Annual Report 2002 - Leisure and Cultural Services Department Brand Hong Kong - Asia's world city
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Downsizing and Voluntary Retirement Scheme

The permanent establishment of the department was further reduced from 8,754 on 1.1.2002 to 8,247 on 31.12.2002 without compromising the quality of service. The reduction was largely attributable to the deletion of posts in line with the Government's policy to contain the size of the civil service and the continuous outsourcing of services made possible by the high subscription of our staff to the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. By 31.12.2002, a total of 1,103 officers had left the service under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme.

The department will continue to explore scope for private sector participation in the delivery of leisure and cultural services to the public with a view to streamlining its establishment. In proceeding with any service outsourcing programme, care will be taken to ensure that there will be no permanent staff redundancies and that the quality of service to the public will not be jeopardised.

Staff Training and Development

In the face of rapid and unprecedented changes, training and development are crucial in helping staff to strengthen their professional competency, respond to the needs of the community and enhance the quality of cultural and leisure services.

During the year, more than 8,400 officers attended training programmes organised in-house and by local institutions to enhance professional knowledge, customer service and information technology. Local and overseas experts were invited to give lectures and conduct seminars on specialised subjects. To further equip our staff with the latest professional knowledge, 19 officers were sponsored to undertake training programmes in top-notch institutions overseas.

Staff of the Information and Public Relations Section receive training on production of Internet webpage.
Staff of the Information and Public Relations Section receive training on production of Internet webpage.*

In addition to vocational training, the department places equal emphasis on training in management and communication. Arrangements were made for 850 officers to take short courses at the Civil Service Training and Development Institute during the year. On China Studies, eight officers joined the Tsinghua Course and the familiarisation visit to the Mainland sponsored by the Civil Service Bureau. Arrangements were also made for management staff to attend local executive development programmes for staff development and succession planning.

Through staff training and development, the department will continue to strive to develop a dynamic and customer-oriented workforce to meet new challenges ahead.

Staff Relations and Communication

The department has a large number of staff working in different work streams and locations, and it is therefore vital to ensure formal and informal channels exist for maintaining effective staff relations and communication.

The management and the staff meet regularly at the Departmental Consultative Committee and the General Grades Consultative Committee meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern. These are effective forums to cultivate understanding and to pull strength together to meet common goals. Formal meetings and informal gatherings are also held with union representatives.

The Staff Relations/Staff Welfare Unit arranges goodwill visits and counselling services to cater for the needs of individuals. On the recreational aspect, special interest classes and sports activities are held regularly. For example, Tai Chi classes have been conducted voluntarily by a staff member who readily shared his expertise with colleagues during lunchtime; and a colleague gave a talk on narcissus-carving after work at the turn of the Chinese New Year. These activities promote staff sharing and encourage staff to make good use of their leisure time.

A very informative Staff Newsletter is published every two months. It is another effective channel for staff communication.

  Staff Newsletter

Staff Motivation

The department places great emphasis on motivating staff to perform their best and on recognising meritorious service.

The department operates a system to grant awards to individuals and teams. For individuals, the highest award is a Commendation Letter issued personally by the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services. There are also Certificates of Merit issued by Assistant Directors, and Long and Meritorious Service Certificates are issued to long-serving staff with more than 20 years of service. A Customer Appreciation Card Scheme enables satisfied customers to acknowledge good service from individual staff members and for staff members to obtain instant feedback from customers.

Staff who have made constructive and practical suggestions are duly awarded under the Staff Suggestions Scheme. This year these included two staff members who were recognised for their notable inventions. The first is a small mechanical device to remove iron tree stakes from the ground, which has proved useful for staff working on horticultural activities; and the second is a metal device for fixing swimming lanes.

Staff who invented the metal device for fixing swimming lanes demonstrates the usage of the device.
Staff who invented the metal device for fixing swimming lanes demonstrates the usage of the device.*

Work Improvement Teams (WIT) are set up and competitions are held to encourage and reward good team performance. WIT competitions were previously held only for sports centres and aquatic venues, while this year, a competition was also held among parks and playgrounds.

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