Personnel Administration

Personnel Administration This lesson complies with the following course outcomes: CO 3: To analyze the policy and decision making process in public administration CO 5 : To discuss the importance of ethics in public administration Synopsis While the country’s public administration is considered an important machinery of the government, the people; men and women who devote their time more than eight hours a day are the key to successful public service. The public administrators of any country share the same goal to deliver services as best as possible to the citizen.
Unlike their counterpart in the private sector, employees of the public sector made up a huge team of officers and staff paid through public fund to deliver services. In Malaysia alone, the public service is an employer to more than 1 million people around the country. Thus, the administration of these personnel surely isn’t a joking business. As time goes by and with the introduction of sophisticated management systems and technologies, the personnel of the public service need to be trained and re-trained continuously to keep up. 89
Personnel Administration in the Public Sector While the country’s public administration is considered an important machinery of the government, the people; men and women who devote their time more than eight hours a day are the key to successful public service. The public administrators of any country share the same goal to deliver services as best as possible to the citizen. Unlike their counterpart in the private sector, employees of the public sector made up a huge team of officers and staff paid through public fund to deliver services. In Malaysia alone, the ublic service is an employer to more than 1 million people around the country. Thus, the administration of these personnel surely isn’t a joking business. As time goes by and with the introduction of sophisticated management systems and technologies, the personnel of the public service need to be trained and re-trained continuously to keep up. So, who are these massive staff of the public service? Of course, they must be people with good calibre and worthy to be appointed into the service. One of the most important characteristics of modern public personnel dministration is the merit system or a system of appointment and promotion based on recognized ability and capability such as tertiary education, skills and experience. Historically, Prussia, one of the constituent states of what was to become modern Germany, was the first modern nation to institute a merit system. It was this German civil service that inspired Max Weber’s famous “ideal-type” bureaucratic model. In 1789, this system was The mertit system adopted by France, British-India in 1830s and in Britain in 1850s. 1 pposses any criteria of recruitment and promotion based on political preferences, nepotism and discrimination, also known as the “spoils system”. 1 Jay Shafritz, Albert Hyde and David Rosenbloom (1986). Personnel Management in Government: Politics and Process, New York: Marcel Dekker. 90 With the huge number of staff working for the public service, government ought to give attention to their welfare and career advancement. You see, working with the public service is actually a career because government provide opportunity for each staff to improve himself/herself throughout heir years of service. They can be trained, promoted, and transferred for job enrichment. All these are done through what we called public personnel administration. Public personnel administration covers “all activities that forecast on the number and type of employees which an organization will need and then find, and develop them with necessary skills” (Robert D. Gatewood). It is “concerning both the management of and the policy making for people, and positions in the government bureaucracy” (Nicholas Henry). Important functions of Personnel Administration

Some of the most important functions of personnel administration include the followings: • • • • • • • • • Formulation of rules and regulations for an appointment which include terms and conditions of employment Establishment of suitable and reasonable remuneration system or the reward system Recruitment Promotion to encourage the most suitable and qualified people to apply and fill in the job Provision of attractive and long term career development Provision of sufficient and suitable training and development Application of fair and just disciplinary system Provision of fair and equitable welfare system Application of attractive pension system upon retirement 91
As a career employment, each job in the public sector is well thought of before initializing recruitment. The government is very careful in identifying the needs of each job. For example, a government’s clerk should be able to conduct functions that are required from him/her at whichever department or agency. That is why the basic requirements needed for a person to fill in the post of a government clerk would be the same across the country. Thus, the government would need to enlist those needed requirements and advertise them to encourage qualified persons to apply and finally fill in the post. The process can be applied to all jobs within the public sector. The government should also be an ‘equal opportunity employer’.
What it means is that public sector jobs should not only open to specific races, gender or religious background. The government must be an employer to all. However, there are some posts in the government that would require special criteria and skills. Take for example, anyone who would like to join the armed forces, police force or any other regimented bodies should pass the medical tests. This requirement cannot be considered as discriminating against those who are medically unfit. It is just that some occupations would require individual who possesses certain skills and capabilities. When one is hired into the service, the job should prepare him/her for further advancement.
