Press Release: November 22, 2011
Accountability within government continues to be a global focus. Governments at all levels are grappling with how to embed accountability within their organizations. Accountability is no longer an elusive possibility for municipal Villages and Towns using the newly released Organizational Enhancement Toolkit™ (Toolkit). A number of Alberta Villages and Towns have engaged in an intensive four year project, in partnership with INTERACTIONS HR Solutions Inc. (INTERACTIONS), to develop a comprehensive set of operations manuals that address accountability throughout the entire organization, including Council. The Toolkit represents a model municipal operation.
“Having an Organizational Enhancement Toolkit containing policies pertaining to municipal operations is crucial, especially for smaller municipalities with a lower staff ratio. It provides guidance not only for councillors, but Administration as well. We are accountable to our community. This Toolkit ensures we are all operating with cohesiveness and a mutual understanding of governance. The Village of Clive is proud to have been a founding partner in the development of this toolkit for Villages and thanks Interactions for all their hard work.” – Mayor Anita Gillard, Village of Clive, Alberta, Primary Toolkit Partner
INTERACTIONS’ unique approach to accountability ensures that everyone throughout the entire organization knows what they are accountable for, how to fulfill areas of accountability within their position, as a department and the overall organization, along with what success looks like as the result of their efforts. The Toolkit is a blueprint to operational success.
“It is the responsibility of the municipality, through the elected council, to impose on itself policies that define the direction for the community, administration and staff and I believe that with the effort put forth by INTERACTIONS HR Solutions Inc. our community has achieved that definition which will guide St Paul for years to come.” – Mayor Glenn Andersen, Town of St Paul, Alberta, Primary Toolkit Partner
In a time of growing demands, small to mid-size municipal organizations are faced with unique challenges, from lack of resources, time, changes in leadership at both a Council and CAO level, to governing and managing a community within a volatile global economy. It is also a workplace where a shortage of leadership positions is greatly anticipated in the coming years. Numerous Alberta communities are presently in search of their lead position of CAO. Therefore, retention strategies are required to assist CAOs who serve within this very challenging and demanding position. Succession planning is also greatly needed as many CAOs and other key municipal personnel near retirement. Capturing the valuable leadership, management and operational know-how of these employees is critical. The Municipal Edition of the Toolkit represents a massive knowledge transfer of the daily and ongoing municipal operations which will aid Villages and Towns not only with retention and succession planning but with recruitment and selection, training and development and performance management.
Rod Krips, CAO of the Town of Viking was recently quoted by the Rocky Mountain House, The Mountaineer, as saying: “Ultimately, accountability is key especially in a public institution.” Krips said INTERACTIONS made an accurate, easy-to-understand set of manuals for the entire municipal structure.
There are many good people serving their communities whether they are Mayors, Councillors or municipal personnel. The Toolkit is written in the positive and reinforces the behaviours of high-functioning municipal organizations. The Toolkit is a celebration of the collective efforts of many. Roxane Laslo, of INTERACTIONS said that, “The Toolkit is based on the fundamental belief that people want to do a good job and that their contributions make a difference. The Toolkit encapsulates and addresses known workplace issues and challenges by the very nature of its design and content. It addresses the many workplace challenges that keep people awake at night.”
While the Municipal Edition of the Toolkit was officially launched at the recent AUMA (Alberta Urban Municipalities Association) conference in Calgary, Alberta, a presentation was held on November 14, 2011, at the Town of St Paul with Council and staff in attendance to celebrate St Paul’s contribution and the launch of their customized Toolkit. Presentations are also set with the other key partners in the Town of Sundre and the Village of Clive in the coming weeks. The Towns of Viking, Tofield, Coronation and the Village of Holden also serve as pilot sites.
The Village of Clive, Alberta, served as the primary partner for the development of the Village Edition of the Toolkit. Their Council, CAO and staff spent countless hours working with INTERACTIONS. The Village version served as the foundation on which the Town Edition was built. “Clive is a very forward-thinking community to be commended for serving as such a great source during the creation of this valuable tool”, said Roxane Laslo of INTERACTIONS. Clive approached INTERACTIONS after seeing the Seniors’ Housing Edition of the Toolkit.
Additional Note: In 2008, the Alberta Senior Citizens’ Housing Association (ASCHA) formed a unique partnership with INTERACTIONS to provide the Toolkit to seniors’ housing operators throughout the province of Alberta. A Toolkit also exists for Victim Service Units serving victims of crime. Numerous other editions are slated for development. By focusing on an entire industry, and forging unique partnerships, INTERACTIONS is able to provide high quality affordable organizational systems and tools to small and mid-size organizations, that they can readily customize to their specific operations.
If you would like more information about this exciting new product line or to schedule an interview with Roxane Laslo, please call 403-845-2792 or email Roxane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is what some of our Municipal Toolkit clients are saying…
Organizational Enhancement Toolkit™ – for Towns
“The Interactions HR Solutions Toolkit provides Towns and Villages with a set of organized, customized documents that outlines policy and clearly identifies job functions. This tool can not only be used for personnel to understand their role and function within an organization but also is a great tool to use for strategic and business functional organizational planning. INTERACTIONS has worked diligently with the Town of Sundre to ensure that that Toolkit suits our needs and will be relevant for years to come.”
Wanda Watson-Neufeld, Director of Corporate Services, Town of Sundre
“The Town of Coronation is very pleased to be playing an active role in the development of the Organizational Enhancement Toolkit™. Our Governance Committee has just completed a full review of the Governance and Leadership Module. We were excited to discover that the majority of the policies, process steps and job descriptions so closely aligned with our own written (and unwritten) policies, procedures and guidelines. Because we do not have a comprehensive policy manual developed for the Town, the Governance Committee has been thrilled to discover that years’ worth of time that could be spent developing the various policy statements and documents can be condensed into a few hours’ worth of review and fine-tuning of the template documents provided. We look forward to the release of the remaining editions of the Toolkit series.”
Sandra Kulyk, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Coronation