Public Personnel Administration

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Public personnel administration is a branch of human resource management that is concerned with the acquisition, development, utilization and compensation of a public organization’s workforce. The term "public personnel administration" includes three key words. First, "public" refers to regional and local governmental agencies as well as non-profit ones. "Personnel" refers to human resources who work in the public sector and provide public services to society. Third, "administration" refers to the management of human resources in public organizations in an effective and efficient way that helps the organization reach its goals and objectives.

There are four main functions of public personnel administration. The first, planning, includes preparing staffing plans and budgets, deciding how employees will be used, and setting pay rates. Acquisition is the second, and refers to selecting and recruiting employees. The third is development, which involves employee training and advancement programs, as well as performance evaluations. Sanctions, the fourth function, deal with employer-employee relationships, and may include workplace safety and handling grievances.

Some of the most important tasks performed by public personnel administrators include managing employee grievances and employee retention. Public organizations, more so than private ones, have formal grievance procedures that ensure due process and guarantee employee rights. Due process is giving an employee the opportunity to explain and defend his or her actions. Employee retention programs focus on the importance of keeping good employees as opposed to finding new ones. It includes programs such as training, development, and tuition assistance to help build loyalty and reduce turnover. Public personnel administrators often carry their work within the context of four core, often contradictory, societal values. These include responsiveness, or political loyalty; the rights of the individual; efficiency,...
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