Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How to Evaluate City Employees

A couple of months ago, the Fayetteville City Council approved a contract for $46,885 with HR Factor, a personnel management consulting group headed by former Alderman Don Marr, to improve the way the City administration does employee job performance evaluations. As usual, since most of the city’s consulting and construction projects run over budget, they also approved an additional contingency fee of $1,000.

Marr gave an initial report to the City Council yesterday, so we now can see what the taxpayers are getting for their money. He said his firm has been conducting “focus groups” with Mayor Coody and his “Executive Staff,” and they also sat around and talked with about 15% of the City’s 700 and something employees. “We’re feeling really confident about the feedback we’re getting,” Marr said. Then he disclosed a major finding about what’s been missing that probably startled the Mayor and his Executive Staff, “The most critical thing that we hear is that there needs to be consistency and fairness in the process.” Duh.

The City's Human Resources Division Manager also revealed, “The new job performance evaluations are going to have the job descriptions attached, and the person will be evaluated on how well they are performing their job function as part of their overall score. That right there is going to be very different.” Double Duh.

So there you have it. In the future, performance evaluations should be based on actual job descriptions, and they should be fair and consistent. That speaks volumes about past practices and about what kind of advice Mayor Coody can get for $47,885 of your money.

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