional failures as a necessary part of progress.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Suggest and support new ideas and better ways of doing things.
  • Listen attentively, question thoughtfully, challenge openly, and encourage others to do the same.
  • Challenge ineffectiveness and remove obstacles to enable yourself and others to succeed.
  • Learn from failure without being discouraged and apply that knowledge to achieve better outcomes.

Taboos

  • Don’t fail to contribute for fear of being judged.
  • Don’t avoid or undermine progress because it seems difficult or threatening.
  • Don’t allow rules and regulations to hinder progress or become an excuse for inaction.
  • Don’t hold back when there is evidence of better ways of working.

Sustainability

We work to get the best results for current and future generations of South Australians

Organisational practices

  • Design structures, systems and services to consume resources more efficiently over time.
  • Take collective action to improve productivity and maximise the impact on limited resources.
  • Promote the use of business cases and cost-benefit analyses to ensure the most efficient use of tax-payer resources.
  • Work together to leave a lasting legacy for future generations of South Australians.

Successful personal behaviours

  • Identify the long-term resource impacts of the programs and services you design.
  • Seek opportunities to collaborate to maximise the collective impact of resources and reduce duplication.
  • Manage information, finances, people, and assets prudently.
  • Focus on solutions which continue to produce outcomes for the community over the long term.

Taboos

  • Don’t rely on established solutions where more economical options may apply.
  • Don’t resist working with others in order to retain control of resources or outcomes.
  • Don’t invest time and money in work that is not producing value.
  • Don’t design convenient short term solutions to complex long-term problems.
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