WHY WE SHOULD MONITOR

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					Why should we monitor?



1.   Summary

2.   Why should monitoring be a business priority?

3.   What are the benefits of monitoring?

4.   How can the organisation obtain the best value from monitoring?

5.   Planning and preparing
           * winning support
           * designing a questionnaire
           * confidentiality
           * briefing for line managers

7.   Sample introduction and information for employees
MONITORING, FAIRNESS AND COUNCIL POLICIES

Bolton Council has always given a high priority to talking to its clients to make
sure that it is offering the right services in the right way. However, over the
last two years the Council have been looking at a range of different
approaches to getting feedback on the effectiveness of its services and of its
own internal policies relating to staff - recruitment policies, dignity (anti-
harassment) policies and so on - in meeting the needs of vulnerable social
groups.

The Council intends, of course, continue to talk directly to its clients but there
will be increasing emphasis on market research as opposed to more political
styles of consultation. However, the core of the new approach is to be
MONITORING. The intention is to pay a great deal more attention to counting
and measuring what we do, who we do it for and how well we do it, and then
to use this information to do better in future. But how does monitoring help us
to do that.




1. SUMMARY


This paper has been prepared in response to the request from the Planning
Group, to give support to the question 'Why Monitor?'


THE CASE FOR MONITORING


By measuring performance through corporate Monitoring, it will help to:

     demonstrate our commitment and measure our progress in improving
the management of employees within the workforce.

      improve our organisations image

      Provide equality of opportunity

      develop the full potential of our workforce

      provide a better understanding of our customer needs.
The effective management of human resources and an ability to balance
organisational and individual needs should be one of our key business issues.
As an organisation we are facing unprecedented change which will no doubt
increase through Central Government legislation and pressure. As the
changes introduced by Central Government take hold we will begin to find
most of the services we provide being on a competitive basis which will place
Departments in the position of operating from a commercial basis. It is
accepted, by the major companies, that there is a wide spread skill shortage.

In addition to this, the situation now facing this organisation is the
management of a shrinking workforce. What ever the economic climate, the
employment and retention of a diverse workforce which reflects the
community it serves is vital to many sections/Departments ongoing
success . A good example would be competition. If we don't know what our
customers want because we don't have the people in house to advise us then
we can’t meet their needs.

We have been given the commercial reality of competition, and how this acts
upon the diversity of our customers i.e. they will shop around for the services
if they have to. We are no different in many respects to commercial
companies. Virtually all of our services are gearing up to be competed for, we
therefor need to keep at minimum a few steps ahead of the competition. We
can do this by knowing the staff profiles.



2. WHY SHOULD MONITORING BE A BUSINESS PRIORITY ?

Monitoring can help:

   to encourage the employment of a diverse workforce which reflects the
community at large

     improve customer care through a greater understanding of people both
as customers and colleagues

     establish the LAs credibility internally and externally as an equal
opportunities employer

     present and enhance a positive corporate image
3. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO MONITORING?

Obtaining accurate information about employees through monitoring
makes it possible to:

      identify the LAs current staffing profile

       set realistic goals for recruitment, training and career development of
all staff (we're already       doing something similar through IiP - how are we
measuring colleagues success?)

      investigating were inequality of opportunity may exist

      record, interpret and use statistics about job applicants and staff in
order to identify any       discrimination and improve practice

      set action plans to eliminate discrimination

      draw on the widest possible pool of talent

      analyse and plan recruitment, selection, training and promotion
strategies

      benefit from the full potential of all employees

      check that education, training and career development initiatives
include and benefit all

      retain skilled employees
4. HOW CAN THE ORGANISATION OBTAIN THE BEST VALUE FROM
MONITORING?

To get real value from monitoring staff across the organisation, there
must be:

     EMT commitment to monitor as part of our equal opportunities
/DIVERSITY policy

     responsibility for implementation at a senior level (training/seminars)

Any policy we have on implementing monitoring should be:

     incorporated into our training strategies/programmes

       communicated through our departmental literature, recruitment
literature etc.,.

