At one of our recent annual Forums I asked the audience how many knew of and used LGConnect, the free service SOLGM provides to all local government staff. While many did know that LGConnect allowed them to easily email their colleagues in councils across New Zealand it was still surprising how many weren't aware of the service - so time for a reminder. If you have a local government email address and want to join one or more of the 100+ groups it's very easy and really useful for those curly issues where you’d welcome hearing from others who might have had the same issue.

1. Visit the LGConnect website to find the list of groups you can join.

2. Send an email to leaving the subject line blank and typing Subscribe [name of group] in the body of the email. Repeat that - in individual emails - as many times as you like for each group you want to join.

3. You’ll receive an email in reply asking you to confirm your subscription. Type OK in the body of the email and click send. If you don't see the confirmation request in your Inbox check your Junk folder as they sometimes end up there.

4. Next you’ll receive an email confirming that your subscription request has been received. The final confirmation of your subscription may take up to two working days. Once confirmed you’ll be able to email everyone else that’s in the group.

If you know of others that could benefit from joining our LGConnect groups please do pass this information on.

WEBINAR: What's Happening with Holiday Pay? Online on 27 May at 10am.

Find out more about the much discussed recent holiday pay issue here.

Future Workforce Forum on 20 & 21 June in Wellington

Join your local government colleagues to discuss how the sector will need to do things differently in order to meet our workforce challenges, such as how to retain quality talent. The recent Operational and Management Effectiveness Programme’s reports highlighted some of those challenges. For instance the median overall staff turnover rate of 13.3% (for the 26 NZ councils that took part) doesn’t compare well with the 10.2% seen in NSW councils. Retaining young people in the sector is a particularly key issue.

In order to support councils meet these challenges, this year we have completely revamped our HR Forum. The new Future Workforce Forum has a programme that’s been designed to provide the tools and techniques to help the sector meet these challenges. Importantly it’s designed for senior managers responsible for the strategic thinking around the shape of the council’s workforce. Find out more and register here.

Changing Demographics on 11 July in Wellington

This one day event is for everyone wanting to gain an understanding about how changing demographics could impact communities. There is limited space at this event so we recommend early registration here.

Governance Professionals and Committee Advisors Forum on 25 & 26 July in Wellington

Don't miss this popular annual forum. This year the focus is on the changing legislative environment, changes in the practice of governance support and the impact of the 2016 elections. Find out more and register here.

LGAcceleratedLeadership - a new programme for the Otago/Southland region starts on 1 August. This programme has already been successfully delivered in a number of councils and is designed for those who already have some leadership experience and who want to take the next step. Find out more about this highly interactive leadership development programme, which is delivered over five months and can be linked to NZQA unit standards, here. If the location of this next programme doesn't suit and you're interested in a programme in your area please email Natalie Stevens, our Manager, Learning and Development.

Community Plan Forum on 15 & 16 August in Auckland

We have opened registrations for this annual Forum with the programme to follow shortly. For those involved in community planning and the engagement processes of Long Term Plans this is a must-attend.

SOLGM Annual Summit on 21 - 23 September in Auckland

A reminder that registrations are already open for our Summit with the Early Bird rate available till 19 August. We strongly recommend you look at the "registration with accommodation" option as we've secured a great rate for delegates at The Langham.