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EXCHANGE EXCHANGE is is aa quarterly quarterly magazine magazine published published by by the the Local Local Government Government Management Management Association Association (LGMA) (LGMA) of of British British Columbia. Columbia. It’s It’s about about sharing sharing information, information, exchanging exchanging ideas ideas on on best best practices, practices, enhancing enhancing professional professional development development and and building building networks. networks. Reach Reach us us at at www.lgma.ca. www.lgma.ca.

CASE OF INTEREST: SPYWARE

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MANAGING EMPLOYEES

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WORKPLACE RIGHTS

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WINTER 2016

Leading through Change

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Update In this Issue President’s Report Executive Director’s Report Case of Interest Members Page Our Town

Professional Development 2 3 4 5 20 21

Human Resources Toolkit Tips & Tactics: Challenging Employees: Do You Know Your Rights? Programs & Events

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5 The Use of Employee Monitoring Software

Exchange is the magazine for members of the Local Government Management Association of British Columbia. Exchange is distributed quarterly to over 900 members of the LGMA, as well as Mayors and Regional District Chairs.

This installment of Case of Interest discusses the results of the Information and Privacy Commissioner report on the installation of “spyware” on District-owned computers in Saanich.

Leading through Change Change is inevitable in local government. In our feature article, we look at the different ways people react to change, and what local governments can to do ensure change is embraced – rather than avoided – in their organizations.

Exchange is printed on Sappi Flo, an FSC® Certified 10% post-consumer recycled paper at Island Business Print Group.

LGMA Office: 7th Floor 620 View Street Victoria, BC V8W 1J6 Telephone: 250.383.7032 Fax: 250.383.4879 Email: office@lgma.ca Web: www.lgma.ca Contact the Editor: Email: editor@lgma.ca

Cover Illustration: Imagezoo/Getty Images

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14 Managing Employees: Back to Basics Every organization has challenging employees. Learn from the experts about how to deal with them in a proactive way, and the importance of doing so.

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21 A Closer Look at Williams Lake Our Town visits the City of Williams Lake in the Interior. Forged by the gold rush and the cowboy spirit, it’s a place where you can think big and play hard.


IN THIS ISSUE

hen we initially developed the 2015 editorial calendar, this edition of Exchange was going to focus on local government compensation. But we changed the plan because some anticipated studies are not yet complete. As part of adapting our plan, we decided to focus on change management instead. Funny how that worked out.

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Change is integral to everything we experience in life. In local government, you can practically set your calendar for change. Even if no other changes are planned, such as in technology, staffing, processes or policies (which would be odd), local governments can predict there will likely be strategy and policy changes every four years. Change is therefore anticipated and experienced regularly, but most organizations still say they struggle with implementing change effectively.

In Leading Through Change, we learn about how people react differently to changes, options for how to communicate with them effectively, and the tactics and processes that leaders can follow to help employees adjust to change. In the second article, Managing Employees: Back to Basics, experts share ideas on how to address the challenges that stem from dealing with difficult employees. As the article evolved, lyrics from Eric Clapton’s song kept running through my head: “Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself.” Essentially, managers may find that they can prevent difficult employee scenarios before they become serious issues. I learned this lesson myself back in the day when I was responsible for staff in my division. I was always so caught up with all my daily tasks, I neglected to do my job as a manager in terms of setting aside enough time every week to support my staff, listen to their concerns and acknowledge their contributions. I received some great coaching on how to be a better manager, and I believe my entire team’s performance improved when I was more responsive and tuned in to what they needed to be successful.

I find it odd that when we are young, change is exciting – something we look forward to and embrace enthusiastically. As we get older, many of us start to resist change or even become fearful. When change is something we dread, we also tend to look for ways to avoid it at all costs. This shift from embracing change to avoiding it is apparently linked to our natural instincts when we feel threatened. I guess we feel more easily At the same time, there are situations when a manager needs to address behaviours that are disruptive or undermining the success of the threatened as we get older. organization. That’s not a job anyone wants to tackle, but in this edition, It was interesting to learn more about the neuroscience behind how our experts share advice on the steps managers should follow that help brains react to change. As a communications professional, I know the guide them through dealing with difficult employees. As well, in Tips & importance of targeting messages to audience needs. By understanding Tactics, there is expert advice on what to consider in terms of employee the information needs of different individuals based on their reaction to and employer rights and responsibilities. the change, managers can improve how they motivate people and shift Overall, as this edition evolved, it became clear that leading a group of their attitude to be more accepting of the changes underway. people, whether through change or as part of ongoing management responsibilities, involves dedicating time and attention to individuals based on their needs, and communicating regularly and effectively. The organization’s success lies with the employees who work each day to deliver services, operate programs and provide administrative support. Creating a culture where managers understand the importance of Planning, Development & Environmental Law “managing” in the context of supporting staff who work for them is essential to improving performance and facilitating change. Lui Carvello, MCIP Therese Mickelson, ABC Lawyer & Planner Editor 203-1005 Broad Street Victoria, BC V8W 2A1 250-686-9918 lui@carvellolaw.ca

Practical advice, creative options and value for local government

Carvello Law Corporation

www.carvellolaw.ca

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PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Sometimes there are jobs that need someone who is an expert in the field to tackle them. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could call someone in on a temporary basis to help with some of those odd jobs?

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nother year is coming to a close, and again I say, where did this year go? I’m pretty sure it’s not my age that’s at fault but that the clocks are ticking faster, causing me to think this way!

I’m sure like me, you start off your day planning what jobs you are going to tackle to get off your desk, and all of a sudden you look up and the day has passed and you may have had time to address only a few of the things you had on your list. Many days I start off with the best intentions of getting tasks off my “to-do” list and get sidetracked by some new issue that needs my immediate attention. This kind of work environment can lead to the buildup of your workload to a point where it is unmanageable no matter how many extra hours you put in. As well, sometimes there are jobs that need someone who is an expert in the field to tackle them. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could call someone in on a temporary basis to help with some of those odd jobs? Did you know that the Local Government Management Association (LGMA) maintains a Temporary Assignments Database? The LGMA office is regularly contacted by local governments who are seeking the services of individuals who are willing to take on short-term employment assignments. In most cases, the individuals filling these temporary positions are those who have recently retired but are still interested in doing some work on a temporary or part-time basis. Our database contains names of individuals with experience in all aspects of local government, including senior administration, finance, planning, parks and recreation and engineering. Please contact our Executive Director, Nancy Taylor if you would like to get a copy of this database. Another great service the LGMA offers is the TeamWorks Program. This innovative program provides local governments access to additional, specialized resources, adding a new level of service to the long-standing tradition of information-sharing. A spin off of this initiative is the TeamWorks “Been There – Done That” telephone coaching.

