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As is true for most secondary functions, Human Resources and
associated sub-functions are relatively complex. Below, I include a few of the
numerous sub-functions to illustrate the types and range of activities included
in the Human Resources, secondary function.


·
Develop
and oversee recruitment and retention for volunteers and paid staff, including ongoing processes identifying
appropriately qualified people and carefully screening those who are interested
in being a part of the SSI internal eco system. Those who are selected are
adequately prepared and oriented. The goal for each person is for him
to be a successful staff member who is sufficiently satisfied with his SSI
experience to remain with the agency.


·
Develop
and oversee personnel procedures and related activities enabling each staff
member to understand what is expected of him and what he can expect of
SSI, including, among many other elements, position descriptions, availability
and use of benefits, standards of ethical behavior, settling of disputes and
disagreements, etc. These procedures
also assure SSI, its employment practices, and its work environment are in
compliance with all applicable laws and rules related to employment, working
conditions, benefits, and so on.


·
Develop
and oversee appreciation activities and corrective action processes. These
activities are the proverbial two sides of the coin. For agencies committed to
excellence, the importance of recognizing examples of excellence is obvious. We
cannot achieve excellence unless we know it when we see it. It follows from
this reality we let people know when we see it and let them know we appreciate
them and their efforts when they achieve excellence. Unfortunately, human
services agency Managers often do not identify and call attention to the very
things they say they value. Appreciation activities help guard against the
tendency to take the exceptional for granted. Corrective action is the other
side of the coin. It is SSI’s strategy for identifying and correcting any
behavior or actions – including inaction –not consistent with SSI standards and
expectations or contrary to SSI policies and procedures. Together, appreciation
and corrective actions serve to maintain the functioning of the people within
the SSI eco system within the expected limits and continuously improving in the
direction of system excellence.


·
Develop
and oversee SSI training activities, including orientation of paid and
volunteer staff and numerous specialized training areas such as SSI mission and
philosophy, agency policies and procedures, working with stakeholders, required
training areas such as car seat safety and first aid, job skill development,
and optional in-service training opportunities for all staff. As a sub-function
within SSI, training blends into the background of the eco system so it is
simply an ongoing aspect of the environment and does not call particular
attention to itself. At the same time, it is carefully managed to assure all
staff receive required training, the offered training serves to increase the
effectiveness of agency functions and sub-functions, and training opportunities
are distributed and used equitably. When managed well, training activities are
among the best and fastest ways to improve internal eco system functioning.