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Workforce changes position City positively for future

​A workforce adjustment and organizational restructure initiative at the City of Lethbridge has been completed in an effort to ensure the organization is as financially and operationally efficient as possible.

In response to the findings of an independent organizational structure review, City Council directed a reduction in the size of the corporation by 60 full time equivalent (FTE) positions last November. Implementation of the organizational restructure and workforce adjustment began in June and will result in a consolidation of departments from 35 to 22 and a reduction of 61 (FTE). Nearly half of the FTE will be realized by cutting positions kept vacant during the pandemic as a result of prudent planning and hiring restraint.  

"These types of initiatives are never easy," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "We know it is critical work at this time as we look to be as agile as possible coming out of the pandemic. But we also know this has a very real human element which makes it difficult for everyone involved."

Residents should not notice any additional service level changes due to workforce adjustment beyond those associated with last fall's budget reduction initiatives. As work is distributed across fewer staff, it is expected that it may take longer to get some work done. While every effort has been made to mitigate this, the City will monitor implementation and respond as required. The staff reductions are estimated to result in a salary savings $4.28 million annually.

"Our City staff work extremely hard each and every day. Our challenge has, and will continue to be, to ensure that we operate as efficiently as possible while continuing to meet the Council-directed service levels citizens expect," says City Manager Craig Dalton. "Doing so in an uncertain economic environment is even more important. While we will be doing less with less in some areas of our work, we are confident that our organizational restructure efforts and our ongoing focus on innovation and continuous improvement will help us prioritize our efforts and manage the new workload in a sustainable way across a leaner organization."

As part of the organizational restructuring initiative, the City has established an Organizational Performance and Continuous Improvement team and centralized Corporate and Customer Services. These, and other changes, are being made in response to KPMG-identified opportunities to be even more agile, innovative, customer-centric, results-oriented and accountable as an organization.

The corporate workforce changes are helping the City align structure with strategy in order to be as effective as possible. These are important initiatives as the City faces possible cuts in provincial and federal grants while pushing forward with COVID recovery. 

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