Travel Unit adds 'daily huddle' to routine
It's 8:30 a.m. on a typical weekday. Members of the DHS Travel Unit gather in an open area adjacent to their cubicles. One of them calls a unit member outstationed at Public Health in Portland, and the "morning huddle" begins.
Unit manager Jerry Berg discusses how a new situation will affect the unit's work. Barbara Rector leads a brief discussion about the reason for multiple calls from one of the DHS institutions about its travel claims. Tami Woodward asks some questions about a new procedure, and Berg makes sure she and everyone else understands the process. Berg writes a note about this on the "Hot Topics" whiteboard on the cubicle wall.
Shawn Jacobsen, DHS interim controller, drops by to briefly discuss plans for the unit to make a presentation about their "Lean Daily Management System" process to other DHS managers that afternoon.
All topics covered, the huddle ends and participants head back to their cubicles to get on with the day's work.
The daily huddle is a key component of the Lean Daily Management System.
"This change of strategy is about involving employees in daily work planning," says Fariborz Pakseresht, chief administrative officer. "A process is needed to help organizations develop the new culture and discipline necessary for lean success, and LDMS is that process."
DHS Finance, including the Travel Unit, is piloting the department's lean process, which is expected to extend to the rest of the department in coming months and years.
The daily huddles are held to:
- Ensure that all team members know "what we are focusing on today"
- Provide a way for team members to share information and news
- Provide a regular communication vehicle
- Create team cohesiveness
They're "stand-up" meetings, a maximum of 10 minutes long. They're held in the team's work area, with a display board that contains a calendar, "hot topics" board and other components. All decisions, actions and next steps are written on the display board, but no minutes are kept or distributed.
Gary Whitehouse, 503-945-6934, firstname.lastname@example.org
Moreno heads Hispanic employees network
Alberto Moreno assumed the presidency of the Oregon State Hispanic Employees Network at its June meeting in Salem.
|Alberto Moreno, left, talks with Concepcion Guillen de Heacock of the Employment Department at a recent OSHEN meeting.|
Moreno is migrant health coordinator for DHS, a position he has held for about five years.
His main mission is to help establish and nurture migrant and community health centers throughout the state.
"We have more than 174,000 migrant and seasonal laborers in Oregon," Moreno says. "And they don't have the same access as other Oregonians to medical care for language, cultural and financial reasons."
The Migrant Health program has received more than $3.9 million in federal funding over the past five years, which has helped to set up four new migrant/community health centers.
A 2006 graduate of the DHS Leadership Academy, Moreno is a bilingual-bicultural child and family therapist. He previously worked in that field in Chicago and in Vancouver, Wash., before joining DHS.
He hopes to revive OSHEN as a force in Oregon state government. It was established by executive order by Gov. John Kitzhaber in 1996 to provide recruitment, development, training and mentorship opportunities for Hispanic persons in state jobs.
Moreno also sees it as a two-way street, with OSHEN helping DHS and other state agencies with succession planning.
"As many as 40 percent of senior management positions in state government will be lost to retirement in the next 10 years, so that could create a leadership vacuum," he said. "We're interested in helping to fill that vacuum, but more than anything, we want to make sure that the state's workforce reflects the changing demographics of Oregon. We'd like to see bicultural and bilingual staff throughout the state, who are able to provide services in a way that is culturally and linguistically competent."
OSHEN hopes to work with DHS and other agencies to provide mentoring to young, upcoming leaders as well as those who are still in colleges and universities. A mentorship proposal he developed as his Leadership Academy project is currently being considered by DHS administrators.
Multicultural mentoring is another "bilateral learning opportunity," Moreno said. The person being mentored receives many benefits, and the agency's leaders gain insight about the needs and abilities of diverse members of the community.
For more information, contact Alberto Moreno at 971-673-1268 or email@example.com
Interviews should reflect diversity, core values
The Office of Human Resources encourages all managers to consider the department's core values and diversity goals in all steps of the hiring process, including interviews.
