Internal Operations

Internal Operations

Strengthen Organizational Culture

  • Goal 1: Continue to invest in training, continuing education, and personal development.
  • Goal 2: Improve internal communication and engagement.
  • Goal 3: Assess operational needs and organizational structure.
  • Goal 4: Become a more data-driven organization.
  • Goal 5: Increase focus on Districtwide succession planning.

Tactic 1: To adapt to the long-term impacts of the pandemic, continue to analyze organizational needs to support operations (Completed-Summer 2021)

Progress Update

  • In March 2020, shifted focus of District's day-to-day operations to addressing pandemic to initially respond to the Governor’s Shut Down Order and then to facilitate the safe and efficient return to services and the workplace (Spring & Summer 2020)
  • Based on the District’s financial outlook and to remain financially sustainable during and post-pandemic, instituted expenditure reductions such as staff furloughs, layoffs, pay reductions, capital project deferrals, freezing vacant positions, etc. (Spring, Summer, & Fall 2020)
  • Held seven (7) staff operational and capital budget workshops to collaboratively discuss 2021 strategic and budget priorities across District functions (e.g., separate meetings for programming, facilities, administrative, parks, capital planning staff) (Fall 2020)
  • Continued to evaluate and address staffing needs based on programming/facility re-openings/growth and administrative support needs (Winter & Spring 2021)
  • To improve park operations in the field and improve outcomes in park maintenance, restructured supervision within the Parks Department without increasing the number of employees (Winter 2021)
  • Completed a District-wide organizational assessment, which entailed each Department undergoing a modified SWOT analysis that included identifying bright spots, challenges, needs, and opportunities impacting their operational performance currently or potentially in the future and the Management Team using that feedback to identify the key organizational issues to address in the future (Spring & Summer 2021)
  • Determined next steps and targeted timing for implementing the key organizational assessment issues, which guided the development of the 2022 Strategic Work Plan, department work plans, and 2022 Budget (Summer 2021)
  • Implemented organizational assessment short-term next steps, including determining the future of virtual/online programs and creating the Centennial Recreation Center facility and operations plan (Summer and Fall 2021) 
  • To optimize Enterprise Services financial performance and facility maintenance resources across the District, shifted Courts Plus, Wilder Mansion, and Sugar Creek Golf Course facility operations, budget, and staffing to the Facilities Department (from the Enterprise Services Department) (Fall 2021 and Winter 2022)
  • To support future operations and based on improving revenue projections, reviewed staffing needs for 2022 budget planning and allocated funding in the approved 2022 Budget to restore positions eliminated in 2020 (due to pandemic fiscal constraints) along with new positions (to continue restarting programs and services suspended since March 2020 and open the new Adult Center in June 2022) (Fall 2021)
  • Park Board approved the new and restored positions in the 2022 Budget (at its December 13, 2021 meeting) (Fall 2021)

Tactic 2: Evaluate and implement actions to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization (Targeted Completion Date-Fall 2022)

Progress Update

  • Formed employee Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team with 14 full-time and part-time employees (Spring 2021)
  • Gathered feedback (along with resources) from other parks and recreation agencies on their experiences with implementing DEI initiatives (Spring 2021)
  • Held first Team meeting, which included discussing DEI definitions, the Team’s role and expectations, and available resources (e.g., NRPA, IPRA, other Districts) to begin planning next steps for addressing initiative (Spring 2021)
  • Team wrote and distributed to employees an Inclusion Vision Stand to define and communicate the DEI Team's vision of how to create sustainable DEI efforts and foster inclusion across the organization (Summer 2021) 
  • Offered an employee DEI book club, which read and discussed Creating Belonging at Work by Rhodes Perry (Fall 2021)
  • Updated registration software (and related forms) to expand gender identity options to include a non-binary option along with an option for persons who have a different gender identity than male, female, or non-binary (Fall 2021) 
  • Underwent a Request for Proposals (RFP) selection process to choose a DEI professional services firm to conduct a DEI organizational assessment (Fall 2021), including:
    • posting availability of the RFP on epd.org and in a Daily Herald legal advertisement (in print and online);
    • distributed RFP to 43 firms; and
    • formed Selection Team that reviewed six (6) submitted proposals, interviewed four (4) firms that met the proposal evaluation criteria, and selected the firm that is the best fit for the project based on the evaluation criteria. 
  • Held seven (7) DEI Team meetings in 2021 (Spring, Summer, and Fall 2021)
  • Park Board approved the hiring of Edquity-Minded Consulting to conduct a DEI organizational assessment, develop recommendations and implementation strategies with staff and the Park Board, and compile and present an organizational change planning report (Winter 2022) 

Tactic 3: Utilizing employee feedback, provide the support needed to work effectively during the pandemic (Completed-Fall 2021)

Progress Update

  • Conducted an employee check-in survey in 2020 and held five (5) meetings in-person and virtually to review the results and collect feedback on potential next steps (Summer 2020)
  • Based on the employee check-in survey and follow-up meeting feedback, implemented an action plan to address the highest priority next steps chosen by employees to meet their needs (Fall 2020), including, but not limited to:
    • creating a COVID-19 page on the District’s intranet to consolidate and provide information, plans, policies, forms, etc.;
    • increasing employee communications to weekly email updates (preferred method of communication) with operational news, COVID-19 updates, employee recognition, etc.;
    • creating an online employee Virtual Wellness Room site to provide tools, resources and strategies to help employees’ physical, emotional, financial, and social health and wellbeing; and
    • developing an online form for employees to submit feedback, including questions, news to be shared, ideas, etc.
  • Conducted second Employee Check-in Survey for full-time & part-time employees to gather feedback to address current employee needs in response to the ongoing changes and challenges of working during the pandemic (Spring 2021)
  • Held five (5) in-person employee meetings (one hybrid in-person/Zoom meetng) to review the survey results and next steps to address the feedback, gather input on next steps, and present the District's future outlook and focus (Summer 2021)
  • Shared with staff the meeting Zoom recording and a survey to provide employees who could not attend the meeting an opportunity to watch and provide input on the next steps to address the check-in survey results (Summer 2021)
  • Continued to implement short-term actions to address feedback, including support and implementation of the remote work policy, ongoing communications regarding updated COVID-19 protocols, roll-out of updated customer service training to outline current expectations, etc. (Summer 2021)
  • Integrated long-term next steps to address feedback into future action/work plans such as the 2021 Organizational Assessment, 2022 Strategic Work Plan, and 2022 Budget (Summer and Fall 2021)