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TeamWorks can provide expertise in a wide variety of local government fields including, strategic planning, information technology, land use planning, human resources, financial management, and engineering and public work to name a few. I encourage you to check out www.lgma.ca for more information. From the Board to you, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Kelly Ridley President


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

We’ve been thinking a lot about the “next generation” of senior managers in local government and the kinds of skills and supports they will need to be successful.

ome fairly startling statistics came out early in November that caught me off guard and maybe you as well. We now have more people who are older than 65 than people younger than 15. That means that pretty darn quickly, there will be more of us retired than those working, and that will present some serious challenges for governments and businesses alike. Statistics Canada is predicting that by the 2020s, the labour force is only going to grow by 0.5 per cent, just as the huge shift of the Baby Boomer generation to full-time retirement takes effect.

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For those of you who heard David Foot’s keynote presentation at our 2014 Annual Conference, you will know that he demonstrated what this demographic shift will mean in B.C., and particularly what it will do to the ability of local governments to attract skilled workers, improve productivity, manage economic growth and revenues, and deliver the kinds of services adapted to aging residents. We know we have a looming problem, but we haven’t yet identified the solutions, and most of us don’t have a good handle on succession planning in our organizations to be able to anticipate how these changes will affect our communities. We have been thinking a lot about the “next generation” of senior managers in local government and the kinds of skills and supports they will need to be successful. Boomer retirements in just the last few years are opening up lots of opportunities for promotion for many of our members, and we’ve certainly noticed a growing number of newcomers to LGMA’s professional development and training programs. So what have we been thinking about? New courses for one, like the The Successful CAO MATI. This program was the brainchild of two experienced CAOs – Rob Buchan and Linda Adams – and was realized through our valued partnership with Capilano University and the inputs of numerous well-respected and highly-skilled CAOs who helped develop and deliver the program. I was very privileged to see how the new program evolved, from the extremely thoughtful curriculum development phase to the design of a comprehensive course made up of modules that aimed to assist new or aspiring CAOs focus on their personal strengths, helped them to identify effective strategies for the unique challenges of the CAO role, and ensured they finished the program with a personal action plan for long-term success. Participant feedback from the first test run was extremely positive, so we know this is an area we need to continue to develop further.

New resources for our members is another hot topic. Local government managers work in a challenging environment, and we are exploring options for additional services that can support our members. While mentoring happens throughout the province in an informal way, maybe we need a more formalized mentoring program? Perhaps in addition to transition counselling, we should consider executive coaching or mediation-type services? To support succession planning, we can tap into programming supported by the BC Human Resources Management Association. We’re offering a pre-conference session on Succession Planning at the 2016 CAO Forum in Kelowna to help start the conversation. Are there strategies we can immediately start to work on to help fill work-force gaps? If 60 really is the new 50, what alternative work arrangements can be put in place to keep older workers engaged, interested and able to work longer? While there is no pension crisis in the public sector pensions in B.C., the retirement of the Boomer generation will put a strain on the government’s ability to raise revenues and maintain services. Local government organizations may need to think about how to remove the disincentives to people staying in the workforce longer. How can we attract more under-employed workers, such as immigrants, Aboriginal workers, and people with disabilities? Do we need to accelerate training in technical areas to be sure we have the trained workforce to deliver the services our communities expect? We have lots of questions, and we are looking forward to conversations with you in 2016 to help define the options to retool our training, revamp our member services, and support our members as they go about their work serving their communities. As we wrap up another successful year here at the LGMA, we are energized by the prospects for 2016 and look forward to working on these issues with you! Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and great success in 2016! Nancy Taylor Executive Director

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By Lynda Stokes Murdy & McAllister

CASE of INTEREST

The Use of Employee Monitoring Software

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hen implementing information technology security measures, local governments have a legal obligation to consider privacy issues, including the privacy of elected officials, officers and employees.

In early 2015, the District of Saanich Mayor and Council were the subject of national news headlines concerning computer-use monitoring software that had been installed on District-owned computers. The various allegations and denials about the socalled spyware, Spector 360, and related statements about privacy expectations at work caught the attention of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham. In January she announced that she was initiating an investigation on her own motion into whether the District’s use of computer monitoring software complied with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The resulting Investigation Report F15-01, Use of Employee Monitoring Software by the District of Saanich, was released on March 30, 2015. In June 2015, the Commissioner released a related Guidance Document entitled IT Security and Employee Privacy: Tips and Guidance. The District had retained an IT security consultant to perform an information security audit, which revealed shortcomings. Although the audit report did not specifically recommend installing employee-monitoring software, as part of its effort to address the shortcomings, the District acquired Spector 360 and installed it on the District-owned computers of “key District employees and officers.” Spector 360 was comprehensive in terms of monitoring and recording: it collected information about nearly every aspect of computer use including images of personal internet use, banking, passwords, medical results, and the personal information of anyone who contacted the person whose computer was monitored. The software did not protect IT security against malware, restrict access to sensitive IT resources or alert staff of any suspicious activity. Its utility was limited to providing a detailed description of the computer use of those being monitored. The Commissioner concluded that the routine, continuous collection of personal information in keystroke logs and screenshots did not relate to the security of the District’s IT infrastructure, nor was it directly related to a program or activity of the District.