We also need to publish this information widely. Any publicity should
include:

     the results of the monitoring exercises

     positive plans for improvement
5. PLANNING AND PREPARING


Pilot Exercise

We have already heard of the results from the Departmental monitoring
exercise carried out by Social Services. This proved to be very successful
interms of the response rate, 95%. The system and process that they have
used could be used as a pilot project . A successful and wide publicised pilot
exercise can help to lay the foundations for the wider system. The following
process may be followed.

Winning support

Employees must be made fully aware that a monitoring system is being
introduced Before THE QUESTIONNAIRES ARE SENT OUT. This would be
the time at which they would be reassured that the LAs prime motive asking
questions is to establish 'fair play and a level playing field' for all employees.
THE MONITORING INITIATIVES NEED TO BE WELL COMMUNICATED


Designing the questionnaire

This to some extent has been taken care of, in that members of the Planning
Group will be looking at the monitoring from across the authority. Once we
have agreed through the Fairness Forum EXACTLY what the questions will
be, the next area to be looked at needs to be, "Do the questions need to be
explained?"

The answer to this MUST be YES

We will need to help people respond accurately by stating:

      why the information is needed and the benefits which should result
      that confidentiality is guaranteed, and how it will be ensured
      how the information will be used, and by whom



Confidentiality

Confidentiality is crucial to all employees, but more importantly to Disabled
people, as there is no anti-discrimination legislation protecting Disabled
people. (not yet but we can but live in hope. We WILL have our day)
SAMPLE INTRODUCTION AND INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES

BOLTON METROPOLITAN COUNCIL

SAMPLE LETTER

Bolton Council is committed to equal opportunities. This commitment means
that all members of staff will be treated equally and that their skills and
abilities will be acknowledged.

The Councils policies are designed to be free from discrimination or arbitrary
barriers and to allow individuals to achieve their full potential.

Equal opportunities provides a systematic way of building and supporting a
workforce that is proportionally representative of the community we serve.
This systematic approach serves:

 Merit - looking beyond gender, race or disability to asses ability and
performance.       That means hiring the best people based on ability and
promoting the best performers.

 Removing all barriers which restrict people from reaching their full potential
and ultimately the Council from achieving its best possible performance.

 Policies and practices that ensure fairness. It also means that all
opportunities and advantages are shared equitably and fairly among all
groups.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO BOLTON COUNCIL?

Equal opportunities is an important part of managing the Councils business in
a way that best serves the needs of employees and our customers. Here's
why:

 A critical part of recruiting the best people is to establish a good reputation
as an employer by being fair and supportive

 Doing a better job of reflecting the communities we serve is creating new
      opportunities for customers and employees

 A balanced workforce is a source of strength.

EVERY ONE DESERVES TO BE TREATED WITH FAIRNESS, DIGNITY
AND RESPECT.




WHY YOU SHOULD SELF IDENTIFY?
The information gathered in self - ID questionnaire is critical to the Councils
Ability to manage equal opportunities. More importantly, its your opportunity to
ensure fairness for yourself and other employees.

 You will help to ensure that your performance is measured on merit and
ability

 Identifying, removing and eliminating barriers requires your participation

 The information gathered assists in setting goals and ensures they're met,
and it is   essential that this data is accurate.


HOW THE INFORMATION IS USED

The information the Council needs from you is used to identify possible
employment barriers and ensures the Council is a fair employer.


CONFIDENTIALITY

The Council recognises the sensitivity of the information being asked of you.
That's why special steps are taken to ensure confidentiality and that the data
cannot be used to desriminate against you in any way.

 All data is held in secure files, with strictly limited access

 No questionnaire information goes into personnel files

 Data reported to the Council is grouped in region i.e. section & Department,
job   categories and salary levels, NOT on individuals i.e. NOT by name

 Your staff number on the questionnaire is used to cross reference your
data with      other information such as gender, job type and salary level etc.
It is also used to    track trends in promotions, recruitment and leavers on an
ongoing basis.


WHAT TO DO WITH THE QUESTIONNAIRE

ALL questions must be completed and returned to your manager or
supervisor who will forward it to your personnel manager.

I f you need more information you can ask your manager, personnel officer or
in the case of Disabled people you can contact the Senior Fairness Officer -
Disability in the Fairness Team. (telephone ext.: ......................)

				
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