Wadena County board receives report on workplace conditions

Meeting changes discussed

At the Jan. 10 Wadena County Board meeting, consultant Michelle Soldo presented a 45-minute summary of her findings and recommendations from the Environmental Scan of the Wadena County Workplace she conducted from September to December 2016.

Human Resources (HR) Director Curt Kreklau had recommended the environmental scan as a way to determine the current work atmosphere among county employees, and determine how problems could be solved and opportunities seized. Soldo said she worked to answer the question, “What is the condition of our county?”

Soldo explained that she and county employees put in many hours to carry out the scan. Over 100 employees participated in the questionnaire and interview processes during the environmental scan.

Soldo outlined five findings and recommendations in her presentation:

o Six county departments are in good working condition. These departments have managers who are professional, productive role models. However, most of these departments have not received good news, compliments, etc., from board members. Employees felt a lack of recognition for their work.

Those departments are the county attorney’s office, environmental services department, planning and zoning department, public health department, solid waste department and veterans services office.

o Five county departments need some improvement. They have had some difficulties, some personnel issues. Communication among employees is an issue in these departments. There are changes that they can make.

Those departments are the assessor office, highwy department, human resources/information technology office, sheriff’s office and recorder’s office.

o Two departments need significant improvement. Disruptions have occurred. Employees in these departments recognize the need for change.

Those departments are the auditor/treasurer’s office and the human services department. 

o The board needs to give more support to department heads both publicly and privately. Board members need to acknowledge county employees by saying hello and making eye contact. The board must use the environmental scan report to create productive change.

o The objectives of the environmental scan have been achieved. The next step is up to the board. 

Board members thanked Soldo for her work. Soldo said that the HR department is ready to proceed with next steps to bring change. She recommended that board members work with the HR department.

The report has been or will be available on the county’s website.

 In other business, the board:

o Approved a gambling permit for England Prairie Pioneer Club for Aug. 27 for bingo and a raffle.

o Approved hauler licenses for nine garbage haulers for 2017: City Dray, AAA Roll-off, City Sanitation and Roll-off, G & T Sanitation, Long Prairie Sanitation, Wadena Hide and Fur, Waste Management of Minnesota, City Sanitation Services LLC and Steve’s Sanitation.

o Asked the fair board and historical society to meet with a structural engineer to determine whether the schoolhouse on the county fairgrounds can be used in its present condition or needs work.

o Discussed ideas for changes in board meeting dates, frequency of meetings, content of meetings, use of a consent agenda and legality of meetings via telephone or Skype when board members cannot attend in person.


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