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The Commissioner acknowledged that some of the information collected could be useful to assist IT staff in determining, after the fact, whether and to what extent an employee had illegitimately accessed information. She was not persuaded, however, that it was necessary to collect screenshots, keystroke of logs, a log of program activity, a record of when the user logged in and out or recording of all email activity because by doing so, the District was collecting very large amounts of personal information and it was not necessary for the purpose of IT security. She noted that as a matter of policy, the District allowed incidental personal computer use. She also concluded that the District did not provide adequate notice to employees of the collection of their personal information to meet the requirements of section 27(2) of FIPPA. Perhaps ironically, the District could not monitor access to the information collected through the monitoring software and, therefore, the Commissioner was not able to make a finding with respect to the District’s use or disclosure of the personal information collected. The Commissioner recommended that the District disable and securely delete all personal information collected by the “spyware.” She also recommended that the District update its incidental personal computer use policy to provide employees with notice as required under section 27(2) of FIPPA. If the District collects personal information as a result of incidental personal computer use, then the District must provide notice of the purpose for collecting such personal information, the legal authority for collecting it and contact information of an officer or employee of the District who can answer questions about the collection. The Commissioner recommended that the District implement the capability to generate logs of administrator level access to all IT systems that collect, store, use or disclose personal information. Finally, she recommended that the District implement a comprehensive privacy management program to ensure compliance with FIPPA, including the appointment of a Privacy Officer, audit and registry of personal information in the custody or under the control of the District and staff training with respect to the requirements of FIPPA.


Leading through Change

By Therese Mickelson, ABC

Promoting Promoting Professional Professional Management Management && Leadership Excellence in Leadership Excellence in Local Local Government Government

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According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, the only thing that is constant is change.

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f Heraclitus was contemplating the impact of change as far back as 500 BC, it’s somewhat alarming to realize that people still haven’t mastered how to deal with change more than 2,500 years later.

Unfortunately, the demands and challenges associated with change continue to plague organizations today. Change can trigger negative reactions like stress, fear, resentment and even anger. Navigating through change can feel like an obstacle course, where barriers pop up unexpectedly, and change-related projects place extra demands on managers and supervisors who are tasked with guiding the process to completion. For local governments like Squamish, comprehensive change has been on the work plan for the last several years, and the managers leading the changes have been applying continuous learning from their experiences to improve change processes. “Every time there is a change in Council, there is the potential for change in policy or strategic direction,” says Linda Glenday, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Squamish. “There could be jobs affected, a complete change in how we manage projects, or new policies to adapt to.” Over the past few years, Squamish has been integrating changes across the organization that have included department restructuring, cultural shifts to be more service-oriented and expand community engagement, and process changes to provide cross-training for staff in areas like development and operations. In the midst of this myriad of changes, Glenday notes that they have learned some lessons around what works and what doesn’t when it comes to implementing significant change initiatives. One example was the resistance they experienced when introducing cross-training so that employees in different work areas could provide back-up and add more value to the overall operating group. “We didn’t anticipate the level of fear in response to some of the changes we were implementing – all we saw was that the changes made sense from a practical, technical process point of view,” says Glenday. “But we had long-term employees who had their specialty areas and felt cross-training threatened their job security. We didn’t tap into employees’ emotional buy-in to the change.” In response, they shifted communication to focus on more microlevel information about what the change would mean to employees, how it would affect their daily processes, and what was being done to ensure job security and provide growth opportunities. “We learned that we need to go one-on-one with people to gain insight into their specific concerns and what needs to be done to help them adapt to the change,” adds Glenday.

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“We found that it helped when employees became part of and led the change process. People don’t dislike change; they dislike being forced to change.” Linda Glenday

“We found that it helped when employees became part of and led the change process. People don’t dislike change; they dislike being forced to change.” Glenday also notes that follow-up is essential, including celebrating small wins along the way and not getting hung up on what hasn’t worked, but rather leverage it as a learning experience. Follow-up is easy to overlook in a busy environment, particularly when there is pressure to produce continuous improvement. “When employees operate in a vacuum, they don’t know how they are doing,” says Glenday. “If employees don’t get feedback from leadership about the service improvements, even if it’s simply a thank-you to acknowledge effort, employees will lose steam and motivation to keep improving.” Despite tackling multiple changes in a relatively short space of time, Squamish has seen some significant progress and has been recognized for recent successes. The District received the 2015 Esri Canada Award of Excellence for its GIS system improvements. The District has also won two awards from the Canadian Public Works Association – the Public Works Week award and the Manager of the Year award, which was presented to Bob Smith, Manager of Operations. As well, Squamish won the 2014 Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators Professional Development Award for its Customer Service Program to deliver outstanding service in their community. Squamish’s experiences with the benefits and challenges stemming from change are echoed across the province, and local government managers are looking for solutions to address common barriers like fear and resistance to change, as well as tactics that facilitate success. The good news is that experts in implementing change have advice on how to apply leadership skills to guide change effectively, as well as communication tactics that address the neurological impacts of how people react to change. Continued on page 8


Leading through Change Continued from page 7

Change in local government takes many forms. It may be postelection policy and strategy shifts. It may involve new technology and process improvements, or it may be organizational changes such as restructuring and management turnover. Organizations often struggle with implementing changes effectively, which can lead to criticism, resentment, failure to achieve target benefits, and frustration and cynicism when the words “change management” are raised. To complicate things further, the pace of change continues to place escalating pressure on the people involved, and the impact on affected employees can be overwhelming. “The world is accelerating at a pace that we’ve never experienced before in the history of humanity, and I would argue that organizations have not figured out how to step up to the increased pace of changes in all areas,” says Chris Edgelow, President of Sundance Consulting Inc., which specializes in helping clients build their internal capacity to change throughout the organization. “For successful change, what organizations really need is a leadership approach. Old change management approaches don’t work anymore because most of those approaches arguably, on a good day, will get you 40 per cent success and that’s not good enough.” Individuals who are strong leaders through change have common attributes.

They have the ability to tell the truth and simplify answers in a way that everyone can understand. They recognize the importance of engagement to ensure everyone is on the same page, and they are able to think on a systems level to consider everyone involved or connected to the organization, such as Council, employees, customers, contractors and other local governments that may be affected. Chris Edgelow

“Systems thinking is a huge part of leading change, as you must be able to think of how everyone is impacted or involved in the change so that you can communicate the context of the change from their perspective,” says Edgelow. Edgelow breaks down the change leadership core competencies into four key areas: 1. Strategy: developing an engaging strategic message that is simple to understand throughout the organization. 2. Change: aligning and implementing all of the changes needed across the organization. 3. Transition: helping people deal with the internal reorientation change always brings. 4. Communication: communicating in a way that fully engages everyone.

