PA is First to Receive National Awards in All Categories for HR Management

HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Corbett has announced that Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration has received national awards in all three categories for leadership, innovation and communication in state human resource management.

The National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE) recognized Pennsylvania in all three categories of its 2014 awards program. Pennsylvania is the first state to have swept all award categories in one year.

“We are proud to be a leader among states in the management of human resources, and these awards are a reflection of the many efforts undertaken by my administration to operate government as effectively and efficiently as we can,” Corbett said. “Over the past three and a half years, we have achieved over $690 million in cost savings and productivity gains through innovations like these.”

The Office of Administration earned the Eugene H. Rooney, Jr. Leadership and Innovative Program Awards, as well as the Eva N. Santos Communications Award.

Established in memory of a former NASPE president, the Rooney Awards recognize individuals who exemplify the character, qualities and influence that Rooney had on state personnel administration, and innovative state human resource management practices that ensure access and equity while enhancing productivity and service delivery.

Santos, another former NASPE president, sought through her leadership to recognize excellence in state government human resource communication.

“Human resource development and management is a top issue for state government leaders across the nation,” said Secretary of Administration Kelly Powell Logan. “Pennsylvania is facing many of these challenges head-on, while also providing leadership and best practices that can benefit other public sector organizations.”

“Pennsylvania’s human resource management leaders have earned the respect of their peers around the country by implementing practical, yet innovative, approaches to address timely state government workforce issues,” said Leslie Scott, Executive Director of NASPE.

NASPE recognized Pennsylvania for the following:

Innovative Program Award – Disability Retirement Outreach
This telephone-based outreach program provides employees who apply for disability retirement pensions through the State Employees’ Retirement System with the information and resources to apply for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDi), a program of which many employees are unaware.

In addition to producing an estimated $28 million in savings over the next 10 years for the commonwealth, the program also benefits employees who ultimately are approved for SSDi benefits.

Communications Award – Employee Onboarding
The online orientation and standardized onboarding process for new hires has resulted in over $1 million in annual cost savings and productivity gains, while also improving employee readiness, engagement and satisfaction.

Upon accepting a job offer, new hires receive a link to a secure portal where they can enroll in benefits, establish direct deposit and read and acknowledge workplace policies. The onboarding system is also used to initiate the creation of employee email accounts, badges and other credentials, and interfaces with the federal E-Verify system to confirm employment eligibility.

Leadership Award – James Honchar, Office of Administration
Mr. Honchar has served as Deputy Secretary for Human Resource Management since 2007 and has worked in human resources for the commonwealth for 27 years. During his tenure, Honchar has championed the use of technology in human resources to improve information and services to state employees. Through initiatives such as the HR Service Center and Onboarding, OA has dramatically improved the consistency and quality of HR services to employees, while simultaneously delivering cost savings to taxpayers.

For more information on the awards program and winning submissions,

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