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									                                                                                                        Human Resource Management
Section 11 –

Human Resource Management
          11.1 Importance of Human resource management

          T   he recruitment, development and retaining of an effective and productive work force,
              whether statutory officers, department heads or support personnel, is crucial to the long
          term success and viability of a local government organization. The size of a local government
          staff will vary according to the size of the community it serves, the services it delivers and the
          financial capacity of the corporation. A small village may have only one or two staff persons
          on a parttime basis while a city may employ hundreds or thousands of personnel. Regardless
          of size, a work environment that supports employee development and retention is essential.


          11.2 appointment and employment of Local government officers
          The Municipalities Act states that the council of every municipality or rural community shall
          appoint a clerk, a treasurer and an auditor. The council may appoint an assistant clerk, an
          assistant treasurer, an engineer, a building inspector, a solicitor and such other officers as are
          necessary for the administration of the municipality or rural community. There is a measure
          of protection for all officers appointed by a municipality or rural community on a full time
          basis, in that they are entitled to hold office until retirement, death, resignation or dismissal
          for cause by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the whole council. This protection
          is designed to ensure that councils treat the officers of the municipality in a fair manner.
          Moreover, this protection provides greater certainty in terms of continuity of the corporation
          and to key personnel that they will not be dismissed simply as a result of a change in the
          council make up.


          11.3 Job Descriptions – a Helpful tool for performance management
          It is beneficial for the local government human resource management team to have on file
          well defined job descriptions for all employees. Job descriptions clarify expectations for all
          parties and serve as a reference point for annual performance appraisals. The individual
          job description should clarify the required key duties or tasks and qualifications required
          or expected for the position as well as reporting relationships and the rationale for salary
          determination. The job description should have a balance between certainty and flexibility
          (e.g. performs such duties as assigned). It is a good practice to have all job descriptions
          adopted by resolution of council. It is important to recognize that job descriptions are
          dynamic as positions evolve or expand over time and should be revisited and revised
          accordingly.


          11.4 Work plans
          A useful tool for human resource management is the development of a work plan for the
          employee. The work plan should provide timeframes, details of expected tasks, goals and
          measures for the year. It is a helpful reference for the employee and employer and assists in
          the measurement of performance and the clarification of expectations.




                                        --                             Local Government Resource Manual
11.5 Importance of performance appraisals for municipal employees




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It is crucial that an employee receives feedback on his or her job performance within
the municipal workplace. A performance appraisal is an important tool for measuring
the expectations of the employee on how well he or she is doing. It also provides the
employee with the necessary direction to improve or build on their skills.

In both larger and smaller local government structure settings, the Chief
Administrative Officer is usually responsible for the annual performance appraisal of
senior management staff, with senior management staff responsible for the municipal
employees under their supervision. The Mayor or chair of Administration Committee
of Council could be responsible to conduct the performance appraisal of the Chief
Administrative Officer.

A Chief Administrative Officer must be reviewing and providing positive feed back
and direction on a constant basis to employees. To be effective, the CAO should not
accumulate a list of employee problems and then only raise them at the performance
appraisal. A performance appraisal should be viewed as an opportunity for a healthy
two-way exchange of dialogue between employer and employee.

The following material is taken from the Local Government Resource Handbook; Service
Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. and is based largely on reports on performance
appraisals from the Alberta Municipal Municipal Affairs Department, the Maritime
Municipal Training and Development Board, the Halifax Regional Municipality and the
Nova Scotia Department of Human Resources.


11.6 What is a performance appraisal?
A performance appraisal should be more than just a single event. It should begin with
setting specific and measurable goals, coaching year round to encourage employee
success, documenting performance–good and bad, and writing the appraisal without
bias. Performance appraisals are an increasingly important tool for motivating
employees, inspiring quality work and establishing any further training needs. The
exercise of a performance appraisal should encourage positive working relationships
and help to improve employee productivity.


11.7 Key objectives in Developing an appraisal system process
In the development of an appraisal system process, the employee’s current job
description, goals, and development plan from the previous review period should
be used as the performance criteria. The performance appraisal process should be
designed to achieve the following objectives:

• To let the employees know how well they are doing and what changes in technical
  performance and/or behavior will lead to higher levels of performance

• To provide a means for coaching and counseling employees to help them develop to
  their full potential, and accomplish established goals and performance standards.