DHS is committed to diversity, multiculturalism and community and is actively engaged in recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce. DHS also is striving to become a values-driven organization. Hiring people who exemplify our values, diversity and cultural competency is critical to the services that we provide and our work environment.
The interview process is a critical component of our selection process. Interview teams may comprise management staff, represented staff, community partners or DHS partners. Your human resource analyst is also available to serve on interview teams. To the extent possible, your interview team should also be diverse in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and work experience.
We strongly encourage you to consult with the human resource analyst assigned to your area concerning the interview and selection process.
Here are some sample interview questions that address our core values and diversity goals.
Core values questions
- Tell us about a specific time when you had to handle a tough problem that challenged fairness or ethical issues.
- Tell us about a tough decision you made. What steps, thought processes, and considerations did you take to make an objective decision?
- What do you see as the role of a manager in ensuring that appropriate fiscal management is occurring within the unit?
- Please describe your financial management experience.
- Tell me about a specific time when people outside your organization were criticizing it unfairly. What did you do or say? How successful were you in changing minds or attitudes? What evidence suggests that level of success?
- Tell us about a time when you had to resolve a difference of opinion with a co-worker, customer or supervisor. Describe how you were able to deal respectfully with all parties involved.
- Describe the way you handled a specific problem involving others with differing values, ideas and beliefs in your current or previous job.
- What is the biggest error in judgment or failure you have made in a previous job? Why did you make it? How did you correct the problem?
- Tell us about a time when you took responsibility for an error and were held personally accountable.
- All of us have had times in our lives when we felt unmotivated, or encountered problems that seemed insurmountable. Describe such a situation and explain how you dealt with it.
- How would you describe “professionalism?”
- What have you done to further your knowledge or understanding about diversity? How have you demonstrated your learning?
- Tell us how you work with people to create or foster diversity in the workplace.
- Tell us about a time that you adapted your style in order to work effectively with those who were different from you.
- Have you attended trainings or presentations on cultural issues? If so, please share them with us.
- What actions have you taken to create a welcoming environment so everyone feels included?
- Tell us about a situation in which you were required to work with or provide services to a diverse group of people.
Core Values: Wise use of our training resources
Training staff is an important resource for all DHS staff and a valuable tool for you as a manager. During training, staff get a sense of DHS and what we do, and how to do their job. They also get current information about DHS policy and practice.
DHS invests heavily in training, at the division and enterprise level. Good stewardship includes wise use of our training resources, to make sure that staff are getting everything possible out of it.
In the next issue of Staff News, we will be talking about the individual responsibility all staff members have to be good participants during training.
There are key things that you can do to ensure that you are modeling the core values and supporting your staff as they attend training. There are several things that you can do before and after training to ensure an effective transfer of learning.
- Talk with your staff about the training goals and objectives;
- Ask them to come back and share with you and other staff what is included in the training;
- If staff must travel extensively to attend, make sure that they are able to do so and be well-rested enough to focus on training;
- Set the expectation that they be on time to the training at the begining and after breaks;
- Share with them how the training topic fits with their work;
- Talk with the trainer or facilitator beforehand, if there are any issues or things they should know about the individual coming to the class or issues faced in the workplace.
- Do not expect them to cover their caseload or work while in training – allow them to "be present during" training.
- When staff return, sit down with them to hear what they learned and observed;
- Look for ways to incorporate the new learning;
- Encourage staff to continue learning and develop professionally;
- Attend training yourself;
- Follow up with the trainer if there are questions or clarification needed on any materials.
Training is a worthwhile investment in staff. As a manager you are a critical component in the learning process. We owe it to ourselves and the Department to make wise use of this resource.
The following training is available from DHS Training and Development. Space is available at the time of this publication. Employees should work with their managers to determine if participation in training is approved. Some managers may have unique needs for team development or change management resources. Please contact Judy Gerrard, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-945-6436 to explore if services may be brought to your work unit.
To register: Click here DHS Learning Center and go to Courses & Registration/Find A Course and type in the course title in the keyword search. If you need help with registration, please contact DHS Training & Development, 503-947-5457 or DHS.Training@state.or.us
Required new manager training
General employee training