The City of Vancouver should conduct exit interviews of outgoing staff, says Anton
Coun. Suzanne Anton had an interesting idea which she brought to city council this week. In the face of unprecedented losses in Vancouver's senior management, she proposed that the City conducts exit interviews to find out why staff are leaving.
Vaughn had a lot to say about the flip-flop on the matter of transparency. We have similar observations. For example, let's take a quick scan of what candidate Robertson was saying prior to becoming Vancouver's Mayor:
Of course, the idea went over like a lead balloon with others in the chamber. Anton was suggesting, with good reason, that many senior staff were leaving because of their frustration under the current administration. Dozens have left, many pushed out by the new bosses. With them went years of institutional knowledge and experience that will take years (and many dollars) to replace.
City staff are so challenged by the demands of the new regime that the City has even had to hire a "change manager" to get everyone in line. Now, we won't suggest that Vancouver's bureaucracy shouldn't evolve, or learn new ways of doing things. However, the City had earned a reputation has an excellent workplace before Vision Vancouver formed government (and those laurels are not being given to them anymore).
Further, we're hearing anecdotally that headhunters are giving the City of Vancouver a pass these days. Anton's suggestion was a wise one – use a best practice of the corporate world to make the public service better.
So what did Vision Vancouver decide to do with Anton's idea? Give it to City Manager Penny Ballem to study. Yes, the one person most likely for the departures of all the staff we've lost, has been put in charge of "reviewing" that proposal. Bet on it never, ever seeing the light of day.
The politicization of Vancouver's traditionally non-partisan public service continues apace, and certainly the impudent suggestions of an opposition councillor are not going to get in the way of that.
I suggest we put this on the wish list of items for the City's new government in 2012, when Ballem has left and the next council is in to mop up the mess created by Vision Vancouver.
- post by Mike