Lena Taylor has joined the Villa Rica City Government staff as the city’s new Human Resources Director.
Taylor joins the staff with over 15 years of experience in the HR field, an industry that she says has evolved since the days when the human relations department was only involved in the hiring of employees.
“I believe we have become ‘career awareness professionals,’ where we support our employees – not only on the job, but off the job,” Taylor said. “We want them to have the whole work-life balance.”
Taylor added that modern HR departments look beyond the basics of hiring and evaluating job performance to considering that an employee’s work is only part of their life.
“It’s our duty as HR professionals, to acknowledge when our employees need help or need assistance and informing them that we have the resources to help not only them, but also to help their family as well.”
Taylor has had prior experience with the City of Newark, N.J., where she administered city benefits polices and training programs. She also worked with Newark’s Parking Authority, where she supervised an HR team and created employee programs on financial literacy and healthy lifestyles.
Most recently, Taylor was Deputy HR director for Atlanta Technical College and consulted with several organizations on staff recruitment, policy manuals, and creating compensation and benefits plans.
Taylor began work in Villa Rica on May 23 and has been welcomed by city staff.
“Our staff is our greatest asset,” said Tom Barber, City Manager. “Lena not only brings a wealth of experience to the city, but she is a good fit with the other professionals who make up our team.”
Sarah Andrews, deputy city manager and chief financial officer, said the staff was “extremely excited” to welcome Taylor to the staff.
“Her previous municipal experience and her contagious positivity make her the right choice for this position,” Andrews said.
Taylor said that when considering the position in Villa Rica, she was particularly impressed with the benefits package available to city employees; benefits (including a city self-insurance program) that add to the competitive salary packages the city offers.
“I couldn’t believe how it extensive it is,” she said. “It’s very forward looking. The offerings are phenomenal.”
She said that she is eager to get to work with the city employees and promised an open-door policy in which they can discuss all concerns with her, and not just those having to do with their jobs.
“We can’t satisfy, you know, everyone’s needs wants and desires,” Taylor said. “But we should make them feel valued; make them understand that without them, the wheel does not turn. So how do we do that? We listen, and I mean actively listen. And active listening means that you just don’t hear what they say you act on what they say.”
Public Information Officer
City of Villa Rica