#ELGL18: Beyond Employee Engagement: Empowering Staff to Build the Organization They Want
The City of Aurora, Colorado and the City of Hillsboro, Oregon both dove into addressing how to become an employer of choice and how to adapt to a changing workforce. Both cities turned to the employees themselves to lead a conversation about culture as well as policy. The teams quickly learned this project was much more than a policy discussion, but an opportunity to create and innovate outside their daily roles. By creating a culture of inclusive innovation, the cities were able to inspire change from all areas of the organization. In the end, employees were able to make changes that would impact their peers and the future of city employment. But how do you start a team like this?
Join us for an hour discussion on how to create teams that tackle bigger policy challenges in our organizations. The session will focus on starting with WHY, how to create ideation teams, and how to implement policy recommendations which do not necessarily fall within a department or job responsibility. The panel will share what they learned along the way, as well as concrete steps you can take back to your organization.
Michael Lawson is the Manager of Special Projects in the City of Aurora City Manager’s Office. His role involves leading a wide variety of multi-departmental initiatives ranging from creating new employee development opportunities to developing citywide infrastructure for electric vehicles to planning for Aurora’s smart city future. Michael is one of the project sponsors for the City of Aurora’s SHIFT Next Generation Workplace initiative, the City’s effort to attract and retain high quality talent. Michael has worked for Aurora for nearly 10 years; previously, he worked for the City of San Diego. He holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California San Diego. Michael is married with two children.
Michael Valdiris has served the City of Aurora Water Department for the past five years. He has performed in multiple roles including: Billing Supervisor, Water Service Supervisor and Project Manager. Prior to his tenure with Aurora, he worked in the utilities and customer Service fields for Colorado Springs Utilities. Michael obtained both his Masters of Business Administration and his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. The teams he has lead are consistently recognized for high levels of performance, superior customer service, and a commitment to Servant Leadership. Michael places a very high value on innovation and collaboration.
Elizabeth Gillitzer-Gallardo has been with the City of Aurora for seven years. She began her career with Aurora as a 911 dispatcher and has transitioned over to the Water Department, where she now works as a Customer Care Supervisor. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and is continuing her education for a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management. Elizabeth has served as project manager for many city programs such as Aurora Water Cares, Water’s new payment assistance program, and CAMP, the City of Aurora Mentoring Program.
Michael Brown is the city manager of Hillsboro, Oregon. With more than 24 years of public service in local government, Michael’s career path to Hillsboro includes leadership roles in several local governments, including Corvallis, Oregon; Lexington, Massachusetts; Olathe, Kansas; Colchester, Vermont; and Douglas County, Nevada.
In addition to public service, Michael’s other great passion in life comes from spending time with family and friends, particularly his wife Brandie. Reflecting his own commitment to valuing loved ones, Michael encourages Hillsboro City employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance as they strive to ensure Hillsboro’s place as the best city in the universe.
Travelling and riding motorcycles rank high on Michael’s list of adventuresome pursuits, but you are more likely to see him around Hillsboro playing sports, enjoying great food, and laughing as often as possible.
Steve Pleasant leads innovation and process improvement efforts at the City of Hillsboro and is a Senior Information Services Analyst. His responsibilities at the city include providing Lean Six Sigma training for employees, coaching cross-departmental improvement teams, and managing improvement initiatives across departments. Steve was the facilitator for the City Manager’s Eureka Challenge Employer of Choice team and has over 35 years of experience in manufacturing, finance, and customer service including workflow management, ERP system integrations, and in managing cross-functional teams. Steve lives in Hillsboro with his wife of 37 years and has two grown children.
Hillary Ostlund is a Manager for the City of Hillsboro’s Library department. She currently leads the library’s Cultivate team, focused on staff development, training, and employee engagement. A continuous learner with a background in design thinking, Hillary is always looking for ways to bring inspiration and ideas into the workplace while matching people’s strengths to their work. Hillary is extremely passionate about public services – especially the role libraries play in communities – with notable leadership training and development. She is excited to hold a leadership position at the City of Hillsboro’s Library and loves being part of an innovative and inspiring municipal government.
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- Are Libraries Considered Essential Services in Local Government and Public Education?
- Real-Time Decision Making
- The Shape of Water
- State of the City with Scott Lazenby, Author & City Manager
- The Straight-Up Story to Empower Innovation in Your Government through Process Improvement
- David Sewell McCann, Sparkle Stories
- Michael Karlik, City Council Chronicles
- Continuing the #13Percent Conversation
- Did I Do That? How to Recognize Bias and Make Better Decisions