More than 400 Department of Executive Services (DES) employees came together over two sessions on March 3 for the third annual DES All-Hands Meeting to build understanding of how DES employees contribute to the success of King County, support key priorities and how the department and the County can help them be more successful.
Department Director Caroline Whalen wanted to bring the department’s employees together to build on the responses from the recent King County Employee Survey, share some successes from the department’s focus on customer service, and hear from King County Executive Dow Constantine on how their work support his key priorities.
Executive Constantine talked about the key role that DES employees–and all King County employees–have in achieving his priorities of confronting climate change, building equity and social justice, advancing regional mobility and becoming the best-run government.
“Our employees are innovative and dedicated to their work. You put us on the cutting edge and keep us moving forward,” he said, speaking directly to the crowd. “The Employee Survey is helping us know what you need to feel valued and to be successful and we’re going to do it. We’re going to build on it.”
The meeting also featured a video with people from around the department, sharing personal statements about employee engagement. Customer Service Director Natasha Jones led a session on customer service, reminding DES employees that we are each customers looking for a positive experience, and can incorporate that sentiment into our work.
“It matters how we treat each other because we are all each other’s customers too,” she said. “We want to keep the focus on what we do, not what we can’t do.”
The afternoon session wrapped up with several testimonies from employees and organizations that have worked with King County to enhance themselves and their work. Dave Tarshes, attorney at the Northwest Justice Project (NWJP), summed up the exceptional attitude of King County employees for working in collaboration with NWJP to create a healthy, thriving community for all.
“King County people are the best to work with because they are cooperative and flexible,” he said. “I appreciate their support for our work and for King County residents overall.”