• To generate information needed for both short, and long range administrative plans
  for the organization, including:

  - Short Range: Salary Decisions, Work Assignments, Goals Attainment, Training
    Needs, Promotions and Transfers

  - Long Range: Human Resources Planning, Succession Planning and Development


                            --                           Local Government Resource Manual
11.8 Issues to address




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• How often should the performance appraisals be conducted?

• Who will conduct the performance appraisals?

• What impact will this process have on their security of employment, salaries and
  fringe benefits?

• When should the reviews be conducted? (e.g. normally after the probationary period
  and after that on the anniversary date of employment)


11.9 commitment from council
The adoption of a performance appraisal policy has to be a commitment by Council
to ensure the long-term success of the system. Council should be briefed on what
is involved in a performance appraisal process, including the advantages to the
municipality and staff.


11.10 format of appraisals
A properly designed performance appraisal system can be the cornerstone to
developing and maintaining a productive municipal workforce which enjoys a high
level of job satisfaction. It requires a commitment from staff and the employees in its
design and implementation.

The “Keep it Simple” format is the best rule in the development of a performance
appraisal. The form would vary, however, depending on the needs and goals of
individual structures of local government.

Preparation of the specifically tailored appraisal form should include:

. Consistency - The format should be consistent across the board for all employees of
   the municipal corporation, however, the areas being appraised should be based on
   job duties.

. Measurable Criteria – the criteria used should be measurable and be recorded on
   an ongoing basis, not just at performance evaluation time. The criteria should be
   reviewed in-depth either twice a year or annually with the employee to ensure there
   is a complete understanding of the performance rating and expectations on the
   part of the employer. Positive reinforcement and constructive criticism should be
   communicated to the employee on an ongoing basis.

. Confidentiality - All employee records should be kept strictly confidential and in the
   employee’s personnel files. The employee should be given a copy of the appraisal for
   his or her personal records.

4. Signatories – The performance appraisal should be signed by both the supervisor
   conducting the appraisal and the employee to indicate that both parties
   acknowledge the comments and ratings of the performance appraisal. Both parties
   should initial each page and at the end of the appraisal there should be space for
   comments for both the supervisor and the employee.




                             --                            Local Government Resource Manual
11.11 appraisal Barriers




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• Employer Being Non-Committal – The performance appraisal should be viewed
  by the employer as a useful management tool and not as a supervisory obligation.
  An employee can quickly sense the difference and the evaluation process becomes
  meaningless.

• Failure to Provide Any Negative Feedback – Skirting around a problem with
  the employee is no way to improve the workplace situation. If the employee is
  unaware that a problem exists, it will never be rectified. If the situation is handled is
  such a way that it is viewed as in the best interests of the employee as well as the
  workplace, a better outcome would be achieved than reprimanding or belittling the
  employee during the appraisal process. The session should be a two way dialogue,
  engaging both the employer and employee in both positive reinforcement and
  constructive feedback.

• Lack of Professional Training – If an employee’s job ability weakness is identified
  during the performance appraisal, every effort should be made on the part of
  the employer to ensure that the necessary training is provided. If the employee
  refuses to take the training, then a much larger problem exists and could lead to
  termination.

• Personality Issues – If the supervisor and employer have had personal
  disagreements or style clashes in the past, this could act as a deterrent to a positive
  performance appraisal. On the other hand, if the supervisor gets along well with the
  employee personally, or feels sorry for the employee’s circumstances, an unfairly high
  rated performance appraisal may result.

• Probationary Evaluations - A probationary evaluation, usually completed after
  a six month period, is used to determine whether a new employee is capable of
  competently completing the duties of the position. The supervisor needs to carefully
  assess whether or not the employee has met the requirements of the position.

  Most personnel problems begin with the inappropriate selection of the employees,
  therefore a good selection process cannot be overstated. If there are a number of
  small problems in the first few months they should not be overlooked as they may
  lead to larger issues in the future.


