Candid Conversations: Pat Sparrow, CEO of ACSA - performHR

Pat Sparrow, CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) chats with performHR about how strong HR supports her leadership of the business, and the impact it has on ACSA’s members, too.

How does good HR impact you as a leader?

When HR is done properly you can be confident that you have the right people and talent in place to free you up to do the job you need to do as a CEO.

An organisation is only as strong as its people, therefore it’s essential to have strong HR direction.

What has been the impact of great HR on your organisation?

Great HR at ACSA has helped retain staff as well as bringing new people and skills into the organisation. ACSA’s people are passionate about the aged care industry, and I think a big benefit of great HR is finding the right people to bring into the organisation, and then successfully transitioning them into the business, too.

We have a diverse mix of people and it is wonderful to see those employees who have not worked in aged care prior to joining ACSA, coming on board and bringing with them different and unique skill sets.

It is inspiring as a leader to see our people and teams sometimes work outside their comfort zones, learning more about different aspects of our own business and that our members’ businesses, too.

This develops our employees personally and professionally and builds our collective capability, ultimately creating positive/great/improved member outcomes.

As a leader, what do you value most from your HR team?

As you can imagine, my role is busy and often keeps me away from home base as I engage with members and key stakeholders, including Government and the Minister.

Therefore, it’s absolutely vital to have confidence that all is well ‘at home’. HR provides that for me.

More broadly, I rely on the business’s HR function to ensure staff are supported in the way I would expect; that the employee lifecycle is well managed; and that I have access to real time advice on that lifecycle, employee engagement and HR trends both internally and externally.

Most important of all is knowing that the HR support reflects the values of both ACSA and myself.

What is the most important people priority in the next five years to achieve your strategic outcomes?

Aged care is going through such a period of change and the impact on employees of all organisations who work in this space can’t be underestimated.

ACSA will continue to value and support our workers and continue to build depth within our existing human resources.

Having a positive engagement, culture and commitment is not only important in its own right but is the only way to ensure we can provide the support our members need and proactively and positively represent the work our members do each and every day whether that be to the Minister, the Government, the media or the community.

Pat Sparrow, CEO of ACSA

Pat Sparrow is a social policy leader and innovator. She has specific and detailed expertise in ageing policy and aged care, having worked as, and with, a diverse range of stakeholders including consumers, service providers, workforce, health professionals, corporate organisations and Government. This unique ‘360 degree’ perspective informs ACSA’s work and approach in all its endeavours whether that is advocating on behalf of members to Government or building key stakeholder relationships to support ACSA members.

Pat Sparrow in conversation

“An organisation is only as strong as its people, therefore it's essential to have strong HR direction.”

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