This is done through training, development, transfer, attachment and promotion. Employees undergo annual appraisal process in which the department would be able to tell the persons about their performances and readiness to shoulder more important responsibilities. These processes are well explained in Max Weber ideal-type bureaucracy as you have learned in the previous lessons. Among them is the guaranteed reward or compensation paid to the employees in terms of monthly salary. Now lets us look at the different processes of personnel administration. 92 Human Resource Planning In the previous section, I have briefly explained some of the processes involved in human resource planning.
Planning is a very important aspect of personnel administration. If you failed in your personnel planning, then the productivity of the organization will be at stake. According to Edgar Schein, “… if you wrongly hired a person to any posts, then you would need to spend a lot of money to train and re-train the person to put him/her at par with requirements of the job”. Well, that is considered if he/she has the right attitude. It the public sector, there are numerous rules and procedures to follow that once a person is hired, it is difficult to fire under normal circumstances. Thus, taking in the right the person for a particular job is very, very critical.
It all begins proper planning for the job by the personnel manager or administrator. Firstly, the manager should perform an in depth study about what the job will perform and ultimately a ‘list of duties or functions’ will be made ready for the job. Some call it the ‘job specifications’. Second, the manager needs to identify the right qualifications, skills and experiences of the potential candidate. Third, the manager also needs to ascertain the remuneration and other allowances for the candidate. Forth, the manager should also concern in identifying various training programs for the candidate’s later professional development. Criteria and Methods of Recruitment
When a public manager has prepared the request for a new post or to fill in a vacant post, approval needs to be gained from the higher authorities. This may refer to a higher office such as from a district office to the state office, from state office to the main office say in Putrajaya or from the main office to the Central Agency, Public Service Department (JPA). The request from the original manager will be studied and upon approval from the central agency, the request will be submitted to the Public Service Commission (SPA) for recruitment exercise. Some agencies are given the empowerment to hire when JPA has granted the ‘warrant to hire’. However, most hiring by government departments except for part time and contractual jobs are conducted by the SPA. 93
Some of the criteria that will be considered for hiring purposes would include the followings: • • • • • • • • Academic qualification Age Skill (technical staff) Working experiences Health Working ability Attitude (cooperation, passion and etc) Interest in work The recruiting bodies (either SPA or the relevant agencies) would first need to advertise vacancies in a wide communication medium. This would include newspapers, television and radio channels, websites, letters to associations etc. It is very important that the government use all these mediums to reach almost everyone that are qualified to fulfill its role as an equal-opportunity-employer. Candidates will then be short-listed and call for interviews. The persons who are responsible to conduct interviews should be well prepared and equipped with instruments or questions that are relevant.
Since interview sessions would certainly make candidate exposed some of their own personal information, the interviewers should exercise confidentiality and professionalism. At the end of the process, when a candidate is selected, he/she would receive a letter of appointment together with the job specifications, remunerations and terms of the appointment. Training and Development New staff is at their best when they first joined the organization. However, as time goes by, he/she would need training and development to continue to be relevant to the organization. New methods of doing a job, technology and skills change almost everyday. Thus, every employee needs to be trained and re-trained.
The public is very generous in proving fund for employees’ training and development. So, it is not surprising that each one of then should fulfill at least 36 hours of training time in a year. Some organizations provide more than 36 hours! 94 Training and development encompasses three main activities: training, education, and development. Training refers to activities that are focused upon the enriching the job a particular staff is currently holding. They are meant to help him/her to perform well in the job. They can be conducted on the job or can also be held outside the organization. Training is makes the person more competent in the things he/she does. 2 Training is an event.
Training has a beginning and end. Participants are exposed to knowledge and skills associated with new concepts during the event. Many organizations think, all we have to do is conduct some training and everyone will embrace the new: strategy, system, method, process, procedure, tactic or tool. They will go back to work the next day, use the new way and execute flawlessly within a short period of time. 3 Training usually refers to some kind of organized (and finite it time) event — a seminar, workshop that has a specific beginning data and end date. It’s often a group activity, but the word training is also used to refer to specific instruction done one on one. Education activities focus on the jobs that an individual may potentially hold in the future. These activities are planned to move up an individual staff to a higher position and responsibility. 5 Finally, development focuses on activities that the organization plan to continuously improve an employee not only his/her skills but also attitude, esprit d’ coup, productivity and quality. Development is a process. IT is a much bigger, inclusive “thing”. For example, if a manager pairs up a relatively new employee with a more experienced employee to help the new employee learns about the job, that’s really employee development. If a manager coaches and employee in an on-gong way, that’s employee development.
