Public Administration

 

9 pages APA . Term Paper / research paper. I will provide additional uploads for further details in word documents which are easy to read

General Instructions: Using the case study organization you have selected in Assignment #1, please address the following:
1. Organizational Characteristics:
o Organization Name: The North Los Angeles County Regional Center
o Service Field: Social Service – Entitlement Program
o Year Incorporated: 1974
o Budget Size: $428,742,253
o Board Size: 23 members
o Staff Size: 440
Note for the questions below, cite the assigned readings, lectures and other resources as appropriate.
2. Describe what, in general, motivates employees working for nonprofit organizations.
“Having an impact”, and the organization’s mission were described in the class lecture as the most popular reasons of motivation in the non-profit sector. Personal achievement, fair relationship between effort and reward, opportunities to develop skills and expand experience were also mentioned in the class lecture as motivators as well, along with the opportunity to develop skills and expand experience. Some in the class felt it would be rewarding to work for a non-profit to help the human condition. It was also discussed in lecture by Professor Johnson that, in general, the lowest wages in a starting position at most non-profits are above minimum wage, which could also be a motivator for lower wage workers to apply to a non-profit rather than a private, for-profit agency. Another motivator to continue working in a nonprofit (posed as a question on the lecture PowerPoint and polled during the class) would be having the right amount of work. I say motivation for continuing working due to an employee may have little way of knowing the work amount when first applying for a job. Power and money were agreed to be to be low on the list of motivating factors for working for a non-profit organization.
3. Describe, what would motivate a person at this nonprofit organization.
The main motivators as mentioned above would be the same motivators for this agency. However, since this organization is a publicly funded nonprofit agency, in addition to the motivator listed above, benefits discussed during lecture such as health and life insurance would be motivators as well as the job stability created by reliable public funding. Additionally, another motivator would be the opportunity to work with, and better the lives of the developmentally disabled. This could be especially true if one has a person with developmental disabilities in their life. Working with this agency would be extremely rewarding because not only are you able to make an impact in the overall human condition, but you are able to make a specific and focused difference in a community that many times is under represented, ignored, and often times are not able to advocate for themselves.
4. What is the role of supervision in this nonprofit organization? In the beginning of employment it can be used for acclimating employees (Gamlem and Mitchell, 2017, pg. 205.), and assessing employee development needs (and strengths) (Gamlem and Mitchell, 2017, pg.185 .). It could also be thought of as a type of “mentoring” as discussed in the book (Gamlem and Mitchell, 2017, pg. 194.), or even an opportunity for bolstering ongoing on-the job training (Gamlem and Mitchell, 2017, pg. 195.). It is used to ensure that employees “are producing their best: their best work, their best products or services” (Gamlem and Mitchell, 2017, pg. 205.) and I would add to that, ensuring that employees are displaying their most professional behavior. In addition to the above, supervision in the organization I am doing the assessment on is to monitor the progress of current work completion. To ensure that any potential obstacles to meeting performance deadlines are identified and addressed. It is a time where difficult cases may be discussed and solutions hopefully determined. Supervision is also used as a time when new policies approved by the organization are reviewed, explained, and signed-off on or as a time to share any other information pertinent to the completion of work or just in regard to the agency as a whole to the employees. It is a time when time-off is discussed and requested, and other work-related concerns of the employee may be discussed such as possible reporting of harassment, just as an example. It also a time when work related concerns of the supervisor may be bought up and discussed such as falling behind on work, not responding to clients’ calls, or possible inappropriate interaction with others. Of course, many of the topics mentioned above do not necessarily have to wait until scheduled supervision time, however, these are the topics which would be discussed at my agency during supervision. The items mentioned may not represent all of the items covered but do represent the general supervision discussion at my agency.
5. Are there strategies that could be employed that would make supervision more effective for the organization? I’m convinced that the suggestions in (Gamlem and Mitchell, 2017, pg. 212.) would be a good start. Instead of immediately pulling out the project book and scrolling down and asking how far the employee is on an assignment, the supervisor should allow a bit more time for the supervision meeting to start off with creating a positive atmosphere by inquiring about the concerns of the employee. Take the time to listen and close the door so no other supervisor walks in and changes the topic. They should truly engage in dialogue with regard to what the employee is stating as a concern rather than trying to pull the conversation back into what the supervisor wanted to talk about at the beginning of supervision. This would be a refreshing change. Employees for the most part are perceptive and know when they are really being listened to rather than just strung along. They will be able to tell by the supervisor’s responses and back and forth dialogue, which would occur based on the employee’s concerns, whether they are truly listening, or just not speaking. When allowing more time during supervisions for a deeper discussion, it may not take the whole extended supervision time and that would be great, but if more time is needed for an employee to discuss concerns it isn’t really motivational or supportive toward employees when the supervisor is looking at the clock because the time is determining when the conversation is done rather than coming to a resolution or the employee being able to complete their thought. On the other hand, I do realize that every supervision cannot be a drawn-out session but I think a small increase in the time for more dialogue would be beneficial for the employee, and perhaps enlightening for the supervisor as well.
6. What is the process for conducting performance evaluation (e.g., frequency, levels of involvement, steps in the process)? The process for this assignment’s agency is that in the first six months the employee is on probationary status and basically “at-will”. They can be terminated for any reason without explanation. At the six-month period they have their performance evaluation and complete their probationary period if they are successful. In another six months they receive their first-year evaluation. Every year after that they receive an annual performance evaluation on their hire date. When a person promotes internally or moves to a different department, there is a three-month probationary period and performance evaluation. If at that time of the three-month evaluation the employee does not make satisfactory progress and fails to pass their probationary period they will be demoted back to their previous position or to a comparable one in the agency due to the fact that their position may have already been filled by someone else. An example would be, a case manager who applies for a promotion would go back to case management, but perhaps in a different unit if their previous unit is fully staffed. If they do pass their probationary period and receive an acceptable performance evaluation, nine months later they will receive their yearly performance evaluation for their new position. After that first year, as with the new hire, they will receive annual performance evaluations on their hire date every year after.
The levels of involvement in the performance evaluation process are that the immediate supervisor completes and signs the performance evaluation based on their knowledge and interaction with the employee as they are the one’s who have the best and most frequent firsthand knowledge of their conduct and work productivity. It is presented to the employee during supervision and then signed by the employee. The director of the department reviews and signs the performance evaluation and then it is sent to the Deputy Director to sign. After those signatures are obtained, it is then sent up to the Human Resources Director. Only after all five have signed it is it truly completed. A copy is made of the performance evaluation and given to the employee and the original is placed in the employee’s file.
The steps in the process were basically described above. There really is no reminder when the evaluation is coming, but an employee can easily remember their anniversary of hire date. The only time it is really mentioned is when there may be a discussion about the employee’s future goals in the agency, or if there are disciplinary issues and employees may be reminded that their evaluation will be coming up soon. Other than that, it is based on the overall performance for the year and the steps once again would be for the performance review to be completed and signed by the supervisor at the appropriate date. It is then presented to and signed by the employee, then the department director, then the Deputy Director, and finally the Human Resources Director and filed in the employee’s records with a copy given to the employee.
What changes, if any, would you recommend to the process? A change I would make to the process comes from the fact that in between performance evaluations if an action is negatively out of the ordinary or severe enough, there may be a documented write up of the negative event which will go into the employee’s record. However, there should be an equal focus on stellar work as well. Commendations or intermittent meritorious remarks which are added to the employee’s permanent file could be put into practice. The issue is the superstar activities may come and go but are never really be acknowledged and at the time of the performance review the worker may meet all the standards, but that review doesn’t fully account for all the times the worker may have gone above and beyond, but if there were negative instances, each one would be documented and filed. I suppose in a sense this may not be directly related to the annual performance review, but would be part of the ongoing performance review process. It may also encourage people to work harder, because they know that their actions would receive the attention deserved, and for some that is the reward, a bit of appreciation for their extra effort. So, more documentation in the employee’s file of stellar performance would be my suggestion in addition the standard annual performance review described previously.
7. What are the sections in the organization’s current performance evaluation tool? The sections in the assignment organization’s current performance tool are graded/ rated either as “improvement needed”, or as “meets standards” and are as follows:
1. Quality of work
a. Accurate
b. Neat
c. Well-organized
d. Thorough
2. Knowledge & Skill
a. Expertise in job duties
b. Knowledge of policies, procedures, other fundamental subject matter
c. Knowledge of equipment and Technical expressions
3. Work Habits
a. Organization of work
b. Punctuality and attendance
c. Care of equipment
d. Safety
4. Relations with People
a. With consumers and families
b. With the public
c. With other organizations
d. With other employees
5. Initiative and Judgement
a. Initiates own work activities, makes improvements
b. Applies consistently good judgement in analyzing work situations and materials, takes appropriate actions based on sound conclusions
6. Learning Ability
a. Able to generalize from experience and apply to work situations
b. Learns procedures, rules & regulations, laws timely and thoroughly
7. Meeting Work Commitments
a. Completes work assignments
b. Meets work deadlines
c. Follows established policies, procedures
d. Conforms to job requirements, accepts directions for work improvement
e. Accepts supervision
f. Adapts to job needs

