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Social Security Administration (SSA) human resources management department typically consist of individuals with a wide variety and range of skills, knowledge, and abilities required to help them to perform specified duties and tasks in a manner that guides it to the attainment of its organizational goals. The federal agency is a vital national institution that handles social insurance, welfare of retirees and the disabled persons and their dependents. It has a wide employee base that contributes significantly to the viability of the organization. The Human Resources Department is responsible for a number of tasks which include staffing, training, and compensation as well as ensuring healthy relations between the members of staff and the management. It has the mandate to ensure that ethical issues of human resources are well addressed.
Like other federal agencies, the SSA operates under constraints not encountered in the private sector. As large as its operating budget is in an absolute sense, it is not expansive; the information systems budget might even be considered fixed. Human resources management regulations make it either very easy or difficult to bring on board and retain highly competent and motivated staff. It is also equally difficult to motivate or transfer marginal staff. Budgetary accounting mechanisms, especially on the separation of human resources ethical issues from capital costs, do not allow proper assessment of the full costs of appropriate changes of the Human Resources system and therefore, impose dysfunctional incentives. The efficiency and sensitivity, especially to politics, place the social security administration programs in a position in which almost every thought to change subject to criticism and second-guessing.
The Social Security Administration HR Organs
The Human Resource Department of Social Security Administration is further split into five other functional departments namely, the executive and special services staff, the office of personnel, labor managements and employee relations, civil rights and equal opportunity, and the office for learning. They together form a strong body that handles matters of human resources (Neer, 2014)
The Executive and Special Services Staff
The department develops and implements all social security policies and activities relating to the agency's executive level personnel. It reserves the authority to recruit and place individuals in the executive positions by Social Security Administration regulations (Battaglio, 2014). It also provides the executive staff with necessary support to aid administering of a systematic program. Through it, the SSA executive office is assured of quality professional resources as well as the appropriate selection of qualified candidates to play a part in the official executive development of programs. However, the staff performance reviews and subsequent appraisals for career development, which are supposed to be handled by the department, are often marred with challenges.
The Office of Personnel
The personnel office is mandated to handle the comprehensive Social Security Administration personnel management program. It also bears a big role developing, implementing and maintaining fully integrated and coordinated human resources policies and procedures that suit the needs of its staff. The office also manages personnel research programs, personnel data, job position alignment, personnel management, employee assistance services, job placement for non-executive staff, employee counseling, management evaluation, employee recognition, health services, workforce planning and evaluation, human resources accountability and administration of employee benefits including health and retirement (Nigro, Nigro & Kellough, 2012). The task of designing and putting into practice such comprehensive and complex procedures is a challenging one. This makes the department sometime to miss its objective and therefore, to make the program static and non-developing.
Labor Managements and Employee Relations
The Labor Management and Employee Relations department aris directly responsible for carrying out a departmental operation and provide the overall supervision of departmental engagements. The Office manages the Social Security Administration labor relations program which includes the development, evaluation, and formulation of a suitable labor management relations policy (Nigro, Nigro & Kellough, 2012)
Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity
The Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity department is answerable to the Deputy Commissioner for Human Resources for handling the civil rights and ensuring equal opportunities for the staff. It is also mandated to provide general supervision to the major components of the department (Neer, 2014). The Office provides overall management of the Social Security Administration Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity program. It endeavors to develop the working civil rights and equal opportunity policy.
Office of Learning
It is the one responsible for carrying out the departmental mission and to provide general supervision to all undertakings in the Office of Learning. The Office manages and administers the national training program to enhance staff capability to help them offer effective and efficient service to their needy clients. It also develops and issues well guided agency policies, procedures and operational principles to appropriately design, develop, implement, maintain and evaluate all Social Security Administration training activities. It also sets the timeframes appropriate for training. It directs the financial management of training kitty to ensure accountability of funds spent to train and develop the skills of the agency's employees. However, in some cases, the mandated office of Learning Staff may fail accountability test or engage in the embezzlement of funds the agency suffers greatly from (Battaglio, 2014). Such retrogressive characteristics result into the slow development and poor image by the public.
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The Social Security Administration human resources department is designed to give special attention to favorable terms, a growth of new skills retention of existing ones within its staff. The Social Security Administration aims at attracting and continuing to maintain a motivated staff by providing them exceptional opportunities to advance their careers and skills by equipping them to handle a variety of challenges. Effectiveness of the human resources sub sections remains attached to the type and quality of services that eventually matches the objective. The human resources sub sections conform to specific functions stipulated within the Social Security Administration regulation. They have both the strengths in their specified tasks as well as weaknesses. However, most of the weaknesses are obscured by the strengths having been in existence for quite a long time and having gained the necessary skills to counter them.