Focus Area 5: Approved addendum to the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan as adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, Jan. 31, 2019
Following extensive employee and stakeholder feedback, the Board of County Commissioners on Jan. 31, 2019 adopted the following recommendations. The Board’s adoption formally incorporates the recommended next steps into our guiding workforce equity policy document: the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan.
To ensure oversight and accountability, this work plan highlights the role and authority of the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan Committee to monitor and assess progress towards existing Workforce Equity Strategic Plan performance measures.
The work plan also establishes subcommittees with stakeholders who will be impacted, as well as subject matter experts, who can develop standards and best practices for implementation. The committee, with representatives from Employee Resource Groups, leadership teams, labor and community partners, elected offices and technical experts, is responsible for submitting an annual report to the board with recommendations for policy updates to the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan.
Clarifying and Communicating our Vision
1. Develop clear county-wide communication that supports and deepens understanding of “Leading with Race” - Multnomah County’s intersectional approach to workforce equity. Adopted in April 2018, the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan acknowledged that racial inequities were built into institutions and systems of government, that racialized outcomes have been pervasive within Multnomah County and a racial equity lens must inform the way strategies and solutions are developed.
a. Initial language will be captured on the Safety, Trust and Belonging website by January 2019. ODE and the Multnomah Idea Lab will be activated to research and develop definitions by summer 2019. Will also inform talent development reorganization and leadership model development.
2. Better define and communicate about this overall effort by creating shared language, glossary and education materials for the terms, frames and concepts we are utilizing including equity, cultural responsiveness, targeted universalism and safety, trust and belonging.
a. Current language will be captured on the Safety, Trust and Belonging website by January 2019. ODE and Multnomah County’s Ideal Lab will be activated to research and develop definitions by summer 2019.
3. Conduct an analysis of current communication channels and reach and develop communication best practices that support shifting cultures and systems; identify benchmarks to track success.
a. Communications Office to lead this effort with stakeholder input.
Structural Changes that Support Shifting Practice and Culture (Organizational Culture)
1. Reorganize Talent Development and Talent Acquisition resources in Central Human Resources to build a new organizational development model that emphasizes the critical leadership skills needed to create an environment and culture of safety, trust and belonging. This action would strategically align county-wide recruitment, on-boarding and leadership development efforts with an explicit goal of strengthening managers’ ability and accountability in creating workplace culture that reduces disparities.
a. Timeline: COO to develop implementation timeline and process developing new model by March 2019.
2. Fully transfer responsibility for investigating protected class complaints to a non-departmental unit reporting to the COO’s office. The creation of a centralized complaint unit builds on the interim process but will end departmental management of those investigations, allowing the county to employ investigators with specialized skills including multi-cultural competency, compassionate communication and conflict resolution.
a. Timeline: COO to work with ODE, the Chair’s Office, Central HR and Budget Office to develop FY 2020 budget proposal. Requires board budget approval. If approved, implementation expected after July 1, 2019.
3. Create clearly defined and standardized roles, responsibilities and classifications for departmental equity manager positions that acknowledge their expertise and specialization with principles of equity and inclusion
a. Timeline: To be included as part of classification study conducted by Human Resources in 2019.
Updating the role, responsibility and authority of the Office of Diversity and Equity (Promotion, Professional Development, and Retention)
1. Review the Office of Diversity and Equity’s current and proposed roles and responsibilities, and complete an analysis of various structural placements of ODE and propose updates to the Multnomah County Code provisions related to ODE to reflect revised scope.
a. Timeline: Chair’s Office will convene a workgroup in early 2019 that will make recommendations by June 2019.
2. Update ODE job classifications and job descriptions to include the following new scopes of work: reviewing exempt hiring and promotional decisions, involuntary terminations, probationary terminations; developing an Equity Toolkit; conducting exit interviews; assisting with access, accommodation and centralized handling of Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodation requests and developing an implementation plan based on the conclusions of the Equity, Accommodations for People with Disabilities report.
a. Timeline: CDEO will submit program offer with updated job description for the Civil Rights Administrator aligned with budget timeline.
b. Timeline: CDEO will submit program offer with inclusion of Disability Support Specialist aligned with budget timeline
3. Create an FY 2020 budget proposal to meet the expanded office scope and responsibility aligned with a three-year ODE strategic plan.
Improving Practice (Organizational Culture, Retention)
1. Develop a comprehensive equity toolkit for use by departmental diversity and equity teams to facilitate efforts to create work environments that are safe, equitable and fair and address systemic barriers to equity and inclusion.
a. WESP Committee - established by project charter - will convene a priority subcommittee to develop draft toolkit.
2. Design a leadership development and accountability model that emphasizes leading with equity and includes clear expectations, practices, supports and metrics to measure success; also aligns with rollout of new competencies.
a. WESP Committee - established by project charter - will convene a high priority subcommittee by spring 2019 with expected recommendations for a leadership model by July 1, 2019.
b. Develop objectives and performance measures for WESP update and countywide rollout by January 1, 2020.
3. Develop a talent acquisition, orientation and onboarding model for exempt employees that includes a focus on principles of racial equity and basic understanding of targeted universalism.
a. WESP Committee to assess current recruitment, retention objectives and performance measures and recommend additional objectives or measures if needed.
Measuring Impact and Culture Change (Organizational Culture)
1. CWES/Belonging Survey - Conduct analysis of Countywide Employee Survey and identify opportunities to add indicators of belonging.
a. ODE will convene an evaluation committee working with ERU to conduct analysis and provide a recommendation to the WESP Committee by summer 2019 prior to the next CWES being administered.
2. Develop departmental evaluation metrics in addition to those in the Workforce Equity Strategic Plan that measure progress towards the WESP performance metrics and/or trigger additional support or intervention.
a. WESP Committee to convene a future subcommittee to review and consider additional evaluation metrics - prioritized by committee and stakeholder feedback.