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“It’s essential that you find ways to fully engage the executive team, and most importantly the middle managers and supervisors, with the fundamental problems facing the organization, including why change is essential,” says Edgelow. “You start with a strategic foundation, you ensure everyone understands why the project is taking place right now, and you mobilize leadership on the ground, getting them to own the change to help with the transition.” While these tactics seem straightforward, most managers who are involved in change initiatives do not have the training, capacity or time to focus on each area. Edgelow attributes this to the way most managers and supervisors spend their time each day. Managers and supervisors spend 80 to 90 per cent or more of their time doing their work and managing staff, leaving only a maximum of 20 per cent of their time to implement change or improve the way they lead through change. The solution is obvious but still challenging: managers need to be able spend more time focusing on change to be effective in leading through change. This may mean dedicating more positions to leading change or realigning priorities and responsibilities to allow managers to focus on change. Contractors can help with some of the specialized expertise or extra legwork involved, but managers themselves need to own the responsibility for the project. “We are massively underestimating what it takes to bring the organization up to capacity for leading change,” says Edgelow. “Managers recognize that they are applying outmoded, out-of-date approaches to change, but it takes more than a project plan to solve the problem.” Edgelow recommends that organizations start to build change leadership into their culture. This includes working with Human Resources staff or consultants to increase training and development in change leadership and reinforcing these skills through performance management. There are also opportunities to incorporate change leadership competencies into job descriptions and provide coaching to build this expertise with managers and supervisors. “It’s important to show people how they bring value in a changing system, give them training to develop skills such as facilitation and dealing with conflict, and ensure they have the resources such as tools and training opportunities to help them succeed,” says Edgelow. “Building leadership capacity takes time, but every organization can get started now by thinking in terms of change leadership rather than change management.” While leadership is the guiding principle for effective change, communication is essential for influencing everyone involved in the change. The trick is that not all messages will resonate with all the individuals involved. “Science is discovering that people have certain traits that will dictate whether they see change as a positive or as a threat,” says Jenny Lewis, Founder of Lewco Consulting, which specializes in customized coaching and training, including applying neuroscience to support workplace change initiatives. Continued on page 10 Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government

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2016 MATI & PADM Courses

Capilano University, in partnership with the Local Government Management Association, is offering four popular “MATI” courses in 2016. Learn and network with local government staff from across BC and return to work with practical knowledge and skills you can apply immediately! Get the essential training you need to be more effective in your current position and move into more senior leadership roles.

MATI Advanced Communications Skills for Local Government Professionals (PADM 205) April 17-22, 2016 – Bowen Island MATI Managing People in Local Government Organizations (PADM 207) May 15-20, 2016 – Bowen Island MATI The Leadership Experience (PADM 204) June 12-17, 2016 – Bowen Island MATI Community Planning for Local Government Professionals (PADM 208) October 2016 – Kelowna MATI The Successful CAO (PADM 308) – returns October 2017 We also offer other PADM courses in Cowichan Bay, Kelowna, Parksville and North Vancouver, starting in January 2016. Some courses fill quickly... register early!

For more information, contact Alison McNeil, amcneil@capilanou.ca or 604-990-7907, or see our website.

www.capilanou.ca/local-govt/


Leading through Change Continued from page 9

“When you understand the neuroscience of how people react, you can tailor messages to motivate people to work toward a desired change.”

of the change as well as the consequences of inaction,” says Lewis. “You want to target your message to both the approach reaction, which is the people who are open to the change, and the avoidance reaction, which is the people who are resistant to change.”

People’s reactions to change fall into four key categories: those who fear change because they don’t see the benefit; those who fear how the change will affect them personally; those who embrace change; and those who appear to embrace change but don’t take action. See page 11 for detailed descriptions.

Step Two: Create a Guiding Coalition

Jenny Lewis

“Your role in leading change is to know what category each employee is responding from by looking for these key traits and then adapting the communication accordingly,” says Lewis. Lewis recommends that managers integrate these concepts into an eight-step change process, based on the steps first developed by John Kotter, an expert on change leadership, described on his website at www.kotterinternational.com.

Step One: Establish a Sense of Urgency “The first step is to establish a sense of urgency by grabbing attention and making the need for change more visible, including the benefits

The second step involves creating a team to help guide the process. In Squamish, they created a team called Change Champs and a customer service team with employees from all departments to implement the customer service improvements throughout the organization. Edgelow emphasizes the importance of mobilizing the middle managers and supervisors. In either case, the important outcome is that there is a group of people with a mix of skills and experience who are motivated to lead the change.

Step Three: Develop a Change Vision In the third step, the focus is on developing a change vision and helping employees imagine what the end result will be. This is where strong leaders with good communication skills are essential. “People have to be able to visualize a desirable outcome with clearly defined benefits, and the organization has to see that it has the capacity to do what is required to move the change forward,” says Lewis. Continued on page 12

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How People React to Change: Four Categories Category One: In the first category, individuals will reject change due to fear, primarily because they don’t see any rewards or benefits from the change. They prefer the status quo. They can be identified as the people who are openly critical of the change and who are not moving ahead with their role in the change process. They will bring up what they perceive as faults and look for ways to undermine the process. To motivate this group, it’s important to show them how they will be directly involved in solutions and convey the rewards stemming from the change.

Category Two: People in this category also experience anxiety; however, their fears relate to uncertainty about what the change will mean to them personally. They will try to ignore or deny that the change is happening. They may withdraw and become more isolated in their daily behaviour, and if they are expressing concern, it will be from the perspective of specific concerns, not broad criticism. To communicate effectively with this group, it’s important to be empathetic and acknowledge their concerns. Communication messages should create a sense of urgency about the importance of the change, and show evidence the change is actually happening – it can’t be ignored or avoided.

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This group will also respond better to more one-on-one coaching through the change, with a focus on what is required from them as individuals and their specific fears or concerns.

Category Three: This group of individuals embraces change. They immediately see the benefits and rewards associated with the change and can be a tremendous asset to the organization in facilitating the change process. They are easy to spot as they will be very supportive, offer to help and have a lot of questions and energy. Communication messages can focus on the positive outcomes, the steps underway, and how they can get involved in moving the change forward.

Category Four: This group of people will initially seem to accept or embrace the change but then not move forward as expected. They are not sufficiently motivated to make any changes and they just continue to carry on with the status quo instead. This group will be most motivated when the message focuses on the importance of change to help prevent the dire consequences that will occur if nothing is done. Naming all the pain points with the current situation and highlighting how the change will address these issues will help win them over.

