Commitment to learning and development and career enhancement is imperative if the Liberian government is to prepare its human resources to meet future skill and knowledge requirements. Ministry Agencies and Commissions (MACs) must build a culture of innovation to the best-in-class programs and services. We know that to retain our top talent and deliver the best programs and services, we need to ensure that people have access to training that enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Training should challenge the current work environment and further employee careers. Furthermore, we need to be ever cognizant that job skills needed in government are not always found in university or college course offerings, although some are specific to the public service. Employee skills need to be continuously nurtured, honed and developed. Effectively managing people and having appropriate tools, programs, and initiatives available to maximize the talent of employees is essential in meeting organizational goals and ensuring the provision of excellence in the public service.
Ministries and Agencies may want to consider the following as options to staff. These are examples of some of the opportunities, but could certainly include more. Connecting learning with the organization’s future skill needs, supporting Career Development for each employee, and using Reassignment as a way to build skills. for example. a temporary assignment on a special project.
Build relations with students studying HR at Liberian universities. Increasing opportunities for students to participate in student employment and part-time employment within the public service results in two benefits: first, through internships, students practice what they are studying and enrich their understanding of HR; second, bringing students into the public service helps the sending institutions refine their courses to better meet government’s needs. Investing in internships, work-terms and placements introduce students to public service work and establish an attachment to the organization. It may also provide an opportunity to showcase Government as a viable option as a future employer and instill in students a sense of attachment to the organization (MCAs). A key condition for success is that government offer meaningful opportunities that give students a true sense of real work in the public service preparing them for eventual employment, preferably in the public service.
Examples of various programs or initiatives that Departments may want to consider include:
Part-time student employment.
Structured programs for students who volunteer
Any of these options provides an opportunity for the students to try out an employment field; cultivate industry contacts, and further develop their skill sets. As an HR specialist, I believe these programs provide valuable ways for selected candidates to gain real-world experience inside an organization in their particular field. In return, the candidate commits to working for a specified period of time fulfilling the terms of his or her engagement. By providing structured, on-the-job training to qualified candidates, the Program will be a mutually rewarding experience, aiding Trainees in their personal and professional development and helping any of the MACs, or host department, to create a more dynamic workplace and build needed skill sets for future HR planning.
Joseph Isaac Urey, Jr.
Human Resource Specialist
MBA-HR, MA-HR, BA Sociology, CRT. SHRM-Member