Questions for city human resources director Mark Amorosi

In a recent column in the Mercury, Corporate and Human Resources Executive Director, Mark Amorosi, wrote justifying spending $150,000 for attendance management software. The purpose was to reduce the increasing number of sick days being taken by city employees.

It is apparent that this puff piece was aimed at convincing citizens that positive results would be achieved using the software.

Trouble is his column presented a long-winded explanation about how well the city treats its employees instead of answering specifics.

In my managerial days, performance was measured every day. Sure people get sick or hurt, but it’s up to the individual’s manager to keep records and reasons on each employee for which he is responsible.

Employees goof off for a variety of reasons. It’s up to the manager to keep track and take the necessary steps to reduce frivolous absence. That’s his or her job.

In the public interest, guelphspeaks asks the following questions about employee absenteeism:

* Is the $150,000 attendance software markedly going to improve employee attendance?

* What was the cost to taxpayers for employee absenteeism in 2011?

* What were the overtime costs incurred due to absent employees in 2011?

* Is there a record kept by all department heads to determine the cause of employee absence and the frequency?

* If such a record is kept on every employee, what are the triggers that alert management to excessive absenteeism?

* How much does it cost to counsel employees when their attendance record becomes excessive?

* What is the source of “professional benchmarks” that established less than nine days per employee?

* Are city standards of safety in the workplace not designed to avert accidents?

* What is the rate of outside workers’ absenteeism compared to inside workers?

* Are some managers too close to their staff to effectively control absenteeism and its effect on performance?

* Are sick leave benefits so generous as to affect the rate of absenteeism?

* When an employee books off sick is it a requirement to supply a doctor’s note certifying the illness or injury?

* Does the city’s People Practices Strategy serve the community first, then the employees and then the organization, in that order?

Is there a culture of entitlement shared by city staffers?  It’s time for senior managers to review the situation and solve the problem in a more conventional manner.

That’s just not complicated.

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