Council members, trustees, clerks, city managers and other local government workers all can greatly benefit from workload management. Workload management effectively helps municipal professionals handle their hefty workloads while still maintaining focus on the goals of the local government and the needs of the community. Cited as one of the most common groups struggling with heavy workloads, local government workers are constantly trying to juggle a million responsibilities and tasks at one time, and are expected to serve the community as effectively as possible with whatever time and resources they have left to spare. Drowning under a hefty workload is no way to live, let alone helping to keep a local government organization up and running. Workload management is necessary in order for local government professionals to consistently perform well in their roles.
Since almost all local government workers take on a heavy workload, it is key for each person to take accountability for both the smaller daily tasks and the larger projects to help even out the workload distribution. Both clerks and city managers struggle with large workloads. In a survey of municipal clerks and city managers, just over 60% of clerks reported that they expect to see challenges with their workload in the next 12-18 months. Similarly, about 58% of city managers reported that their biggest concern was having a heavy workload. As clerks and city managers play integral roles in local government, finding ways to automate and streamline tedious processes allows clerks to increase productivity with more time to focus on improving programs and services, and city managers more bandwidth to enhance public transparency efforts and boost citizen engagement.
The role of the city clerk is often regarded as the jack-of-all-trades, known for managing a slew of daily tasks and operations without which a local government organization could not function properly. One of the key responsibilities of the municipal clerk is agenda management. For local governments that don’t leverage any digital tools, or that don’t have tools that are efficient or consistent, the agenda process can be extremely cumbersome and tedious.
As part of workload management, clerks must assess how they approach the agenda process from the beginning to end each time a council meeting is held. Creating, collating, and distributing council packets manually takes hours of work on its own, but then tack on several more from any changes or updates that need to be made prior to the meeting. Municipal clerks can significantly lessen their workloads by practicing more efficient agenda management, which often means leveraging the right digital tools to get the job done.
Local government workers are consistently tied up with hefty workloads, sometimes barring them from making real progress within a community. In order to master workload management and maintain effectiveness in all local government efforts, implementing the right digital tools is key. Technology is advancing rapidly and for today’s municipalities, it makes more sense to adopt technologies that will help them be more efficient rather than work harder to maintain tedious, manual processes that slow things down.
Digital tools not only streamline workload management and give local government workers more time and resources back in their daily operations, but they also allow local governments to be more environmentally friendly and save a significant amount by cutting out paper-bound processes. In considering what boardroom technology to invest in, there are a number of key considerations to keep in mind, such as scalability, affordability, workflow functionality and overall effectiveness.
In preparation for a municipal meeting, there are a handful of steps that local government workers must take to ensure the meeting is conducted properly. Following proper protocol for meetings includes posting notices of the meetings within the right time frame and abiding by voting procedures set in place for that particular local government organization. It also involves reviewing the agenda, asking questions and adding items ahead of the meeting, as well as giving notice of meeting attendance or absenteeism.
When all of these moving parts fit together at the appropriate times and in the correct manner, local government meetings are productive and result in better decision-making. However, mastering these processes is not something most local governments are able to do effectively, juggling tight budgets and scarce bandwidths on a daily basis. When workload management methods are applied and meeting materials are reviewed well in advance, municipalities can best achieve meeting effectiveness every time.