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Nohr: SCRD turning to more in-house management training

Nohr: SCRD turning to more in-house management training

ColumnHead-GarryNohrI recently attended a workshop for chairs and mayors that was designed as a check-in for elected officials after two years into this term. One of the major discussions was about retaining staff and the costs of not doing so. The SCRD Strategic Plan, completed two years ago at the start of the present term, prioritizes effective recruiting, retaining, and recognition of staff and volunteers.

Recruiting in some communities is extremely challenging, as I learned last weekend at the workshop; the Sunshine Coast does better than some districts but still has difficulty recruiting managers. For example, after the retirement of one SCRD manager, it took a year to get an interview session with three qualified candidates. To help avoid this kind of situation, the SCRD now trains present staff to take on added responsibility in middle or upper management.

When in-house training is not possible, the SCRD has no choice but to advertise for qualified managers. For managerial positions advertisements are placed locally and across Canada.

In most cases, local governments work hard to retain staff, but as employees gain more experience and training, they have to be adequately compensated, or other districts with larger tax bases, and paying higher wages, will attract these qualified people. In SCRD’s case we are trying to retain our employees by making sure that they feel valued. It was with pleasure that I signed long-term certificates for many staff who had five, 10, and 15 years with the regional district.

As I write these articles and talk to people on the Coast, I am constantly informing them how the SCRD functions, and I soon find that many do not understand the training and experience that most staff require to manage the programs of the local government. This year SCRD introduced community dialogues, in which managers explain the areas that they are in charge of. These dialogues provide opportunities for constituents to speak to the managers of each function in the regional district and to attach a face to each member of the managerial team. The feedback from the community has been mainly positive, and useful for our managers.

To function at its most effective, the SCRD needs volunteers, and continues to recognize these people on an ongoing basis. Having volunteers from the community assists the SCRD board and staff to keep in tune with the needs of the community.

Merry Christmas to you all and a successful 2017.

Please contact me about any of these items or other concerns at 604-741-2427 or Garry.Nohr@scrd.ca

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