Kudos! King County joins list of best places to work
King County’s efforts to create a workplace culture that empowers employees as problem-solvers and decision-makers are beginning to pay dividends, with the County making Forbes magazine’s list of America’s 500 Best Employers in 2016.
King County ranked number 192 on the 2016 list –the first time it has appeared in the ranking– and number 19 among governments nationwide. Forbes compiled the list by asking more than 30,000 U.S. workers employed by companies with more than 5,000 staff members how likely they were to recommend their employer to someone else and how they felt about other employers in their industry.
This recognition marks a milestone in the work that began six years ago when Dow Constantine was elected King County Executive, bringing a focus on transforming the County into an organization that was better able to anticipate and meet the needs of its two million residents through its employees.
“We’re working to transform King County into an employer that fully supports its employees, empowers them to innovate and make decisions, and provides genuine opportunity for development and growth–that’s how we deliver more value for our customers,” Executive Constantine said.
In 2014, Executive Constantine launched an initiative aimed at modernizing King County’s recruitment, development, compensation and business systems so the County’s employees could better respond to the changing needs of the people they serves.
The initiative recognized that employees need equitable opportunities for career development and to be treated with respect, and a work environment that encourages them to innovate and look for continuous improvement in their work.
An additional goal was to become recognized as a great place to work, something that is important in recruiting new employees in a region that boasts some of the most recognizable companies in the world.
“There is a lot of competition for talent in our region and we need to be able to stand out to attract and retain the best employees,” Robert James, Senior Human Resource Analyst with the Department of Executive Services, said. “Being recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Employers” helps enhance our value proposition for employees, which will allow us to provide value-added services to our residents and become a best-run government.”
The 2015 King County employee survey showed significant progress in these efforts. Sixty-nine percent of employees said they would recommend King County as a great place to work, 11 points above the benchmark for comparable governments nationwide, and 74 percent said they were proud to work for King County.
The survey also showed several areas for improvement, and employees, managers and directors across the County are now working together to create workplans that respond to the issues that employees raised.
By addressing issues that employees have identified, King County hopes to become an even better place to work, and a better service-provider for customers.
“Being recognized as one of the best 200 places in America to work is a great honor, but we are going to keep striving to become the very best – for King County employees and for the people they serve every day,” Executive Constantine said.