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4,970 thoughts on “

  1. What is the latest on hiring/not hiring branch heads?

    Are the following vacancies really the best public service approach for the community?

    Central Children’s
    Prince of Wales
    Glen Elm
    George Bothwell

    How is community engagement supposed to happen with this staffing situation? Just curious.

  2. Ways to reduce staff turnover

    Invest in your staff. This does not just refer to compensation, which is vital to retaining top talent, but also spending the time to mentor, train and advance your staff. The reason that most people quit is out of frustration with the status quo, and lack of future development. The trick is to communicate with your staff from the onset and set clear goals that you review with them at least twice a year. Then create an environment where new ideas are encouraged, good work is rewarded and people are allowed to stretch themselves to take on new roles and responsibilities.

    Collect input on how the company should be run. Ask your employees what they think! Everyone is a knowledge worker today, and everyone should have input in how their part of the organization can or should be run. Let the command and control hierarchical decision-making die a fast death.

    Provide regular feedback. Engage in weekly feedback sessions. Employees are hungry for feedback that makes them better. Setting up weekly keep-doing, start-doing, stop-doing sessions is fast and effective at making the the employee feel valued and heard.

    Identify and offer unusual employee benefits. For many companies, standard employees benefit programs are not always given the fanfare that they deserve. But by offering programs that might be a bit out of the ordinary — such as pet insurance, Health Savings Accounts, Job-Sharing Days, etc. — an employee’s appreciation and attachment to a company may grow.

    Create meaningful employee experiences. Finds of recent studies confirm that employees want more than a paycheck from their job. Engagement levels rise when employees feel empowered to apply what matters to them to everything they work on and with an employer whose mission aligns to their personal values. Encourage people to apply what makes them great as people to the outcomes they are driving and they’ll want to get out of bed in the morning to contribute to their employers’ success.

    Open the lines of communication. Ask your employees what they want. Take what they say and implement it. Not every suggestion will be viable, but it’s important for them to know you value you them individually, that their voices are heard. Open communication can also give you advanced warning if someone is unhappy and thinking about leaving so that you can address the issue.

    What do you think? What else can employers do to reduce turnover and retain top employees?

    • All good advice. It would be great to get a quarterly summary of turnover at RPL, the reasons people leave, etc.

      A transparent organization would not have an issue doing this.

      • Most other libraries publish regular reports on their turnover. It shouldn’t be shied away from, since the library is taxpayer funded.

        Most other libraries also have Service Plans because their boards would never entertain the idea of NOT having something so fundamental in place.

    • Here is something to monitor: why does RPL continue to force employees to attend the pointless annual staff conference, and why is it being held this year in the most inconvenient location possible in terms of parking?

      This event is a waste of everyone’s time and should either be voluntary or discontinued. I’d much rather be serving the community that day by having our branches OPEN.

      • It’s far from pointless and far from a waste of time. A tremendous amount of planning time and energy goes into the event each year. It’s an opportunity to network within the organization and to learn valuable career and life skills. If you didn’t learn anything from the diversity-themed event last year, I really think you should find a new job. Finally, take the bus for the day – it would be a great chance to connect with the public you so dearly long to serve.

        • Just because someone disagrees with your opinion doesn’t mean they should immediately disappear. I like my job at the library, but I don’t think there is much point to the staff conference either. i consider it a wasted day.

          • Then don’t come. Jeff Barber is not going to shake you out of bed and tell you to change out of your jammies. It’s probably better if you stayed home.

            • As I understand, it is mandatory to attend. So I will have to attend. Why is it such a hardship to recognize that not everyone has to share the same opinion? I love RPL, but I’ve never gotten a whole lot out of the staff conference. It’s just my humble opinion based on more than 9 years of attending. Not a debate topic just because you are of a different mind.

              • No, it’s just you being obtuse and negative. Instead of using the day to chat and laugh and commiserate with the friends you’ve made over the 9 years, use it to form new relationships in the organization. Be engaged and ask questions. Learn. Focus on the positive. I will always dismiss and refute a narrow-minded, unfairly rejecting, and negative opinion with very little hardship. The key is to stay positive and embrace.

                  • Nicely done! It’s like you can see inside that person’s mind and heart and know exactly what needs to be done to improve Debbie Downer’s entire attitude and life. You have the potential to bring about enormous change for unhappy people. And you are also so right about the staff conference. It’s an amazing, breathtaking opportunity for us all. Be positive. Look sharp. Ask questions. Make a new friend. Hug an old friend (but don’t overdo it because you have new friendships to forge). Embrace learning new information. Turn that frown upside down. Hum an uplifting tune. Dance on your way to the can. – The Monitor

                • You kind of sound like *you’re* a very unhappy person and are projecting, maybe at least a little??
                  Find joy. Life is too short.

                  • I am pretty unhappy. I now realize that every time I try to shut down other people’s opinions, it’s a reflection of my own misery. I’ll try to work on that.

              • You can’t possibly love working at RPL if you don’t also love the Staff Conference. Don’t even try to reply to this pronouncement, because I will accept no arguments or dissent on the matter. Done. Over. The end.

                Here’s a little tune I like to play whenever I’m in danger of feeling like a glum puppy. I strongly urge you to do THE EXACT SAME THING. Regardless of your taste in music.

                What the world needs now is love, sweet love
                It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
                What the world needs now is love, sweet love
                No, not just for some but for everyone.

                (Repeat if you’re still not happy.)

