Enhancing Employee Recognition
A key finding from the employee focus groups, which formed the basis for the 2011 Workforce Strategic Plan, was the need to broaden the County's employee recognition efforts. Research from workplace polls by Gallup and Harris, as well as the work of organizational psychologists, identify recognition as vital to building outstanding organizations and an essential element in sustaining high performance and job satisfaction. The County currently has several County-wide recognition programs, including Employee of the Month and Team of the Quarter, in addition to the annual Length of Service Recognition ceremony. How can the County build on this foundation in developing new avenues of recognition and also provide support to Departments in building customized programs suited to their workforces?
Creating a Culture of Innovation
A guiding principle of the County's 2010 Long-Term Restructuring Plan is the promotion of creative and innovative solutions. We currently have an Innovation Grants program, but our systems and structures are not always conducive to innovation. Steep hierarchies can slow down the flow of information essential for idea generation; heavy operational workloads can make it difficult to find the time to focus on different approaches to the work. How can the County design innovation into its organization and create environments that encourage and nurture ideas at all levels.
Improving Internal Communications
Effective communication is essential to every aspect of the County's business. Employees need information to accomplish tasks and achieve their goals. The quality of communication builds relationships and promotes teamwork and collaboration. The County's goal of creating more dynamic organizations - with leadership reflected at all level - requires timely and reliable information to inform decisions. With anticipated retirements of 1 in 4 employees in the next five years, knowledge transfer and the cultivation of learning environments will be vital to transitioning to a new workforce. How can the County improve its communication systems to meet new challenges and support its employees in improving their communication skills and capability?
Strengthening Onboarding Practices for New Hires
The County will be losing 1 in 4 of our employees during the next 4 years. We currently connect with new hires around benefits and policies, but have no formal approach to introducing new employees to the values and preferred workplace culture. There is a strong business case to introduce your workforce to the vision, mission, and desired outcomes as early as possible.
Building a Robust Internship Program
Marin County is working to attract a more diverse applicant pool allowing us to support a workforce that reflects those we serve. Since nearly half of all of our hires are internal promotions, there is a strong business case to create a talent pipeline within the organization. Interns bring great value to the workplace through their unique perspectives, knowledge of emerging technologies, and generational diversity. Marin's lack of public transportation and affordable housing is an obstacle in attracting rich pool of interns. Jose Varela will support the group focusing on developing a robust program and creating a talent pipeline.
Developing a Coaching Culture
The recent Strategic Workforce Plan outlined the intent for the County of Marin to create a workplace where everyone can do their best work. This means building a workplace where we are invested not only in our own successes but in the success of those around us. We have not had a formal way to provide support to emerging leaders nor have we provided the tools or expectations that t=each of us is responsible to contributed to the development of others. Mike Daley will support the class project group focusing on creating a Mentoring/Coaching Program.