City Government of General Santos
Best Practice Focus Area/s
Strategy, Human Resource
23 March 2020
This is a GBPR COVID-19 Response Recipient
Happy HR aPPP is an integrated, accessible, and innovative web-based application for remote, digitalized, and contactless work management, productivity, and communication tools used in managing, tracking, and organizing tasks and transactions related to human resource management and development. Its primary aim is to sustain the delivery of government services by ensuring the welfare and development of employees in the City Government of General Santos City (LGU-Gensan) during the pandemic. This forms part of the Happy HR initiatives of the Human Resource Management and Development Office (HRMDO) of LGU-Gensan that promotes the total well-being of the employees as demonstrated by programs, projects, and activities geared towards the personal and professional development of the employees in particular, and consequently, the organizational development of the local government as a whole. This is among the HRMDO’s innovations centered on capacitating the human resources of the city government to sustain excellent and quality delivery of government services to the city constituents.
Background and Problem
In the first quarter of 2020, the country was in a state of emergency with a rising number of COVID-19 infections. This has affected all operations of government agencies, especially those who work at the grassroots. The city government employees continued to serve on the frontline of the COVID-19 battle, overcoming all the possible threats to themselves, their families, and all Generals.
There are 4,336 employees of LGU-Gensan, wherein 1,522 are regular, 16 are casual, and 1,902 are Job Orders. The current situation necessitates that office processes and tasks be done remotely to avoid face-to-face contact, which may expose the employees and their clients to the ailment threat. Even before the pandemic, HRMDO had already started initiatives and transitions of integrating technology in the work processes. As early as 2018, the office has already implemented the online leave application system, one of the paperless administrative works, to keep up with the demand in the shortest time possible.
Solution and Impact
Happy HR aPPP was introduced on the whole scale of the city government offices, for which the application features practically apply. The system has allowed employees to stay home, work on the assigned tasks, submit work outputs, and attend to personal and official concerns through the web application. Even if it is already a practice in the whole LGU-Gensan, wherein leave applications can be submitted and approved online, employees were appreciative of the innovation in implementing or introducing an accessible, responsive, and convenient way of administering functions and transactions involving HRM. This is represented by the second P– Positivity. DO.
HRMDO has taken all measures that the Happy HR aPPP complies with the laws, policies, and regulations implemented by the Civil Service Commission and the duly instituted local authorities. It can be accessed online through the web browser of any mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. All features and controls were user-friendly and manageable for easy and convenient employee access. HRMDO also compliments the application with other third-party applications and online platforms, such as Zoom for online meetings/events, Google Forms/Qualtric for online surveys, online storage facilities like Google Drive, and other online communication tools and platforms. As such, the Training and Evaluation Division has already started training on using online communications platforms since the current year’s second quarter.
It was officially launched and introduced on 23 March 2020, to ensure that employees are still on track not to hamper the delivery of services to all General Santos City constituents. From being used as a temporary solution to the apparent problem in managing tasks at work, Happy HR aPPP is now valued as a solution to remote working systems that maintain importance and relevance not only during this time of the pandemic but even in future endeavors of innovating work solutions in managing the human resources of LGU-Gensan.
The general IPCR ratings of employees for January to June 2020, the semester where the strict community quarantines were implemented in response to COVID-19, are satisfactory or better. Contrary to the expectation that the employees’ work performance will be affected, the Happy HR aPPP has helped in a way in maintaining the right course of each employee to help them perform their functions based on their IPCR. The challenges of the pandemic have also paved the way for various innovative responses stemming from the data and information received, processed, and analyzed from the Happy HR aPPP. LGU-Gensan has come up with programs, projects, activities, interventions, and initiatives to aid in the problems derived from the data, as inscribed in the three anchors of People First, Positivity, and Productivity.
Sharing this to various platforms and gatherings of HR professionals, former LGU-Gensan HRMDO Department Head, Ms. Leah Y. Tolimao, MBM, submitted an entry on the COVID-19 response to the Accreditation Council of the Philippine Management Association and Philippine Society of Fellows. As such, she was a Fellow in People Management (FPM) during the 57th PMAP Annual Conference via Zoom on 23 October 2020.
Moreover, it is also interesting to note that the LGU-Gensan, among the few LGUs in the region with Prime-HRM Level II accreditation (See Certificate of Recognition), is already capable of meeting the requirements and standards of PRIME-HRM Level III accreditation. To date, Level II is still the highest accreditation level conferred by CSC to government agencies/LGUs in the whole region of SOCCSKSARGEN. Nonetheless, HRMDO is already prepared for the next level of accreditation, notwithstanding that its current systems, such as Happy HR aPPP, comply with the Prime HRM advanced level 3 standards of developing and implementing communication plans engaging employees in executing processes and programs.