11.12 performance problems
The road to dismissal is a long one and the key is to identify the problems early and
to provide appropriate constructive counseling. When performance problems persist
and have been described in a regular performance appraisal, or during ongoing
supervision, the matter should be dealt with immediately. The supervisor and the
employee should work together to formulate an action plan to determine what needs
to be accomplished to correct the problem and the necessary timelines. Both have
to seek a basic agreement and ownership for the necessary changes. The action plan
should be written down and formally agreed to by signatures of both parties.

Depending in the severity of the problem, there should be a follow-up appraisal of
the situation within an appropriate time period, to be determined in the action plan.
If outside counseling is required the supervisor should refer the employee to the
appropriate agencies (e.g. drug or alcohol treatment counselor, social worker, etc.). An
in-depth assessment should take place after outside counseling has been completed.
If the employee does not respond appropriately to the assessment or does not show
appropriate levels of improvement the last option is termination of the employee.



                              -4-                            Local Government Resource Manual
It is strongly recommended that the supervisor review the legal requirements




                                                                                         Human Resource Management
to dismissal procedures with the municipal solicitor. There should be proper
documentation throughout the termination process.


11.13 Importance of ongoing professional Development
Continuing Professional Development is the means by which appointed and elected
officials in a local government setting maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge
and skills and develop the personal qualities required in this professional field.


11.14 professional Development opportunities for
      Local government employees in new Brunswick
(a) National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration (NACLAA)

Dalhousie University and the University of Alberta have undertaken a partnership
to jointly develop and deliver a national, in-service education program for local
government officials in Canada. This online program is the first of its kind in Canada
and was introduced in September of 00. The program’s name is NACLAA, an acronym
for National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration. It is owned and
administered by Public Sector Programs at Dalhousie University and Government
Studies at the University of Alberta.

The NACLAA program provides access to high quality distance education and
continuing professional development to local government employees across
Canada. It provides a nationally recognized credential through advanced learning
opportunities for local government officials wishing to increase their mobility and
career advancement opportunities within the municipal civil service. The program
provides nationally relevant but regionally sensitive theoretical and practical
knowledge necessary for outstanding performance in local authority administration.

Examples of courses provided through this program include:

  -   Citizen Engagement & Consultation
  -   Financial Management
  -   Human Resource Management
  -   Local Government
  -   Local Government Accounting
  -   Local Government Finance
  -   Municipal Law I & II
  -   Organizational Behaviour and Leadership
  -   Organizational Design and Management
  -   Policy Planning and Program Evaluation
  -   Property Taxation and Assessment
  -   Public Administration Professionalism
  -   Sustainable Communities

(b) Université de Moncton

The University of Moncton offers two French programs for those involved in
francophone local governments in New Brunswick: « Certificat en administration
municipale » et « Certificat en gouvernance locale ».




                            --                          Local Government Resource Manual
The Certificat en administration municipale [Certificate in municipal administration],




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offered in French to the administrative staff and senior managers of New Brunswick
municipalities, seeks to optimize the skills and abilities needed to provide effective
management by covering topics such as:

  - Policies and procedures related to the Municipalities Act
  - Effective communication
  - Conflict management
  - Strategic planning in public administrations
  - Communication strategies and public relations
  - Effective leadership
  - Project management
  - Management indicators
  - Risk management
  - Financial management

This program is the product of close co-operation between the Association of
Municipal Administrators, the Association francophone des municipalités du
Nouveau-Brunswick, and Continuing Education at the Université de Moncton.

The Certificat en gouvernance locale [Certificate in local governance], offered in
French:

  • Policies and procedures related to the Municipalities Act
  • Team dynamics and conflict management
  • Communication strategies and public relations
  • Development
  • Strategic planning in public administrations


11.15 succession planning
(a) What is Succession Planning?

Succession planning is a critical element to an organization’s success. Leading
organizations understand its importance and are adept at anticipating the future
leadership and the personnel they will require.

Succession planning is the process of identifying and preparing suitable employees,
through mentoring, training and job rotation, to replace key players (such as the CAO)
within a local government organization as their terms expire. It is a process which can
provide a framework for anticipating future staffing needs in the short term, mid and
long term, and provides the methodology for meeting those staffing needs.

