One of the three key areas that came out of the 2015 King County Employee Survey was the need for career development. Employees were eager for training to improve their skills and for opportunities to advance in their careers.
It is with this in mind that King County’s Department of Information Technology (KCIT) formed its Employee Engagement Committee (EEC), to help create ways to improve the employee experience, and give each person the skills needed to advance their career.
With members from different KCIT teams and units, the EEC is able to bring different perspectives and ideas together, resulting in a successful all-day career exploration event for KCIT employees.
Robert Malcolm, an Application Developer, explains that the idea for this came from a much larger process of discussion and brainstorming.
“The need for employee growth resonated with a bunch of us on the committee,” he said. “We just wanted to do something about engaging employees in their work, and showing them a place to go in their jobs.”
“Once we realized it was an area of need we became impassioned to do a career-day type of event.”
Through careful planning and ongoing relationship management to ensure representatives from many service groups were included, the first Day of Discovery for KCIT employees was a great success. Over 100 employees attended the all-day event, held at the Chinook Building.
Employees were able to attend two-hour sessions that featured staff from multiple KCIT Services to learn more about opportunities for career growth. Employees also received specific information regarding the training and skills needed for various positions within KCIT. The event even provided an eLearning Lab to engage employees in additional online learning opportunities outside of KCIT.
Dijana Steward, a KCIT Project Manager, explains that the event was planned down to the last detail, to ensure every employee in attendance found it meaningful.
“The EEC essentially broke up into two groups,” she said, “One handled the logistics like room prepping and food, and the other worked with the ‘talent’.”
“We even had a ‘Leadership Lounge’ with refreshments and give-aways where management and supervisors, like KCIT CIO Bill Kehoe, could hang out and connect with employees.”
The event was so successful, the EEC wants to make it an annual, if not semi-annual event, and find ways to make the event accessible to employees who work in remote locations or different hours. Building on this momentum, the EEC also plans to follow up with other ideas it came up with for employee development. One is a web space that will allow for employees to connect to other resources.
“We wanted to have an event, but also a SharePoint space for employees to come interact with,” Dijana said. ““So we continue to work on the SharePoint site, adding content and building a framework.”
The other is a possible mentoring program to help employees learn about careers and qualifications.
“The next big thing is a mentoring program,” said Robert. “We want to connect people who want a new job with people who can give them the resources and skills to get that job.”
These exciting employee engagement programs are sure to be just as successful as the Day of Discovery. They are not only building on the direct feedback of employees through the 2015 Employee Engagement Survey, but are also grounded in the creativity and passion of real KCIT employees who are empowered to make change happen in their work place, and are committed to the success of their fellow employees.
The KCIT Employee Engagement Committee will also be working with KC Human Resources on its upcoming King County wide Mentoring Program. The program seeks to expand connections and opportunities between employees to foster career development and growth.
For a first-hand narrative from the Day of Discovery, read “Day of Discovery” KCIT employees embark on a journey to new career opportunities on the KC Employee News site.