        • That does sound rather sanctimonious. A person can love their job and believe in the library, and also question the usefulness or need of a staff conference. I don’t mind the annual event, but I can’t say I find it to be much of a learning experience. More just free food and a chance to see friends from other branches. Would I rather be serving the public? Probably.

  3. I really like the The Monitor’s fresh new outlook on life, and I don’t even mind that this person seems to have a split personality disorder. Variety is the spice of life, even if it’s coming from the same brain. – The Monitor’s Monitor

  4. Although I don’t approve of the name calling, and feel that we should work towards everyone just getting along, a recent encounter with Kevin Saunderson has shown me one thing; he is an asshole. – The Monitor

  5. I really dislike it when people post opinions on this blog that differ from my opinion. It makes me want to monitor this blog all day long (this is why I self appointed myself as Blog Monitor) and argue back and forth on long comment threads until everyone who reads this blog comes around to my way of thinking.

  6. It is long past due for Jeff Barber to address to all staff, as well as the Regina community, the reason for the administration’s ongoing refusal to hire branch heads to fill the vacant positions.

    Is there an advantage to the community to keep branch heads positions vacant? Is this part of a personal agenda on the part of the administration? and if so, what IS this personal agenda? A preference to have these employees out-of-scope? I’ll let you in on a little secret, Jeff: most staff who are in-scope are wary of being transitioned out-of-scope because they fear that if they run afoul of your Deputy Director, they’ll be out of a job. More than likely, they will form their own collective, which means you’ll then have to negotiate with two unions, not one. Will that be time and public money well spent?

    Also, is it fair to force the remaining branch heads and assistant branch heads to stretch themselves thin picking up the slack for an ill-conceived decision that administrators have made behind closed doors? More to the point, why aren’t the Public Services managers, Kim and Myra, being asked to fill the staffing void you’ve deliberately created by roaming from branch to branch to make sure the ones with no branch head has adequate coverage? Stationing them in the basement at Central isn’t helping them demonstrate good leadership among branch staff, to say the least.

    This situation has truly become untenable. And shame on your personal agendas. You seem to need to reminded that you run a publicly funded institution. Regina Public Library isn’t your personal fiefdom.

    • Could you be any more insensitive? A new low. Grow up. Let us grieve. Don’t make this tragedy about your anti-management agenda. Between you and the person you mentioned, only one (hint:you) purposefully and willfully and with mean intent, tried to disparage someone else. Shame on you.

        • Harsh is one thing. Publicly, permanently, anonymously shaming a manager for that is a scummy, mean-spirited, childish move. Grow up. Let us grieve without this nonsense.

          • Well I guess Brian Klenk should have some more respect then. Put yourself in that persons shoes. Is that how you would want to be remembered? Have some compassion and empathy for the human race people!

            • I don’t think he meant to be disrespectful. It just didn’t occur to him that the wording of his email would come off as harsh and unfeeling as it did. But this is the caliber of managers RPL keeps hiring.

              I’ve come to not expect empathy from most of these managers. Some people just don’t have it to give, and there’s not much you can do about it.

              • The level of competence and professionalism among many of the out-of-scope managers at RPL is, in my humble opinion, pretty low considering what they get paid. I’ve seen so many instances when it seems like they have real trouble accomplishing the simplest thing.

          • Who exactly is stopping you from grieving? Stop reading blogs! You’re reading and posting publicly permanently and anonymously, along with the shitty manager with no compassion who emailed all staff publicly and permanently about the death of a colleague. I was appalled by that and he should be ashamed, as should the library management in general. That kind of behaviour is not the exception with them, it is the rule, it is in fact one of the many negative hallmarks of their “leadership” – inappropriate behavior. I think it is you who needs to wake up, grow up, and face the reality that RPL is run by incompetents who haven’t even the most basic acquaintance with their own policies and conduct expectations.

            • Your lack of insight is immense. But not surprising. You can’t see that two wrongs don’t make a right. Sigh. I’m going to let this go now. You remain appalled. I will remain compassionate. You remain comfortable in you “rightness”. Good job you.

  7. 25 managers fired at Brampton city hall in bid to ‘innovate’

    The City of Brampton’s new top staffer has fired 25 managers at city hall in a bid to create efficiency and cut down on decision making time. CAO Harry Schlange said Wednesday the organizational structure of city hall was previously very “autocratic” and “vertical.” Of the 25 officials let go Tuesday morning, only five will be replaced. Twenty positions have been eliminated.

    Schlange said the terminations will result in $2 million saved annually beginning in 2017. But the city will need to pay out around $4 million in one-time severance this year. He wouldn’t say which departments the managers worked in, but Schlange said the changes are meant to allow for more direct reporting to his office by reducing the amount of management layers.

    “There were many levels in the organization which didn’t allow our employees – some of the best employees that I’ve worked with – at the City of Brampton to innovate,” he added. Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey said city council was supportive of the changes proposed by Schlange – who she said was hired as an “agent of change” – and many of the recommendations were fuelled by conversations with stakeholders.

    “Businesses told us that we were not streamlined in the sense that it took time to get decisions made, whether it was permitting or planning applications,” she said.

    Jeffrey said she was elected in 2014 to bring change to city hall. “Certainly when I got here we made lots of changes,” Jeffrey said, adding the city adopted several recommendations proposed by an external auditor partially in response to several expense claims.

    “I think we’re a work in progress,” she said.

  8. It’s disappointing that staff weren’t able to read the full, unvarnished results of the Staff Engagement Survey. I feel as though we were led to believe we would have access to that report. What’s the big secret?

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