Become an Employer of Choice… 8 Things Your Municipality Can Do

Filed in HIRING ARTICLES, MUNICIPALITY by on October 27, 2018

The term ’employer of choice’ has become a popular phrase in recent years. The concept and it’s benefits – that employees will choose your municipality over others and choose to dedicate themselves to your community’s success if your city measures up in their eyes- seems obvious.

Here are 8 things you can do that will help you to become an ‘Employer of Choice’:

  1. Improve retention
  2. Keep them motivated
  3. Reward them when they perform well.
  4. Recognize their contribution.
  5. Hold them accountable.
  6. Demonstrate that hard work pays off.
  7. Involve them with changes…especially changes that affect the whole community.
  8. Offer them flexibility in their work-life balance.

Do these things (detailed below) and you will have gone a long way to making your municipality an employer of choice.

Retention, Are you interested in knowing what is really concerning your employees? Knowing what makes your staff unhappy is half the battle when you need to get a handle on employee job satisfaction, morale and positive motivation that lead to improved retention.

Motivation Take time to listen to staff and provide opportunities for them to communicate with the managers in the various departments of the town. If you create an environment where employees feel safe, they will tell you what’s on their minds. The culture of your municipality needs to be one of trust if you want successful two-way communication.

Reward, Rewarding your staff for a job well done really works. Some municipalities successfully use the ‘Employee of the Month’ award. The award should come from management, not from fellow employees. This is not a popularity contest. Most towns that use this idea will post the person’s picture in a prominent area. The winner might also get a few perks for the month — a parking spot up close to the entrance with a sign that says “reserved for employee of the month” is one good idea. Sometimes a small gift is given like a pen or coffee mug that says, ’employee of the month‘. Money is important, but survey after survey shows the greater importance of appreciation and reward.

Recognition, Like appreciation and reward, recognition and a fun work environment are essential in attracting and retaining great employees.

Recognition is not just a nice thing to do for people. Employee recognition is a communication tool that reinforces and rewards the most important outcomes your staff creates for your municipality. When you recognize people effectively, you reinforce, with your chosen means of recognition, the actions and behaviors you most want people to repeat. It is similar to reward only less official. It can and should happen spontaneously wherever a good job is being done. An email, a pat on the back or even a sticky note will often do the trick. Effective employee recognition is simple, immediate, and powerfully reinforcing.

Accountability, Holding employees accountable for the part they play within the municipality is one of the keys to their success as an employee. To some staff accountability is ‘built in’ and that makes a manager’s job much easier. Others don’t have it. It is the manager’s job to lay out the expectations and set goals for staff. Spending time talking to your employees and providing feedback on what they are doing well and where they are falling short will improve their accountability.

Promotion, For some staff, getting ahead and rising through the ranks of the municipality is everything. They work hard in order to catch the eye of the boss and hopefully get a promotion. If you have not recently considered which of your staff members may be ready for advancement, do it now! Today, many municipal managers are more likely to promote from within than they were three years ago.

As the job market strengthens, your best employees may pursue jobs elsewhere if they perceive that their contributions aren’t being valued or that there is no long-term potential with your city. Providing advancement opportunities for your staff will demonstrate that hard work and outstanding performance can and will be rewarded.

Involvement, you can never expect one hundred percent support from any employee who has not personally been involved in a change which had an impact on his work. In any change, especially ones that affect the whole municipality, it is impossible to involve every employee in every decision, however, you can be certain that when change really works, the organization has gone out of its way to involve as many people as possible, as early as possible, in the change process.

Flexibility in work-life balance, Like me, you may cringe when you hear the phrase “Work-Life Balance,” that’s because it is often seen as code for “work less.” But you need to ask yourself if the need for greater balance between an employee’s career and their other life is entirely negative. Viewed from a positive perspective, encouraging and sometimes insisting on Work-Life Balance can be one of your best tools to retain and motivate your employees.

These are your key areas for becoming an employer of choice. The best result you could have is your employees bragging that your municipality is a great place to work. People will believe staff before they believe what you say and write about yourself.

Finally, don’t just be a great employer let people know you are a great employer. Better still if you want to get the word out and you have a position to fill why not let us be your Ambassador… it’s part of what we do for our clients when we are recruiting.

Call us today …

1-888-447-5910 ext. 727

Bruce Malcolm

About the Author ()

Bruce's background includes 30+ years of human resource management experience covering all aspects of HR administration with a clear specialty in team building and recruiting. He created and developed the concept of “Ethical Head-Hunting™”. Bruce began his recruiting career in 1971 with Prudential Assurance.

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