Apply for the 2016 Bridge Fellowship Program

Crossposted from the DES Express blog Applications open soon for the 2016 Bridge Fellowship Program: A Career Development Course for the Emerging Leader. The program is an opportunity for any employee to gain new skills and knowledge to assist in advancing your career at King County. Employees who participated in the 2015 King County employee engagement survey identified access to training opportunities and career growth as a key driver of their engagement, but less than half responded positively to having fair and equal access to career advance opportunities. The Bridge Fellowship Program… Read More

Administrative Professionals Recognition Day, April 27

Wednesday, April 27, 2016 is National Administrative Professionals Day! A special event will be held to honor and recognize the contributions of all King County government administrative professionals on Wednesday, April 27th from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Rooms 121 and 123 of the Chinook Building.  If you are an administrative professional, manager/supervisor of an administrative professional, or a customer, please join us. Space is limited. Click here to register.

Curiosity and Gratitude

Jennifer Hills, Director of the Office of Risk Management in the Department of Executive Services, was “devastated” when she looked at the engagement scores for her division. Lower than she expected “I was surprised because we’d been doing a lot of strategic planning and our 2012 employee survey results were so good.” Hills resolved to approach the conversation with her 22 person division with “curiosity and gratitude”: curiosity about the underlying reasons for the scores and gratitude for the opportunity to be able to address concerns. This opened the door for honest communication… Read More

What the Trainings Told Us

Last week we wrapped up trainings preparing managers and supervisors to lead their groups in responding to survey results. 498 (let’s call it 500) managers and supervisors participated in this training and still more are taking it online. That’s an incredible grassroots force out there leading culture change by having conversations with their work groups about how to improve engagement in the county. Evaluations from the trainings (scores are out of 5 where 1 is strongly disagree and 5 is strongly agree) show that: People will be able to apply what they’ve learned (4.14) They… Read More

Hopes and Fears

November 30 we started trainings for managers and supervisors on action planning with their workgroups. In the course of the trainings we talk about people’s hopes for how these conversations will go and what will come out of them. There is a lot of hope from our people leaders that this will be the beginning of a new dynamic between managers and supervisors. I have been inspired by the hopes we have heard: This will be an opportunity to build trust with employees The action plan will have an impact Everyone will… Read More

Open Ended Questions

“Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers” One of the best tools for having robust discussions about engagement and action planning with work groups is a handful of open ended questions. A good open ended question will engage people in discussion and help you better grasp the state of engagement, what success looks like and the steps needed to get there. We give participants in our trainings space to brainstorm open ended questions they can use in their discussions with work groups and they’ve come up with some… Read More

Breaking down barriers with Supported Employment: Jodeen Wieser

Jodeen Wieser is a 20-year employee with King County’s Environmental Lab, a Lab Assistant who performs a wide range of essential tasks that help the Lab do its work of collecting, analyzing and monitoring samples that protect our local environment. Jodeen is also a supported employee through a King County program that pairs her with a job coach to help with learning new skills, communication and any other issues that arise. “When you meet someone with a disability that maybe is a different picture of what you thought someone was or what… Read More

And… We’re Off!

We revealed the 2015 Employee Survey Results today and now we’re embarking on an unprecedented effort to respond to the results. This is going to be exciting. For the first time ever, we’re responding at every level of the organization. That means that departments, divisions and work groups will each have action plans to address issues that came up in the survey. And at the countywide level Best Run Government Employees will respond to the survey results. This blog will follow our journey to address the results. I anticipate we will share successes and… Read More

Job opportunities for veterans ease transition from military

Making the transition from military to civilian life can be a difficult one for many veterans but finding a meaningful job where they can utilize their skills while learning new ones can ease that transition. That’s why King County launched the Heroes Employment Reintegration Opportunity (HERO) Program back in 2012. “Veterans returning from deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan face a job market with high unemployment rates, and a civilian workforce where their valuable skills may not be recognized,” Councilmember Reagan Dunn said. “We have a responsibility to support those who have fought… Read More

Bridge Fellows graduate from development program

The first cohort of Bridge Fellows have graduated from the inaugural Bridge Fellowship program, part of King County’s commitment to empowering and developing its employees. The Bridge Fellowship program selected applicants from across the County to participate in a one-year leadership development program designed to advance participants’ careers with King County. The employees who participated in the program learned more about King County as an organization, shadowed employees in other County roles, created development plans for growth, and worked collaboratively on a team project designed to extend the knowledge of Equity and Social Justice across… Read More