Class Projects

Mary Hao, Director, Human Resources

Index

Fall 2014

Class Projects

Employee Recognition

  • How can the County continue to build on this foundation in developing new avenues of recognition and further our existing efforts?

The County currently has several Countywide recognition programs, including Employee of the Month, Team of the Quarter, and annual Length of Service Recognition ceremony. In addition, the Leadership Academy identified this area as an opportunity for focus and development by establishing the Employee Recognition class project in the Spring 2012 class.

Employee Communications

  • How can the County continue to improve its communication systems to meet existing and emerging challenges, and to support employees in improving their skills and capabilities?

Effective communication is essential to every aspect of the County's business. The Leadership Academy identified this area as an opportunity for focus and development by establishing the Internal Communications class project in the Spring 2012 class.

Culture of Learning / Career Development

  • How can the County build a culture of learning and support employees in their career development?

The County of Marin has demonstrated its commitment to developing a strong talent pipeline within the organization. The 2014 Employee Voice underscored our workforce’s desire to receive and participate in meaningful training and career development opportunities.

Spring 2013

Class Projects

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.

Fall 2012

Class Projects

Onboarding Program: Problem statement

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.

Victoria Loufakis sponsored the group working on this project.

Internship Program: Problem statement

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 supported the group focusing on developing a robust program and creating a talent pipeline.

Mentoring/Coaching Program: Problem statement

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 each of us is responsible to contributed to the development of others. Mike Daley supported the class project group focusing on creating a Mentoring/Coaching Program.

What does it mean to provide Executive Sponsorship?

Executive Sponsor will:

  • Become familiar with your group members and insure that they understand the problem statement.
  • Provide an avenue to contact you with questions and concerns.
  • Provide guidance; however not high level specific details and tasks. The intent is for the class project to be a problem that is open to a full array of solutions.  Students will apply their leadership learning to develop the class project.
  • Stop by the class during lunch hours or late in the day when the group is likely to be working on their project.
  • Review and provide feedback to the presentations that will be made at the December graduation.
  • Assist in advancing the recommendations that deliver the most value to the organization.

Spring 2012

Class Projects

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?