How to get staff to take responsibility and ownership for IPR
Buy-in from internal stakeholders for IPR reporting is one of the most challenging aspects of implementing the IPR framework. In our latest Insights Report, IPR and Technology, we gathered data from 20 NSW councils to under IPR frustrations and uncover emerging best practices.
The research found that while some individuals may report willingly, most do not see it as a priority, get frustrated with repeated requests, and need to be educated on how IPR can enable time savings and offer insights to help teams achieve their goals.
“When you ask people for info, they say 'we already told you that', it’s that constant repetitive asking for the same information that frustrates people.” - NSW IPR Practitioner
Councils have access to a wealth of data across their many service streams. However, accessing and leveraging this data can be difficult, and the manual process of collecting and validating it is cumbersome. This makes it hard to generate insights that engage a broad range of stakeholders.
Negative consequences of reporting are often feared, which can contribute to resistance. When periodic reporting shows up a surprise result, defensiveness is a common reaction.
The research indicated that a shift in council mindset is important. Councils need to communicate that benchmarking is not about being the “best” or “worst,” but about using data to deliver better results for residents and key stakeholders. Ensuring there are no surprises in periodic reporting is important for reducing fear.
Real-time reporting on an operational level provides councils with regular opportunities to “fail forward” and embrace internal transparency and accountability as part of driving cultural change.
“Internal stakeholders don’t see it as their responsibility to provide the information, they don’t realise they’re the subject matter experts and IPR relies on them to report in a timely manner.” - NSW IPR Practitioner
Reporting is crucial but to encourage that sense of investment from staff, councils must simplify reporting processes to assist staff to engage proactively. They must support teams to access and understand data-driven insights and ensure staff at all levels understand how their roles link to achieving strategic objectives.
Best Practice Tips to get staff to take responsibility and ownership for IPR
Tie individual purpose to the broader council and community outcomes
Emphasise how everyday staff activities impact upon organisational and community success.
Use an empathetic approach to effectively convey the significance of IPR activities.
Develop a comprehensive communications strategy that highlights the benefits of IPR activities for diverse stakeholder groups.
Welcome questions and stakeholder concerns
Foster open communication so you can recognise and address concerns.
Address concerns when expectations are not being met.
Consider and explain costs and trade-offs to all stakeholders.
Refresh your approach and continue to engage as priorities and personnel change over time.
Streamline so it’s as easy as possible to do the doing
Eliminate duplication of effort by having stakeholders report only once, in one place.
Provide a clear outline of everyone’s obligations to ensure the process is robust and accurate and reflects their projects and services.
Simplify the reporting process to make it easier for stakeholders to meet obligations.
Uncover all the insights in the latest report - IPR and Technology.