Human Resources

One of the most important assets local governments have is their people. ICMA has materials that address such human resources issues as employee relations, benefits management, and organizational culture. Powered by NEOGOV

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Four Powerful Steps Government Leaders Can Take to Create a Culture of Learning

Local governments can create a culture of learning that will help them adapt and innovate in a changing environment.

Five Ways to Save Money by Increasing HR Efficiencies

Local governments can look to their HR departments as a way to leverage extra savings.

Four Steps to Improving Your Organization's Performance Review Process

The performance review process is an important part of managing a workforce; however, local governments can have a process that needs to be updated.

Supporting an Aging Government Workforce with Mentoring and Offboarding

As the workforce grows older, local governments need to think of how best to handle the transition to the next generation.

Employee Relations

Managing Employees You Can’t See

Five Keys on How to Work Best with Staff Who Telecommute

The Art of Communicating Expectations to Employees

So you've hired a new assistant manager. Now what? Setting expectations and fully informing your new hire about what is expected of him or her would be a good start. Remember, you cannot rightly and fairly hold employees accountable if you do not make your expectations known from the beginning. But how can these expectations be effectively communicated? And how can you set rules without dominating the work process? As it turns out, these expectations can be communicated through several channels, and we've got a few tips from our publication Human Resource Management in Local Government: An Essential Guide. The Art of Communicating Expectations to Employees 1. Code of Ethics Ethics codes help to communicate organizational norms and expectations for people who work both inside and outside government. Codes reflect your organization's collective consciousness and specify what is good or bad and right or wrong in an organization's behavior. Codes can provide a framework for analyzing decision alternatives, encourage high standards of behavior, offer a basis for evaluating performance, strengthen organizational identity and commitment, and increase public confidence. 2. Personnel Policy Manual Employers should provide all employees with a handbook or manual that specifies in writing all personnel policies and rules. The handbook establishes a reciprocal set of responsibilities for employer and employee. It tells employees what is expected of them in the workplace and what they can expect from their employer in terms of fair treatment. The policies contained in the employee manual should be repeatedly communicated to employees through various verbal and written channels, such as the orientation meetings for new hires and periodic memos to all staff. Contents of a manual can include: At-will employment disclaimer and acknowledgement form. Benefits attached to employment (pension, health insurance, life insurance). Employee records, access, confidentiality/privacy/application of open-records laws. Code of ethics. Work rules. 3. Job Interviews Some policies in the employee manual and ethics code may need to be communicated to a job candidate in his or her interview. These would include, for instance, provisions that require an employee to live within the city. Most candidates are informed of an agency's equal employment opportunity policy during the initial interviews. And a candidate who may have a spouse should be informed of the agency's nepotism policies. 4. Orientation A new employee's job orientation session should thoroughly familiarize the new hire with the company's workplace policies and ethics rules. Both the human resource director and supervisors under whom the employee will be working should be involved in the orientation; the presence of the supervisors shows a new employee that these managers are ready to answer any questions and help him or her succeed.  5. Supervisors Supervisors play an important role in communicating expectations to employees and represent the authority of their parent organizations and are charged with maintaining a productive and safe work environment. They therefore need to direct and control the conduct of employees through verbal guidance, written comments, rewards, and discipline.     

Are Your Organization’s Employees Unhappy?

Tips on How to Take the Pulse of Your Organization

The Effectiveness of Listening to Employees

Respect for employees is necessary for effective listening, but not uniformly practiced by managers.

Benefits Management

Ask an ICMA Manager: What Can Local Governments Do to Control Benefit Costs?

In this "Ask an ICMA Manager" blog post, Lane County, Oregon, Administrator Steve Mokrohisky recommends 5 things that local governments can do to control benefit costs.

Lower Health Care Costs

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, quit smoking, or manage a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, you know how hard it can be.

Organizational Culture

Retooling our Organizational Culture

Creating more innovative local governments means changing your culture.

PM Article: Crafting a Healthy Workplace Culture

Shared Values Can Lead to Unprecedented Results

Transform Your Organizational Culture from Status Quo to Status Go

Before attempting any kind of culture change initiative, local government professionals need to know what the culture is and how it works.

Capitalizing on Your Organization’s Greatest Untapped Potential

For any organization to be successful and maximize potential, it has to be both smart and healthy.