By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Shelley Raney is working with Cleveland County Clerk Tammy Belinson to build a Human Resources Department to serve 400 or so Cleveland County employees and their supervisors.
“It was something I felt I couldn’t turn down,” said Raney, who was hired earlier this year as the Cleveland County Human Resource Director. “This is the first time they’ve ever had a human resources department.”
Raney came to Belinson with the strong recommendation of District 2 County Commissioner Darry Stacy. Raney had worked for the Norman Police Department for nearly 21 years and is a lifelong Norman resident.
“Some of this is a learning experience,” Raney said. “Coming from city government to county there are some differences, but state and federal laws are still the same for all employees.”
Haney has been busy attending professional conferences and training classes. She will help employees with insurance issues, retirement, family medical leave and other employment issues. She also will help elected officials and department heads with employee discipline, state mandates and more.
“I want to work toward things for the employees, wellness programs and certification programs,” she said.
There is some state mandated training that county employees and elected officials must attend, but Haney wants to expand on training and bring it in-house so more employees can take advantage of the training opportunities. The commissioners’ meeting room will now double as a webinar training room, thanks to the recent installation of a smart board.
“Most webinars that you attend are huge group discussions,” Raney said. “The ones I’ve attended I found a lot of information out of. They go through each point with you and answer questions.”
During her years with the police department Raney worked her way up to be a personnel, training and administrative tech. She has two sons who attend Norman public schools, and she’s invested in the community.
“I’ve been involved with the Animal Welfare Oversight Committee since 2006,” she said. “I still try to provide any knowledge I have to the people who took over my position.”
Setting up a new department from scratch is a challenge, but it’s one she’s enjoying.
“We want to do this right and get it set up to better the county,” she said.
She has also helped with FEMA documentation since tornadoes hit areas of Cleveland County on May 19, 20 and 31.
“We had damage in all three,” she said.
Raney has worked side-by-side with Emergency Management Director George Mauldin.
“He and I work really good together,” she said. “He did the outside stuff, and I did the inside stuff. He worked long hard hours on that.”
FEMA sends representatives to help with the paper work. That paper work can be very detailed as the federal agency requires receipts for every hammer, nail, screwdriver or flashlight, documentation of employee hours and more.
“FEMA has helped me out tremendously,” she said.
With the department up and running and tornado recovery well underway, Raney is turning her thoughts to an incentive program to encourage employees to make healthy choices.
“A lot of other places already have wellness programs intact,” she said.
Such programs proactively work to prevent diabetes and obesity and to help employees quit smoking.
“We’re very excited about getting it together,” Raney said. “A couple of other counties have already started it and had good outcomes, so we hope to follow in their footsteps.”
The wellness program will be voluntary but incentivized. Raney doesn’t know yet what the incentives will be.
“That’s something that we’re working towards,” she said. “What we’re going to use as incentives and what we’re going to cover.”