Magazine article Government Finance Review

Center for Excellence Recognizes Local Governments for Workforce Excellence

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Center for Excellence Recognizes Local Governments for Workforce Excellence

Article excerpt

The City and County of San Francisco was selected for the Center for State and Local Government Excellence's inaugural Local Government Workforce Excellence Award. Two other local governments will receive honorable mention awards: Coconino County, Arizona, and the local governments of San Mateo County and Santa Clara County, both in California.

The Center recognizes city and county governments that are taking a long-term perspective, enabling their employees to learn and grow so they can promote from within and tracking their results so they know what works and what doesn't.

San Francisco has a comprehensive workforce program that is geared to attracting, retaining, and developing its 26,000 employees, who work in 26 agencies. Strategies include cross-agency workforce assessment and planning, including sharing best practices. Telecommuting, hiring retirees for short-term projects, and offering leave policies to meet a wide range of employee needs are part of the organization's flexible approach. In addition, San Francisco has a partnership with the state university's extended learning program and the city college to help employees gain essential job-related skills.

San Francisco's high performance strategies include:

* Internal leadership programs developed by city departments.

* Formalized feedback using a 360-degree model for supervisors and managers.

* Written performance appraisals tied to expectations in yearly performance plans.

* A partnership with the national service corps City Hall Fellows to recruit and retain recent college graduates.

* Employee communications through a robust website and quarterly newsletter.

Coconino County has used innovative strategies in the last several years of economic challenges to cut costs without reducing its emphasis on work-life balance for its 1,200 employees. …

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