Continued on page 12


Leading through Change Continued from page 10

Step Four: Communicate the Vision for Buy-in Communication is the foundation for step four, where the messaging tailored to employee response to change is critical. Lewis recommends using storytelling, metaphors and analogies to help trigger an emotional response and help with understanding and information retention. “Our brains remember repetition when it comes in different ways because our brains love novelty,” says Lewis.” So convey the general message repeatedly by communicating regularly, but do it in different ways, using different tactics.”

Step Five: Empower Broad-based Action When communicating the message, it’s also important to empower people. Step five relates to empowering broad-based action, which means people are encouraged to speak up, take action and build confidence as they work through the change. This is done by providing training as well as opportunities for employees to ask questions as a means to help them identify what they need to do – rather than just telling them what to do. It’s also important to identify the obstacles to empowerment, such as a restrictive structure where staff cannot ask questions or suggest changes.

They may lack the skills and knowledge they need, or the technology and processes in place may be placing barriers to the change process. In other cases, the single biggest inhibitor could be their supervisor not responding effectively to their needs. “A leader’s role is to see if any of these obstacles exist and then remove them when they can,” says Lewis. “You may need to take your concerns back to the leadership team or Human Resources group to get the issues resolved.”

Step Six: Generate Short-term Wins Step six relates to generating and celebrating short-term wins. In the same way that Squamish saw better results when they celebrated successful milestones, the Kotter approach reinforces this tactic by emphasizing that people need to celebrate success as well as be kept informed about how change is moving forward. “When people are going through change, their ability to think longterm can be a bit murky,” says Lewis. “You need people to know the vision for long-term change, but you keep them engaged by breaking it down into short-term goals and acknowledge the completion along the way, recognizing the individuals who contributed to the success of each milestone.”

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Step Seven: Never Let Up Step seven is about never giving up. The motivational messaging and tactics to communicate and celebrate success are essential to maintaining progress, but it’s also important to recognize that people will experience setbacks and may feel threatened along the way, causing them to again be fearful or resentful. It’s critical to keep communicating and to continue tailoring the messaging to each category of people to respond to both approach and avoidance reactions.

Step Eight: Incorporate Changes into the Culture In the final step, Kotter’s process results in a cognitive shift in the culture or organization that prevents people from moving backward. The momentum for the change has gained enough strength to bring everyone on board. “It’s a process and you can’t let up until you can see that the change is established and embraced by enough people that they will pick up those along the edges who haven’t yet bought into it and soon bring them on board too,” says Lewis. However you look at change initiatives, whether it’s from trial and error to build experience or by applying leadership tactics and neuroscience to target messaging, it’s evident that change is a lot of work and demands a tremendous amount of time and resources. Starting with a plan that recognizes these demands is essential, and ideally, by applying these recommended strategies, local governments will increase their odds for success. ❖

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Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government

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Contact: Cathy Cook, Executive Director P: 778-278-3486 F: 778-278-0029 E: ccook@bcmsa.ca

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MANAGING EMPLOYEES:

Back to Basics

o one starts a new job with an expressed intent to fail or cause disruption in the workplace. When hiring a new employee, managers don’t make an offer to someone they expect will soon slack off or behave rudely to customers and colleagues. Organizations don’t establish goals and values that are geared toward creating a culture where employees are often left to their own devices, with little feedback and a lack of clear direction on performance expectations and acceptable behaviours.

N

Despite good intentions, problems do arise with employees. Managers may struggle with how to support their staff and deal effectively with challenges related to employee behaviour and job performance. Pointing fingers of blame or absolving oneself of responsibility is not a solution, and that goes both ways. Employees may try to foist blame on a manager, making excuses or pointing out how they are doing their best under impossible circumstances. Managers may point at employee behaviours and note all the tangible issues that result, without looking for the source of the problems. The reality is that when employees are causing conflict in the workplace, creating problems with colleagues, supervisors and customers, or are generally not meeting the requirements of their position, there is likely a combination of factors involved, where both the manager and the employee hold some responsibility for the causes and solutions to the issue. Employees are responsible for their behaviour, attitudes towards others and quality of their work. Managers can have a tremendous impact on workplace performance by building trust and respectful relationships with employees, providing guidance on job requirements, and proactively integrating performance management into regular operations. Furthermore, the manager’s approach to support employees, provide performance feedback and work through issues with employees often stems from the leadership culture within the organization. “Individual employee performance has to be viewed within the culture of the organization,” says Tracey Lorenson, consultant with Paragon Strategic Services Ltd, whose early career as a municipal labour lawyer provides extensive background and experience with conflict in the workplace. “If the local government doesn’t have a strong culture of performance and accountability at the highest levels, then you’re unlikely to see any alignment and top performance at the front lines.” Managers who find themselves in a situation where an employee is causing problems that affect customers, colleagues or others in the organization have a responsibility to deal with the situation before the issue escalates and undermines the organization’s ability to deliver services and achieve goals. While the natural instinct in a conflict or difficult employee scenario is to point the finger of blame solely at the person causing the problem, quite often, the manager holds a portion of the responsibility for the current issues as there may have been proactive steps taken earlier to provide guidance or to react more promptly to make it clear that certain behaviours are not acceptable.

“Before we treat a performance shortfall as blameworthy, managers should first ask themselves whether they have been crystal clear about what they expect from an employee and whether they have put the appropriate supports in place to assist the employee in meeting those clear expectations,” says Lorenson. “Our number one priority as supervisors and managers is to ensure that what the manager expects and what the employee is doing at work are aligned,” she adds. “While this certainly means ongoing feedback from the manager on what the job done well looks like, in an era where managers may not be experts on the jobs done by their staff, it also means asking the employees what reasonable expectations look like to build a common set of performance expectations.” Lorenson uses the following model to discuss performance with clients:

WON’T CAN’T DON’T KNOW Lorenson notes that the most common reason for employee performance issues is that the employees don’t know what is expected. Addressing this knowledge gap with employees is an ongoing process achieved by regular one-on-one discussions with their supervisor about what they’re working on. If those discussions are occurring and an employee still isn’t meeting the clear expectations, then managers should ask if there is any reason why the employee “can’t” do so. This could occur when employees lack training, tools, time, etc., to do what they understand their manager expects. Removing these impediments to performance is one of the most critical functions of managers. “In my experience as a labour lawyer, the overwhelming majority of performance frustrations fell into these two categories: either people didn’t know what was expected or they could not do it because they were lacking training or the right tools,” says Lorenson. “In the rare situation where an employee knows what’s expected of them, is fully capable of performing and refuses to do so, we cross the line from the manager’s role in performance management to dealing with a difficult employee situation that may involve disciplinary action. Unfortunately in many local governments, there is no clear distinction between support for performance in the first two stages and when discussions are disciplinary.”

