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Empowering Our Staff to Ride the Pandemic

The URA implemented various measures to maintain the productivity and efficiency of our staff amidst the pandemic. Four levels of Work-From-Home (WFH) arrangements were put in place in response to different severity levels of pandemic situation. A drill was conducted across the organisation to test the capability of the full WFH mode. Meanwhile, IT infrastructure resources were reallocated to enhance the performance of Virtual Desktop Interface, allowing all URA staff to hold video conferences and simultaneously access corporate emails, computer servers and applications remotely during the WFH period.

During the year, the We Care Programme was launched to promote physical and mental health awareness within the URA. All staff can get weekly tips on combating the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as attending wellness talks on health-related topics. In addition, we promote a work-life balance culture to support the workforce to ease stress brought by the pandemic. Staff were also incentivised with a one-off award as a recognition of their contributions during the difficult times.


Attracting, Motivating and Engaging Our Staff

Facing a competitive labour market, the need for effective means to tap the right talent remains high. In order to attract, motivate and retain qualified and promising young professionals, upward mobility opportunities were provided to support and accelerate their growth needs. Professionals holding key strategic positions were closely managed for optimal career exposure and proper coaching.

During the year, an organisation structure review was conducted to reduce organisational layers and increase managers’ span of control, with a view to enhancing collaboration, promoting development and empowering employees. Positive feedback, including expedited decision-making process and better communication between managers and team members, were received. To build talent pools for succession of key positions, a talent review and succession planning model was developed to identify candidates with potential for managerial grades and above, and support was provided to facilitate their career development. Meanwhile, a job rotation programme was in place to broaden the on-the-job experience of staff while promoting cross-divisional exposure. A Planner Trainee Programme with a well-designed career development path has also been introduced since 2020 to attract and retain high potential planning graduates, and develop them to professional planners.

We also strengthened internal communication amongst all staff. To minimise the health risks amidst the pandemic, staff briefing sessions, annual staff celebration and staff activities were conducted virtually in 2021/22. Separately, our Staff Suggestion Scheme continued to draw innovative ideas from staff members for improving work efficiency and effectiveness, and served as a platform to enhance their sense of belonging. During the year, around 54% of the staff suggestions were identified by the Management as beneficial to the organisation and subsequently implemented.

Training and Development

The URA places much emphasis on keeping our staff abreast of the latest industry trends while promoting knowledge sharing within the organisation. In 2021/22, more than 120 internal training courses were organised and over 80 eCourses and Stories were published, generating over 15,000 training hours among our staff. On average, the URA invested around 20 hours in internal trainings/eCourse and Stories for each member of staff, which is well ahead of the market average in Hong Kong. Among the eCourses and Stories published, 67% of them were created internally, representing an increase in internal multimedia creation capability during the year.

GraphTo assist new staff members to blend into the URA team, functional and operational trainings were given priority in the course line-up which accounted for 36% of the total training hours, followed by Technology Training (25%) and Core Competence Training (21%). More training on various sustainability-related topics and best practices was introduced to expand the knowledge base of our staff in support of URA’s pursuit of sustainable development in the coming years.

Recognising our dedication in training and development, the Hong Kong Management Association awarded the URA with two Excellence Awards in the Award for Excellence in Training and Development in 2021. While two training and development projects have been shortlisted for the final review stage in the HR Excellence Awards 2021/22 organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management.