Review these questions to do a quick assessment if your HR systems and procedures conform to current best practices in HRM.
- Is there a corporate strategic plan and does it include an HR component – recruitment/succession/other plans, actually working the plan?
- Is there a matrix to delegate authority for HR decision making – hiring staff, issuing reprimands, responding to grievances?
- What staffing process for filling permanent positions – external advertising, outreach for special populations, defined selection factors (using KSAs?), pre-determined questions with acceptable answers, rating matrix, merit selection, reference checks, written offer/acceptance, defensible selection, non-discriminatory?
- What orientation/probation process for new hires – walkabout, discussion of job description/performance criteria, periodic feedback, appropriate training/coaching, formal performance review (using KSAs?), pass/fail decision?
- What HR records systems – position/employee files, confidentiality, privacy protection, freedom of information, appropriate correction/use of information, HR statistics on turnover/sick leave/injuries/time loss?
- What job description system – up-to-date key duties, essential KSAs appropriate for job, appropriate education/training and experience, job to job consistency, periodic reviews/updates, copied to employee/union?
- What performance management system? – performance factors (using KSAs?), periodic feedback, work standards, appropriate training/coaching, formal annual review, development plans, non-disciplinary, done organization wide?
- What commitment to training and development – committed funds, equitable access, training (present job) versus development (future jobs), linked to performance appraisal, employer funding support, external programs, accelerated development for promotable employees?
- What job evaluation process – gender neutral/pay equity principles, evaluation method, job description based (using KSAs?), employer reviews on changes to job, employee review request/appeals, management evaluation committee/decision making?
- What regime for pay plan/benefits revisions – economic/community/ability to pay considerations, internal equity, appropriate pay comparisons, salary surveys, negotiated rates, selected quartile?
- What H & S management elements in place – H & S officer, standard jobs procedures, risk assessment, committee meetings, refusing unsafe work, reporting procedures, WSBC liaison/records?
- What return to work/disability management regime – proactive stance, consideration of work alternatives, workplace accommodation, communications with employees, pay protection?
- What safeguards re bullying and harassment – recognition as WSBC mental disability, management statement, mandatory training done for existing/new employees?
- What system for dealing problem employees – culpable versus non culpable discipline understood, supervisor responsible, senior management support/participation, proper investigation, consideration of off-job causes, progressive letters with consequences, follow through/monitoring?
- What system for attendance problems – management statement, absence statistics, meetings of concern about aggregate absences, consideration of off-job causes, accommodation, appropriate use of doctor’s notes, progressive letters with consequences, follow through/monitoring?
- What labour management relationship – mature versus militant, regular LMC meetings, handling disputes/grievances, strike preparation, “ tough on issues, soft on people”?
- What steps to administer the collective agreement/protect management rights – workshops on agreement changes, designated management official for interpretation, empowered union/non union supervisors?
- What regime for officers and exempt staff – compliance with Community Charter, appointment arrangements, formal contract terms?
- What formal HR policies exist – easy read, legislation/collective agreement/good practices compliant, local versus copied from elsewhere, employee awareness, periodic management reviews, posted on intranet?
- Who is responsible for HRM – sufficient resourcing, current with legislation/best practices, scaled programs/systems, continuous learning/improvement?
The Human Resources Toolkit for Local Government Organizations (2014) – published by the Local Government Management Association of BC – is a DIY publication covering close to 70 HR topics and outlines straightforward approaches that are scaled for smaller municipal and like organizations.
Copyright Russell L Cape 2016