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Proactive performance management and prompt responses to negative attitudes and behaviours sounds straightforward, and most managers would agree it is essential. Unfortunately, when work pressures overtake time allotted to working with employees and giving them support when needed, managers may be inadvertently endorsing or reinforcing negative behaviours and attitudes simply through a lack of action or response over a prolonged period.

The situation may continue until the problem escalates because work deliverables are being missed or other staff members start to complain. By addressing the problem with messaging for the entire team, the manager can set expectations that are clear to everyone, such as:

Tracey Lorenson

“If something has been going on for a prolonged period and we haven’t addressed it, then we’ve sent the message to the entire team that, to some degree, we accept this level of work or type of behaviour,” says Lorenson. “If you’re tightening up things you’ve let slide a little, consider having a team meeting where you clearly set the expectations for all employees.” As an example, if an employee begins a pattern of coming to work late and taking extra long breaks, and the person’s manager doesn’t say anything about changing the behaviour, it may appear that being on time is not important or that longer breaks are okay. Other members of the team may also start to arrive late or prolong their breaks.

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“Over the past year, we’ve been getting a little loose on start/end times and length of breaks, and it’s something that as a team we’re going to need to tighten up as other departments expect a lot from this group. Going forward, my expectation is that you’re all ready to start work at 8:30 a.m. and that breaks align with the schedule. I know that sometimes things come up, but please talk to me when this occurs.” “The key factor here is to address the situations that occur going forward rather than over-responding once you have reached your personal breaking point. Managers will often let things slide until the issue becomes acute and then want to unload all their unarticulated frustrations on the employee, which simply isn’t fair to the employee. The goal of performance feedback is to provide regular, timely feedback to keep the employee and the manager on the same page, and fairly simple changes in processes can save managers time and prevent these festering issues,” advises Lorenson. Continued on page 16


Managing Employees: Back to Basics Continued from page 15

Establishing regular processes for performance management and embedding this leadership approach into the culture of an organization, from the executive level through to front-line supervisors, is key to creating a positive, productive work environment. However, in practice, there may still be situations where there is a continuous and likely escalating issue involving an employee that needs to be addressed. There may be situations involving attitude issues or problems with the quality and consistency of the work. Sometimes the issues are connected to policy requirements or factors related to a unionized environment, and other issues may be linked to problems outside of the workplace that still trickle in and affect employee performance. While Lorenson strongly encourages managers to have regular supportive discussions with their employees to prevent issues from growing, at times an issue arises where a more structured discussion is required. Whatever the source of the concern, the key to an effective response is to prepare and follow a clearly defined process for assessing the issue and potential opportunities to mitigate the problem. This process includes assessing the situation to be sure the specific problem is clarified and based on the facts, not rumour or accusations, as well as developing a clear path for resolving the concern and ensuring that the manager is well prepared for how to communicate the concern and how to deal with conflict before approaching the employee.

“You need to be clear about your expectations, and to do that you need to look at the issue, including the cause, and have a clear plan on how to address it,” says Gerrie Waugh, workplace psychologist and instructor for Capilano University and LGMA programs. “Most of the time managers don’t prepare before they meet with employees in the first place, and then the wrong words come out when they start the conversation.”

Gerrie Waugh

Waugh recommends that managers apply the following actions as part of preparing to work with employees who are not meeting expectations. 1. Assess how to determine a “performance issue.” 2. Prepare and collect facts prior to the conversation. 3. Practice difficult coaching conversations to increase your confidence and comfort. 4. Understand why you hesitate to have challenging conversations around performance gaps. 5. Communicate performance expectations. 6. Ask curiosity questions in sequence as you listen.

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7. Help employee identify the performance gap and why it is happening. 8. Help them take responsibility for planning changes in their job performance going forward. 9. Manage employee resistance in the conversation. 10. Communicate your support to help them succeed. 11. Identify strategies to help you cope with your reaction and the reactions of others. Following these steps takes time and effort, and may involve advice from Human Resource staff or other experts in conflict management. There are resources available that can assist managers as they work through these challenges with their staff. Supervisors or managers who are facing especially difficult situations may benefit from seeking the assistance of their Human Resources advisor, senior colleagues or external professionals to help them brainstorm the approach that would work best. The information-gathering stage may result in learning about hidden factors that are affecting an employee’s job performance and attitude in the workplace, such as a serious issue in their personal life or the lack of training to complete their tasks successfully, resulting in frustration and concerns about job security.

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The source of the problem must be identified before being able to develop solutions to resolve the issue and improve the situation for both the employee and the rest of the organization. As well, part of assessing the situation includes looking at specific behaviours that are not acceptable – based on facts and observed actions, not rumours – and providing clear guidelines for what is expected. As an example, in a scenario where an employee, Joe, is being critical of colleagues, spreading gossip or having angry outbursts, it is clear that the employee is not happy and has an attitude problem, but the solution lies with changing behaviour. “As managers, we don’t manage attitudes, we manage behaviours,” says Lorenson. “My advice in a situation like this is to identify the most damaging of these behaviours and start there to open up a dialogue.” Lorenson emphasizes that it is important to be specific about the behaviour causing the issues when meeting with the employee, such as, “Joe, the past two meetings you’ve made negative comments about Bob in front of the team, yet you’ve been really supportive of him in the past. What’s going on?” Once the manager knows the reason behind the actions, it’s easier to proceed with a plan to change the behaviour. It’s also important to have a clear discussion on what is expected. Continued on page 16


Managing Employees: Back to Basics Continued from page 17

Lorenson suggests the following approach when the manager meets with Joe: “Joe, while you may be frustrated by [whatever Joe tells manager], it’s really important that you be aware of your behaviour in the meetings. On this team, we expect everyone to demonstrate respect for each other, and negative comments about other employees are not acceptable. I need you to be conscious of this going forward, and if you are feeling [whatever it may be – frustrated, angry, etc.], please come to me after the meeting. Do you feel you’re able to do that?” “The steps of identifying where the employee is at, where you want them to be, and coaching through any gap is the most critical function of those in supervisory or management roles,” says Lorenson. It’s also important to recognize that every situation is different and following the steps to prepare properly is essential. This approach gets away from placing blame and instead focuses on what is being done, what needs to be changed going forward and how to achieve that change. “When I go into a workplace to meet with employees, they often think it’s going to be their chance to complain about their boss, but it’s actually about helping them see their contribution,” says Waugh. “The employee may not understand the gap between what’s being done and what is expected, and the manager may be frustrated thinking the employee just won’t deliver what is needed. Everyone is frustrated until we can close that gap.”

