The Human Resources Department is a proactive strategic business partner committed to providing quality service in all Human Resource operations with integrity, responsiveness, and sensitivity to all 600+ employees of the City of Danbury. In keeping in line with the City’s mission and visions, the Department facilitates and manages change and the pursuit of excellence in all employee-oriented programs, while influencing positive management-workforce relationships. The Human Resources Department establishes, administers, and effectively communicates sound policies, rules and practices that treat employees with dignity and equality while maintaining organizational compliance with employment and labor laws, City directives, and labor agreements. The Department is also responsible for the negotiations and administration of all collective bargaining agreements.
Human Resources is responsible for promoting and recruiting the best qualified people while recognizing and encouraging the value of diversity in the workplace. The Department successfully enforces the principles of the Civil Service System. Human Resources and Civil Service are committed to and responsible for maintaining and upholding a fair and equitable testing process that is based solely on merit. Through our collective knowledge and experience, we strive for efficiency and consistency in the application of Civil Service Commission rules and policies.
In 2015, the Department completed and implemented the SMARTGOV (Strategic Municipal Assessment of Resources and Transformation of Government) project. The purpose of this extensive initiative is to establish Danbury as the “City of the Future”. This City of the Future’s vision consists of six themes: Governance, Transformation of Education, Innovative Service Delivery, Transparency, Sustainability, and Re-Imagined Quality of Life. As evidenced by the Department’s accomplishments this year, the Human Resources Department continues to achieve its goals as established through this vision.
Under the visions of Governance and Innovative Services, the Department has maintained its commitment to acting equitably and consistently in our pursuit of uncompromising quality services and support during a time of change. This includes supporting Leadership and employees while seizing opportunities to employ methods which enhance service, communication, and productivity while reducing spending and controlling cost. Additionally, the Department continues to serve as a source of information and expertise in all areas of Human Resource Management in order to maintain effective, supportive and legal working environments throughout the City.
Sustainability and Communication involve the establishment of a trained and skilled workforce. The Department has made several strides within this initiative. These include:
- Revisions and updates to the new hire orientation process by creating and implementing a comprehensive web-based New Hire Orientation video to ensure that new employees are well informed about our policies and procedures.
- The development of a policy refresher training video for all current employees to enhance communication and knowledge throughout the City.
- The Implementation of an online training program for personal development and management training.
- Researching and offering additional cost-effective training programs to all employees to enhance skills in many different areas.
As a result of these efforts, the City is able to compete for talent, recruit, and retain engaged and high-performing employees. For example, the Department successfully recruited, tested and hired the best-fit candidates. Our statistics for the year are as follows:
- A total number of 114 positions were filled (18 open/competitive and promotional positions and 96 seasonal and part-time positions).
- 395 Civil Service applications, 148 Non-Civil Service, Seasonal, and Part Time position applications were processed for a total of 543 total processed applications.
Furthermore, the Department has partnered with the Danbury Police Department to embark on a comprehensive recruitment effort designed to attract diverse and talented Entry Police Officer applicants.
To establish increased Transparency, the Department has updated and distributed the City’s Benefits Handbook and has begun full review and revision of the Policy Handbook to ensure compliance with local and state laws and statutes as well as employment law.
Labor relations continues to be an integral part of the Department. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that the Department has successfully continued collaborative efforts with the bargaining units in proactively settling labor issues thereby avoiding grievances and/or arbitrations resulting in better relations as well as cost savings.
Goals & Objectives
For the next fiscal year, Human Resources will continue to implement programs and services designed to support the creation of the “City of the Future” and continue to evaluate and revise these initiatives as necessary to meet the mission and core values of the City.
Human Resources plans to configure and implement an on-line application and tracking system that will further increase the efficiency and accuracy of the recruitment process in a remarkably cost-effective manner. Using this new applicant management/HRIS system for recruitment will allow us to move to an efficient paperless environment. Additionally, Human Resources in partnership with the Danbury Police Department will continue its commitment to the Entry Level Police Officer recruitment initiative and testing process to establish a diverse and talented eligibility list.
Furthermore, the Department will initiate a best practices onboarding process for new employees. An on-boarding process is an entire program established to acclimate a new employee to his or her position, work environment, and culture within the first year of employment. Such a program significantly reduces turn-over and substantially increases an employee’s productivity and job satisfaction.
The Department will also continue to ensure a valued workforce in a safe and discrimination free environment by maintaining compliance with employment laws and bargaining unit contracts; providing management and employee training; and developing and updating policies and procedures. Training will continue in areas of effective leadership, anti-harassment and sensitivity training, and employment law and government regulations.
The Department will continue to provide value-added services in a cost effective manner by reviewing current processes and conducting performance improvement initiatives within the Department. We plan to uphold our commitment to the employees of the City of Danbury while striving to meet the goals of financial sustainability now and in the future.