Cultural change doesn’t come overnight

Merging organizations takes time, and HR departments in the public sector are learning it can take a lot of time.
By David Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/29/2001

A word of advice for public-sector HR departments struggling with amalgamation: move fast but have patience because it’s not easy and it does take time.

Things don’t happen quickly in the public sector. Not with responsibilities to the public, and the constraints of politicians and their budgets being what they are.

As modern and efficient as the public sector wants to be — and that is the intent of the amalgamations — adopting a private-sector-style business plan is unworkable. Besides dealing with heavily unionized workforces, working in the public sector means decisions have been, and will continue to be, made with more than just bottom-line considerations. On top of that, the push for “efficiency” has meant, almost invariably, downsizings and doing more work with fewer resources, making the challenges of amalgamation all the greater, often under unreasonable timelines that raise the ire of unions.