US mayor says invest in staff to keep top talent

The former Mayor of Atlanta, US, told local government HR professionals that
the only way to recruit and retain staff in the public sector is to make them
feel valued.

William Campbell, speaking at the annual Socpo conference, said although local
government cannot match the pay levels of the private sector, it can still
compete for talent by investing in its employees.

Campbell, who has just finished his second term as mayor of Atlanta, said
that after one of the city’s colleges bought a piece of land from the council
he negotiated educational credits for his staff, allowing them to sign up for
as many courses as they wanted free of charge.

"The move showed we valued our staff and were prepared to invest in
their learning and development," he said.

Under Campbell’s leadership, Atlanta also introduced four paid days off a
year for staff to take health scans and introduced an annual bonus for staff
who did not take any time off for illness.

"We were not only investing in the health of our employees, but the
sustained quality of the council’s services."

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