On October 26, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Human Resources Department held a Human Resources Summit at the Talking Stick Conference Center. The topics of the summit included employee assistance and employee wellness.
The goal of the event was for the Human Resources Department to reach out to the other human resources departments throughout the Community, such as those at Casino Arizona and the other enterprises, to update and notify them of some changes and new programs within the Community government.
A continental breakfast, an opening prayer from Council Member Lorna Ray and a welcoming from Assistant Human Resources Director Steve Haydukovich started off the morning.
Out of many SRPMIC government departments, Human Resources plays an important role because its policies affect employees in all the other departments.
Community Manager Bryan Meyers talked about New Employee Orientation (NEO), which is presented monthly by the department. Meyers said he makes it a priority to speak at each one. “I show the new employees slides about all the [Community] enterprises out there, [and explain] that I refer them as the ‘sisters and brothers of the government.’ I also inform them all about the Community.”
He also talked about other department services, such as the Tribal Emergency Response Commission (TERC) and how the government connects with the enterprises on a regular basis.
“Since I first started, it’s almost unimaginable the growth of [the Human Resources] organization. Twenty years from now, Human Resources will be even bigger and a more happening place,” said Meyers. “There is a lot of career advancement and opportunity throughout this tribe.”
About four years ago, the department started brainstorming ideas of how to get to people in the government and enterprises to work together. There are always changes to policies and new programs coming up within the human resources field, and they want the other human resources departments to be aware and connected so that hiring Community members is easier for both the departments and enterprises.
Meyers suggested that the Human Resources Summits be held more frequently. “I think this group should meet quarterly, especially during critical times, to share resources and ideas and to talk about programs. I want us working hard to share resources,” said Meyers.
A Variety of Human Resources Topics
Haydukovich said that since the first summit, which was three years ago, many were finding that Human Resources is one of the most important departments to the Community.
“We have really good programs in Human Resources that we want to share with all the enterprises,” said Haydukovich.
He added that the Arizona minimum wage is going up, and we are currently higher than the federal minimum wage; also, Arizona is about the most conservative of all the states.
“The enterprises are more connected with us than people think, and we wanted to meet with them on the changing issues that face human resources departments and come up with ideas,” said Haydukovich.
Throughout the day, the summit just focused on updates on Community human resources benefits and policies. Some of the changes discussed were reorganizing the department to build up the Community employment division and changing a lot of programs, such as the day labor program and employee regulations.
“We are expanding on programs such as the day labor program, and we shared information about that program with the enterprises. Hopefully they too will use it,” said Haydukovich.
Another expanding program is vocational rehabilitation, a service that is available to those with disabilities and special needs to help them become employable.
“It’s an assistance program that can help employ people with disabilities. It provides them with resources and educates them about finding employment,” said Haydukovich.
A discussion of changes in policies that might come about due to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was also on the agenda.
“I always think that the summit turns out great. This year a lot more people came; not only was it successful, it had the biggest turnout,” said Haydukovich.
Haydukovich said they are reaching their goal of reaching more and more employers. “Our goal is to try and expand it out to the [Pima] Corridor employers, but right now we are more focused on the Community employers such as Casino Arizona, Salt River Materials and Devco.”
Andrew Weiler, the Community’s wellness program supervisor, gave a presentation on encouraging wellness within the workplace and the programs incentive. In 2011, the SRPMIC was named the healthiest government by Phoenix Business Journal.