Or, employees may rotate job responsibilities to learn about the jobs of their colleagues and gain experience so they might eventually have more promotion opportunities. That’s employee development. Thomas N. Garavan, Pat Costine, and Noreen Heraty (1995). “Training and Development: Concepts, Attitudes, and Issues”. Training and Development in Ireland. Cengage Learning EMEA. pp. 1. 3 4 2 http://ezinearticles. com/? Whats-The-Difference-Between-Training-and-Developmen t? &id=1038575 http://performance-appraisals. org/faq/trainingdevelopment. htm Derek Torrington, Laura Hall, and Stephen Taylor (2004). Human Resource Management. Pearson Education. pp. 363 5 95 Different Kinds of Training and Development 1. On-the-job Training and Lectures
The two most frequently used kinds of training are on-the-job training and lectures, although little research exists as to the effectiveness of either. It is usually impossible to teach someone everything she needs to know at a location away from the workplace. Thus on-the-job training often supplements other kinds of training, e. g. , classroom or off-site training; but on-the-job training is frequently the only form of training. It is usually informal, which means, unfortunately, that the trainer does not concentrate on the training as much as she should, and the trainer may not have a well-articulated picture of what the novice needs to learn.
On-the-job training is not successful when used to avoid developing a training program, though it can be an effective part of a well-coordinated training program. Lectures are used because of their low cost and their capacity to reach many people. Lectures, which use one-way communication as opposed to interactive learning techniques, are much criticized as a training device. 2. Programmed Instruction (PI) These devices systematically present information to the learner and elicit a response; they use reinforcement principles to promote appropriate responses. When PI was originally developed in the 1950s, it was thought to be useful only for basic subjects.
Today the method is used for skills as diverse as air traffic control, blueprint reading, and the analysis of tax returns. 3. Computer-Assisted Instruction (CAI) With CAI, students can learn at their own pace, as with PI. Because the student interacts with the computer, it is believed by many to be a more dynamic learning device. Educational alternatives can be quickly selected to suit the student’s capabilities, and performance can be monitored continuously. As instruction proceeds, data are gathered for monitoring and improving performance. 96 4. Audiovisual Techniques Both television and film extend the range of skills that can be taught and the way information may be presented. Many systems have electronic blackboards and slide projection equipment.
The use of techniques that combine audiovisual systems such as closed circuit television and telephones has spawned a new term for this type of training, teletraining. The feature on ” Sesame Street ” illustrates the design and evaluation of one of television’s favorite children’s program as a training device. 5. Simulations Training simulations replicate the essential characteristics of the real world that are necessary to produce both learning and the transfer of new knowledge and skills to application settings. Both machine and other forms of simulators exist. Machine simulators often have substantial degrees of. physical fidelity; that is, they represent the real world’s operational equipment.
The main purpose of simulation, however, is to produce psychological fidelity, that is, to reproduce in the training those processes that will be required on the job. We simulate for a number of reasons, including to control the training environment, for safety, to introduce feedback and other learning principles, and to reduce cost. 6. Business games They are the direct progeny of war games that have been used to train officers in combat techniques for hundreds of years. Almost all early business games were designed to teach basic business skills, but more recent games also include interpersonal skills. Monopoly might be considered the quintessential business game for young capitalists.
It is probably the first place youngsters learned the words mortgage, taxes, and go to jail. Source : http://ezinearticles. com/? Six-Types-of-Training-and-Development-Techniques&id=1944536 97 Roles of Public Service Commission (PSC) and Public Service Department (PSD) There are constellation of information from the SPA and JPA websites about their functions, history and other things that you can learn from. Please visit these two websites and perhaps you want to ask them something related to this course. Good Luck! Public Service Commission (PSC) Website. Public Service Department (PSD) Website. 98 Lesson 7 Assignments Please check with your Seminar Facilitator for a list of assignments for this lesson. 99 100
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