23 September 2011

HR horrors

Mr Mustard has looked at the performance overviews for all seven directorates. 

What Mr Mustard has now noticed is that problems in HR are a recurring theme.

Mr Mustard has produced a table of the Human Resources Ratings, the number of active Employee Relations cases ( i.e. those where the council and the employee are not seeing eye to eye ) and the number of temporary staff provided by Hays. Here is the table.

HR ER Hays
Adult Social Care -5.5 5 38
Children's -6.0 30 96
Environment, Planning & Regen -5.5 46 117
Commercial Services -4.0 5 15
Deputy Chief Executive -5.5 5 71
Chief Executive -5.5 6 19
Corporate Governance -2.0 6 6
Totals -34.0 103 362

This is absolutely shocking. Every single directorate has Human Resources problems.

There are 103 employees in some sort of wrangle with the council. The full head count of the council is 3178 and so 3% or 1 in 30 have a problem. That simply cannot be acceptable.

So 362 temps out of a headcount of 3,178 is 11.4% of the workforce or 1 in every 9 employees. They can't possibly learn enough about the council in a short-term stay to be as effective as a permanent employee.

Mr Mustard can't help but feel that having 362 temps from Hays is not the best way to have a cohesive, efficient and dedicated workforce. There are, of course, also other temps from other agencies or interims or contractors or people on fixed term contracts which all dilutes the effectiveness of the council. All of these temps have to be supported by permanent employees who have their own jobs to perform without wet-nursing a temp who might be gone next week. 

So what is the cause of the HR problem? Have a think about it during lunch or over the weekend.

Mr Mustard thinks that the following might be reasons, but you may have other, better ideas:-

Is it the decision to "maintain a flexible workforce"?

Is the corporate management team, from the Chief Executive down, simply not up to the job?

Is the head of HR, not herself a permanent employee on PAYE but paid through a Limited company ( Jacquie McGeachie HR Consulting Ltd ), despite being at Barnet since 2009, simply not up to the job? See the Mr Reasonable blog to see what she was paid last year alone.

Is the idea of outsourcing 2,700 jobs ( or however many it is, a big number anyway ) causing the staff to be unhappy and affecting their behaviour?

Is One Barnet distracting the management team from their day to day management role?

Whatever the cause, some radical changes to effect improvements are due. Barnet Council simply cannot go on as it is.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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