Trina Harrison Human Resources Consultant Improving client effectiveness and delivering on various project initiatives by providing a range of human resources and organizational services. 25 years’ experience with local government providing strategic HR advice, delivering all aspects of human resources management, conducting workplace investigations, developing learning modules, managing employee & labour relations, leading collective bargaining, and more! It’s not what we do - it’s how we do it!

778-953-0304 tharrisonconsulting@shaw.ca

It’s evident that supporting employees and addressing concerns with employee behaviours takes time, involves a comprehensive process to be done well, and may benefit from the help of experts in conflict resolution and performance management. To be successful, local governments need to be focused on ensuring managers have the tools and training they need to face discussions around expectations at the earliest possible juncture instead of waiting until the pattern is established. It’s also important for leadership to step back and take a look at the workload of managers to ensure that the support for their staff is their top priority and that time is allocated in their workload to have regular one-on-one discussions with employees, where they ask employees questions like, “What are you working on? What are you concerned about with that work? How can I help?” Unfortunately, with employees at all levels – including managers – being overwhelmed with competing demands, the performance coaching and support for employees may not receive top priority. “Performance management is not a once-a-year HR function, it is a critical component of all managers’ jobs, and a way of respecting and supporting employees. While managers know it’s important, most cite the lack of time as a major reason why they don’t do it, and as a result many spend time reacting to issues that arise,” says Lorenson. “Local governments around the province are flipping their workplace cultures so that managers don’t view performance like an auditor (running around looking for problems) but rather realize that in a customerfocused organization, employees are the manager’s first customer.” Many thanks to Tracey Lorenson and Gerrie Waugh for their assistance with this article. ❖ Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government

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tips & tactics Dealing with Challenging Employees: Do You Know Your Rights? When dealing with employee misconduct or performance issues, it’s important to understand what rights each party has in the situation. Below is a helpful guide for dealing with challenging workers: • Employers have the right to manage their workforce, including relying on discipline when necessary. • When dealing with a unionized employee, check the collective agreement to be certain about the scope of representational rights. Some will stipulate that the employee has a right to union representation at the time he/she is interviewed about allegations of misconduct, or alternatively at the time discipline is imposed. Some agreements even oblige the employer to remind the employee of his/her right to representation. • Employer rights may differ when dealing with union and nonunion staff. For instance, while suspensions for misconduct are a common form of discipline in a unionized workplace, they are not appropriate for many non-union employees or workplaces. It is always prudent to check with legal counsel before suspending an employee. • Find out why the misconduct has occurred. At first glance, it may appear the employee is being insubordinate; however, after further investigation, it could be revealed that he/she is refusing to perform an act because of a disability or religious issue, or he/she may be engaging his/her right to refuse unsafe work. • The employer has an obligation of good faith and fair dealing in the manner of dismissal of an employee. A dismissed employee may be awarded damages if the employer acts in bad faith in the manner of dismissal, causes mental distress to the employee, and the employee suffers actual damages. • Always exercise caution and consideration when terminating employees. It is important to ensure the termination is well thought out – not a matter of impulse and that the organization acts in a respectful manner, sensitive to the employee’s dignity.

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Off-duty Conduct One area of confusion for many managers is what their rights are around employees’ off-duty conduct. Off-duty conduct can be cause for summary dismissal where the conduct interferes with and prejudices the employer’s business interests and operations, or its reputation with the public. In unionized workplaces, arbitrators and adjudicators commonly apply the decision from the Millhaven Fibres Ltd. case as follows: If discipline is to be sustained on the basis of a justifiable reason arising out of conduct away from the place of work, there is an onus on the Employer to demonstrate that the employee’s conduct meets one or more of the following criteria: 1. The conduct renders the employee unable to perform his duties satisfactorily. 2. The conduct interferes with the efficient management of the operation or workforce. 3. The conduct leads to a refusal or reluctance of other employees to work with him. 4. The conduct harms the general reputation of the Employer, its product or its employees.

Conclusion Overall, the balance between employer and employee rights is itself a challenge sometimes. Obtaining legal advice is always prudent. Many thanks to Sharon Cartmill-Lane for providing these Tips and Tactics. Sharon is a labour and employment lawyer with Sheen Arnold McNeil, a boutique law firm focusing on labour, employment and human rights law with offices in Victoria and Vancouver.


MEMBERS PAGE MEMBER MOVEMENT Douglas Chapman, Chief Administrative Officer, Regional District of Skeena Queen Charlotte (formerly Chief Financial Officer Village of Tahsis) Tom Clement, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Vanderhoof (formerly Deputy CAO, Vanderhoof) Chris Coates, City Clerk, City of Victoria (formerly Chief Administrative Officer, District of Highlands) Debbie Comis, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Parksville (formerly Director of Administrative Services, City of Parksville) Thomas Day, Interim Chief Administrative Officer, District of Lillooet Morgan Dosdall, Deputy Municipal Clerk, District of Ucluelet (formerly Operations Technician for the Environment, Planning & Parks Department, District of Ucluelet) Lorna Dysart, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Belcarra (formerly Acting CAO, Village of Belcarra) Keir Gervais, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Lytton (formerly CAO, Hains Junction, Yukon) Linda Glenday, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Squamish (formerly Deputy CAO, District of Squamish)