There is a portion of the evaluation where the description of duties for the position is explained and underneath that there is a narrative portion completed by the immediate supervisor as well. One of the narrative sections is titled “Job Achievements & Problems”. In this section, the supervisor may choose to elaborate on anything not covered to their satisfaction by the “improvement needed” or meets standards” portions. Following that section there are a “Job Goals” section and a “Recommendations” section each of which is in a narrative format.
Information for performance evaluation in question # 7 taken from the “North Los Angeles County Regional Center Employee Performance Appraisal”
What changes, if any, would you recommend to the tool? Referring back to my preference of having some way to memorialize above and beyond behavior. Instead of a mere verbal “nice work” I would adopt and recommend the Johnson Group’s “Sample-CNM Quarterly Performance Evaluation Form (JG)” ranking system. The Johnson Group’s Evaluation Form, which in addition to having grading values for “Meets Standards (MS)” (which any employee just by doing the minimum, but enough to get by could earn) and “Needs Development (ND)” which highlights deficiencies, also includes “Exceeds Standards (ES)”. The “Exceeds Standards (ES)” is a really important distinction which should be memorialized in an employee’s work file. This is a more authentic rating system as it highlights the extraordinarily great performer, rather than just the extraordinarily poor performer. This additional rating criteria could serve to motivate employees to work harder. I realize people have different work ethics and some gain a sense of self-satisfaction from doing a great job. But if one constantly does a great job, yet are grouped together with just average achievers that extra drive may start to wane. The reality is why would someone overwork themselves for no reward? As a manager in an organization I would want to generate as much motivation for great work as possible. Additionally, this type of rating system on the performance evaluation could assist the employee in upward mobility. It could be said that their immediate supervisor could just inform others of their merits, however, what if this employee’s previous supervisor has left and a new supervisor has been there for just a few months? That personal knowledge of the prior supervisor may do little to assist them because they are gone, whereas, an employee record full of meritorious intermittent performance notations or an evaluation with a record of “Exceeds Standards” would be extremely important with regard to promotional opportunity.
References, Citations, and Acknowledgements -The following resources were utilized in this assignment:
Mitchell, B., & Gamlem, C. (2017). Big Book of HR, Revised and Updated Edition. Career Press, Incorporated