Removal of barriers in communication among personnel and the senior management. Enhance the delivery of customer support services. Expand knowledge of fiscal and legal responsibilities of the Company. Offer Recommendations to develop staff so that they may perform in a more efficient way. This assessment was designed to provide an objective, diagnostic analysis of the current operations of Highway Stores in specific areas. The assessment examined the following. The extent to which the mission of the Company is understood and communicated to internal and external personnel.
The appropriateness of the policies and procedures designed to support roles and policies of the Company. An analysis of the role of the current personnel function and its future in the organization. Methodology The assessment team used a research methodology which consisted of collecting data from various fiscal, administrative and program documents and confidential narrative from Board members and staff regarding their opinions of the company in three areas – pride and success, concerns and problems, and hope and expectations.
The team also conducted personal interviews and focus group to test the systems and gain new insights into each of the identified critical area. Based on the review and assessment of the information, the team has made several observations and recommendations for the company staff to help them through this transitional period. The team reviewed numerous documents and conducted face to face interviews with the Governing board, entry level and managerial staff, the acting Executive Director and all other related personnel.
All interviews were conducted in confidence therefore specific comments are not included in this report. Interview results were used to identify trends and assess the work environment and form the basis of the recommendations herein. The depth and breadth of HRM theory, policies and practices used in this report supports arguments as the extend to which these are clearly understood. To assess the company’s Human Resource system and structure, the team reviewed 50 personnel files, interviewed staff and reviewed the confidential narratives provided by staff.
A check list developed by personnel attorneys was utilized as a tool to review the personnel files. Strength The employees that were interviewed are dedicated to the mission of company and community action. Personnel policies and standard operating procedures are currently being revised. Staff The employees that were interviewed are dedicated but lack a vision for the future. Staff is not aware of the entire organization and the functions and roles of each employee within the organization. There is also a definite fear of the unknown, whether they would lose their jobs as a result of the transition.
Fiscal involvement in personnel issues is of concern to the staff. Recommendations for Staff An in depth training/orientation program is needed for staff on responsibilities, expectations, and overall direction of the Agency. Develop a checklist of documentation needed for each personnel file and assign someone the task to ensure that information is found in the files and is kept up to date. All files should be placed in secure, central location. Medical information should be maintained in separate files from personnel records. Personnel Policies
The team found that the Personnel policies are outdated and there is no guidance written about particular personnel issues. The company’s plan is not complete and does not reflect the demographics of the area. It appears that some minority groups are under stated. The staff is not as diverse as the provided demographics of the area. No minorities appear to be employed in any management positions. Staff members are concerned about the following: no health insurance, better wages, interviewing and hiring practices and the fact that certain policies are not uniform across the organization.
Recommendations for Personnel policies Hire a Human Resources Director. Completely revise of the personnel policy manual. Do not hire any Head Start Staff until a further review of all positions currently held is undertaken. Review payroll records to ensure regulations are adhered to. Have an outside consultant conduct a wage comparability study. Use this study to set wages. Job descriptions should be updated to reflect the positions. The salary chart should align with the job descriptions. Career development plans should be developed for all staff not just Head Start.
Fiscal department staff should not be managing Human Resource issues. There needs to be a separation. Create an organizational chart for the entire agency not a separate one for Head Start. Dress Code: Clearly indicate how pen diem should be used, preferably under federal guidelines. Staff should not be docked for meals provided under the per diem. Company should not pay for travel time for staff for required training. Recruitment: The Company should not refuse applications from anyone and applications should be kept on file for six months.
Company should be cautious about language that states: Individuals who indicate a ‘lack of support’ for Company’s mission will not be considered for employment as this could be construed as subjective. Develop a plan using accurate and current data that reflects the demographics of the service area, the staff, board, and clients. Ensure that the company meets its goals within the plan to serve the population. Challenges Even though the staff is dedicated to the mission of the agency they lack sufficient understanding and skill in the application of a system based approach to their work.
This results in efforts that lack sufficient accountability and effectiveness. There is no documented system for eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment and attendance. A number of significant documents are incomplete including the most recent Self Assessment, the revision of the program plan and the annual update of the Community Assessment. It is not clear that the selection criteria covers the needs of all countries or was developed utilizing the Community Assessment.
There is no documentation of planning and ongoing monitoring of key areas and operations to assure accountability. Policies and procedures are in various stages of completion and transition and found in a variety of different documents. An example of particular concern is the reporting and monitoring of enrollment and health and dental screening and follow up. Whether there are reports generated by managers in these areas there is no written procedure detailing when and how the reports are generated and what actions are taken as a result.
Job descriptions and organizational charts are outdated and there are questions regarding the staffing pattern in Head Start given the relatively high number of staff compared to the number of children served by the Company. There are no written procedures for conducting and analyzing the annual Community Assessment process, therefore the long term goals and short term objectives are not aligned with the Community Assessment. There is evidence of a lack of timely compliance with environmental health and safety requirements as indicated by the observation of a fire extinguisher at one site when last inspection date expired in 2004.
Because this was an issue particularly attention is needed in this area. It is not evident that services, policies, and procedures are integrated with the agency’s systems. Recommendations Take appropriate steps to obtain follow up review results from Head Office as soon as possible. Develop a management timeline to ensure timely completion of critical management and programmatic operations and systems. Develop a documented system that clearly define eligibility, recruitment, selection, enrollment and attendance. The system must also outline integration of services.
Update job descriptions and organizational chart to reflect current practices. Management procedures need to ensure a well documented practice of physical inspection and compliance with all health and safety requirements (including state regulations) both daily and other periods as needed. Lines of communication should be established and included in the Procedures Manual. The company should establish a grievance procedure. Grief Counseling may help or the company should face the grief issues openly. The Board should obtain assistance through the Association to hire a consultant to do a strategic plan.
The Board should consider revising the duties of some of its committees, in particular the Special Problems Committee. The Special Problems Committee appears to be doing the work of the Executive Committee and at the times appears to be guiding the work of the board. The company needs to re-write the Standard Operating Procedures Manual in a positive tone with updated policies in the areas of concern. Fiscal staff should attend good designed trainings. This would help them to understand the capabilities of the system and that reports can be created for a particular usage.
This would also provide better financial information to improve the management of funds. Actions required within 9 months deadline Training for management in supervising staff, improving communications, and establishing an environment that is open to feedback Management retreat – to include planning and assessment programs Management style assessment – could be part of management retreat. Conflict management seminar – could be part of management retreat Conduct at least semi-annual joint board / policy training. Update the customer and community surveys.
The agency should also make an effort to involve other member of the community in the survey to obtain a more comprehensive view of how the company’s services are viewed by the various community sectors. Post surveys could be distributed using prepaid postage envelopes. Annual review for all positions and programs Front line staff should take family and community development training offered by the association. Utilize bulletin board to promote in house communications such as job postings and other announcement.
Minutes should be taken during staff meeting and shared with the staff to ensure that everyone is aware of the decisions that were made, including those that are not in attendance. A resource person should be identified to focus on public relations and to seek out funds that can be used to support company initiatives. Administrative staff, including the Fiscal Director, the Human Resource Manager, and the Executive Director should regularly attend Policy Council meetings to provide information, and be available to answer questions. Elimination of Personnel development programs which are not cost effective.