Undertaking a succession planning program can offer a number of benefits to the
municipality. In addition to the development of a pool of skilled workers, it can also
provide a strategy for identifying key personnel who can be helped to maximize their
potential by means of a well thought out career planning process. The introduction
of such an initiative can have the added benefit of keeping valuable, skilled and
career-oriented individuals in a local government setting by providing opportunities
for growth and advancement. It provides an opportunity for empowering current
employees by offering a venue for them to develop the skills and qualifications
they might need to develop which may allow them to move into more senior
administrative positions.




                              --                            Local Government Resource Manual
11.16 Wage equity in the Workplace




                                                                                              Human Resource Management
a) Wage Gap Action Plan

Since the launch of Facing the Economic Imperative in June 00, the Women’s Issues
Branch under the Minister responsible for the Status of Women has diligently worked
with many partners and stakeholders to reduce New Brunswick’s wage gap and to
target its underlying causes as well as its contributors, including pay inequity. The
following objectives and strategies are contained in the Action Plan :

     • to ensure pay equity applies to all parts of the pubic service;
     • to establish government as a model employer for regular and contract staff;
     • to establish clear, measurable benchmarks and targets for the achievement of pay
       equity; and
     • to bring together stakeholders to further address pay equity issues.

(b) What is the Wage Gap Reduction Initiative?

The Wage Gap Reduction Initiative in partnership with stakeholders is an innovative
Government of New Brunswick program comprised of a range of strategies aimed at
achieving greater economic prosperity through addressing the wage gap.

(c) Goals of New Brunswick’s Wage Gap Action Plan

.     Change Societal Attitudes: To achieve a more positive societal attitude regarding
       gender balance in the workplace.

.     Increase Sharing of Family Responsibilities: To find a balance in thesharing and
       support of family responsibilities among working families.

.     Reduce the Job Clustering of Women
       To reduce job clustering so that women have access to and pursue a wide range
       of jobs.

4.     Increase the Use of Pay Equity Practices
       To encourage the use of pay equity tools to evaluate pay inequities within all parts
       of the public service, including the implementation of two pilot projects within
       the francophone municipal government.

(d) Role of Department of Local Government

The Department of Local Government will act as a liaison between the four municipal
associations, the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB) the Association
francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick (l’AFANB), the Association of
Municipal Administrators of New Brunswick (AMANB). and the Cities of New Brunswick
Association (CNBA) in the promotion of the wage gap issue and to encourage the
municipal associations if they wish to champion this wage gap issue.

(e) Role of Municipalities

It has been proven that organizations who adopt strategies to reduce the wage gap in
their workplace create a stable workforce and improve the organization’s bottom line.




                               --                            Local Government Resource Manual
(i) What all employers can do:




                                                                                          Human Resource Management
  • Familiarize yourself with the new set of attitudes
  • Participate in wage gap public education campaign initiatives
  • Undertake workplace assessments
  • Develop and implement a workplace wage gap reduction plan for your workplace
  • Promote family-friendly workplace initiatives
  • Introduce pay equity in your workplace at an appropriate pace
  • Promote equal access to benefits for all employees
  • Hire more women in non-traditional jobs and trades
  • Promote success stories and best practices learned among the employer
     community

As employers, municipalities have much to gain from implementing a wage gap
reduction plan.

(ii) Benefits of Reducing the Wage Gap

Workplace wage gap strategies can:

  •   Increase retention & reduce turnover of staff
  •   Strengthen recruitment efforts
  •   Lower absenteeism
  •   Decrease workplace stress
  •   Improve workplace morale
  •   Secure a stable workforce
  •   Solve workplace skills needs / shortages

These benefits can lead to increased workplace productivity.

To learn more about how to adopt wage gap strategies in your organization, visit the
Wage Gap Reduction Initiative website for tools and information to:

  •   Calculate your workplace wage gap
  •   Assess for ‘Family-Friendly’ HR practices
  •   Review our wage gap fact sheets
  •   Read testimonials from companies who’ve reduced their wage gap
  •   Download your free wage gap employer toolkit

      http://www.gnb.ca (Keyword: Wage Gap) (english)
      http://www.gnb.ca (mot-clé : Écart salarial) (french)




                               --                            Local Government Resource Manual

								
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