Maitland's disability service provider The Mai-Wel Group is undergoing a radical "redesign" to cope with an unprecedented growth in participants, jobseekers and staff.
The redesign, which has resulted in some job losses, started in March and is expected to be finalised by May 1, resulting in an annualised saving of more than $1.1million for the organisation.
Mai-Wel staff were informed of the change in a letter on March 7 signed by Mai-Wel Board President Graham Burns and the group's new CEO Lynne Graham. The Mercury was unable to obtain comment from Ms Graham.
The letter said that over the past four years Mai-Wel has undergone radical growth with an 87 per cent increase in staff and a 94 per cent growth in participants and jobseekers.
It said the community services industry has experienced unprecedented change since the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2014 which Mai-Wel has transitioned to and many others have failed, the letter said.
Staff were told the group was in a strong financial position with cash and property holdings, however its revenue was insufficient for its current operational structure.
Mr Burns said the changes, Ms Graham's initiative, are designed to improve the functionality and performance of some parts of the business.
"The CEO runs the business and the board supports the CEO. The board has been fully informed about the process and has endorsed it," Mr Burns said. "This is about getting the right people in the right spots."
The redesign will reflect the business of Mai-Wel by the development and grouping of "like activities" into three departments - Participant Services, Employment Services and Corporate Services.
"It has been minimal in terms of job losses. Some may be resistant to change but you expect that anywhere and some will leave us because they are not up for the change and we respect that," he said.
A project team was established in January 2019 to review the organisation's reporting and management structure and have met on a regular basis to discuss, design and plan the organisation redesign.
Some of the key impacts of the redesign (according to the letter) include:
- The creation of career advancement and redeployment opportunities.
- Staff and team transfers to align under different departments with different general managers.
- The current job roles of Facilitator and Team Leader will be made redundant and replaced with a newly designed role of "Service Lead" to provide increased accountability and greater communication within teams. This change requires a number of positions to be made redundant and an internal, merit-based selection process to be undertaken, ensuring the best candidate is recruited for the Service Lead role/s and any newly formed management roles.
- A small number of redundant roles without scope for staff redeployment.
"There are significant staffing movements with a redesign of this size.
"Where positions are identified as redundant, redeployment options have been identified," the letter said.
"All staff who will be directly affected by the redesign will meet with the CEO and relevant General Manager to discuss future opportunities," the letter said.
"In a sense, the saving of $1million in operational costs is the difference between making a modest profit and not making one," Mr Burns said. "The perspective we need to take is a period where we need to reinvest in our staff and need productivity outcome to do it."
The surplus will allow Mai-Wel to invest in staff training, clinical expertise and an integrated IT platform to manage participant information, service provision data, staff rosters and time sheets.