Debbie Godfrey, Director of Corporate Administration, District of Kitimat (formerly Legislative Clerk, Town of Olds, Alberta) Kerry Hilts, General Manager, Community & Protective Services, Town of Beaumont, Alberta (formerly Director of Community Services, District of Kent) Ian Howat, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Colwood (formerly General Manager of Corporate Services, City of Nanaimo) Debbie Joujan, Administrative Manager, Village of Telkwa Juli Kolby, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Anmore (formerly Manager of Corporate Purchasing & Risk Management, City of Port Moody) Randy Lambright, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Logan Lake (formerly Planning & Development Manager, City of Kamloops) Janette Loveys, Chief Administrative Officer, Sunshine Coast Regional District (formerly General Manager of Community Services, Sunshine Coast) Victor Mema, Director of Finance, City of Nanaimo, (formerly Chief Financial Officer, District of Sechelt) Evan Parliament, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Sicamous (formerly CAO, District of Vanderhoof)

Jackie Patridge, Chief Administrative Officer/Clerk/ Treasurer, Village of Warfield

Vince Morelli, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Warfield

Michele Schalekamp, Director of Finance, District of Sparwood (formerly Municipality of Crowsnest Pass) Ted Swabey, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Maple Ridge (formerly CAO, City of Nanaimo) Laurie Taylor, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Nakusp (formerly CAO, Village of Keremeos) Mark Tatchell, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Tahsis (formerly Deputy Auditor General for Local Government) Paul Thorkelsson, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Saanich (formerly CAO, Regional District of Nanaimo) John Towgood, Planner 1, District of Ucluelet (formerly Planning Assistant, District of Ucluelet) Patty Tracy, Human Resource Manager, City of West Kelowna (formerly HR Manager, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen) Anne Yanciw, Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Smithers (formerly CAO, Village of Valemount)

RETIREMENTS Brian Clemens, Director of Finance, City of Nanaimo Gord Howie, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Sooke

Barbara Nunes, Director of Finance, District of Sparwood

2016 LGMA PROGRAMS & EVENTS February 3-5 LGLA 2016 Leadership Forum Radisson Hotel Vancouver Airport, Richmond February 24-26 2016 CAO Forum Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre, Kelowna April 5-7 North Central LGMA Spring Chapter Meeting Ramada Hotel, Prince George April 6-8 Local Government Administrative Professionals Conference Hotel 540, Kamloops April 13-15 Rocky Mountain and West Kootenay Boundary LGMA Chapters Joint Annual Conference Location TBC April 17-22 MATI Advanced Communication Skills (CAPU/LGMA) Bowen Island April 29, 30 and May 1 Working Together: Effective Fire Service Administration for Fire Chiefs and Local Chief Administrative Officers Kamloops

Fred Manson, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Parksville

REGISTER TODAY! • Tailor your experience: choose from three April 11-12, 2016 MIABC 5th Annual Risk Management Conference Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver BC

specialized streams – Administration, Parks and Recreation, or Building Inspection. • Special pricing: early registrants and groups of two or more from a single local government. • Registration packages: www.miabc.org or Susan Ackerman, sackerman@miabc.org.

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MEMBERS PAGE International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

The following IIMC candidates have been awarded IIMC certification:

Board of Examiners Three local government employees, recognized for their education and work experience in the local government field, are being awarded Certificates by the Board of Examiners: Certificate in Local Government Service Delivery: • Dean Banman, Manager of Recreation Services, Regional District of Nanaimo • Kate O’Connell, Deputy City Clerk, City of Burnaby • Edith Watson, Senior Executive Assistant, Strathcona Regional District

• Debbie Godfrey, Director of Corporate Administration, District of Kitimat, Certified Municipal Clerk • Deanne Ennis, Deputy Director of Corporate Administration, District of Chetwynd, Certified Municipal Clerk • Casey Grundy, Deputy Corporate Officer, Municipality of Bowen Island, Certified Municipal Clerk • Michelle Jansson, Corporate Officer, City of Richmond, Certified Municipal Clerk • Alisa Thompson, Corporate Administrator, City of Terrace, Certified Municipal Clerk

OUR TOWN: CITY OF WILLIAMS LAKE Forged by the gold rush and the cowboy spirit, Williams Lake is a place where you can think big and play hard. For lifestyle, Williams Lake’s mixture of frontier charm and urban living can’t be beat. A regional centre with all major amenities, Williams Lake also offers a wide range of recreational activities year-round, from skiing and snowmobiling in the winter to mountain biking and hiking in the summer, all within 10 minutes of the downtown. Housing is extremely affordable, with a range of residential opportunities from modern urban subdivisions and townhouses to large rural properties. The attractive mix of high-quality lifestyle and the surrounding pristine wilderness playground makes Williams Lake an ideal place to raise a family. We are the hometown of Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, the base of operations for reality TV stars Timber Kings and Carver Kings, and the place where Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price played minor hockey. For visitors, the lake city is probably best known as the home of the World Famous Williams Lake Stampede, which attracts the best cowboys and cowgirls from Canada and the United States for four days of rodeo action every Canada-day weekend. Williams Lake is also fast becoming known as one of BC’s best mountain bike destinations. Bike Magazine called Williams Lake the Shangri-La of mountain biking and for good reason. With more than 200 kilometres of mountain bike trails in and around Williams Lake, there are a variety of options for riders of all different skill levels in the city limits. The city is also home to one of the largest bike parks in the BC interior. Beginners will be entertained on the trails of Westside, including Ridge Bypass, Comer Drop, or Missioner Loop, which have ups and downs, numerous loops and longer runs. The 12 km (7.4 mile) Williams Lake River Valley Trail offers gentle touring along the Williams Lake River, which leads to a confluence with the Fraser River.

Above, downtown Williams Lake.

Our vibrant city features an active and aesthetically pleasing downtown core with more than 15 colourful murals in addition to beautiful landscaping and floral displays. The downtown is home to a wide array of specialty stores and restaurants. While exploring, visitors are encouraged to stop by the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, home of the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame. A visit to the Scout Island Nature Centre is also Ken MacInnis a must. A bird-watcher’s paradise, Scout Island features 2.5 km of trails, with marsh, island and lake environments to explore. Outdoor adventurers can continue with a hike or bike ride along the incredible River Valley Trail. The eye-catching Tourism Discovery Centre, which is constructed from beautiful logs, showcases our history, industries, cultures, events and tourism products in the Central Cariboo. This is a world-class facility featuring interactive exhibits, a gift store and a wealth of information about what to see and do in the Williams Lake area. We welcome everyone to learn more about the jewel of the Interior at www.williamslake.ca.

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– Ken MacInnis, Events and Marketing Coordinator, City of Williams Lake


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