When Sheboygan County hosted their first ever “All-Employee Summit” at the end of last year, it was not the starting point for open communication for those working for the county. Rather, it was a continuation of a conversation that began months earlier.
“Organizations should not be afraid to ask their employees for feedback and suggestions,” said Sheboygan County Administrator Adam Payne. “The All Employee Engagement Survey and Summit was an important initiative and I’m grateful for the feedback, constructive criticism, and the efforts of our team to make improvements going forward.”
Aegis Corporation Senior Risk Management Consultant Jodi Traas presented both days on "De-Escalation in the Workplace." Aegis Corporation acts as the general administrator of the Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Corporation, of which Sheboygan County is a member.
“The entire event was phenomenal, and I was honored to be a presenter,” said Traas. “The administration used the results of the Employee Engagement Survey to shape the agenda, following staff requests for the training I provided and the mindfulness presentation.”
She continued, “The willingness to look at the areas needed for improvement, as well as highlight the accomplishments during a presentation to all staff illustrates true leadership. It was very powerful to hear County Administrator Payne thank specific departments for jobs well done. For the first time in my 20-year career, the transportation department (Highway) was asked to stand and received a round of applause for keeping our roads safe. When staff receive positive feedback, it creates a willingness to work even harder and many left the event with a smile.”
Aegis Corporation Executive Vice President John Dirkse praised Sheboygan County for their vision and delivery of the summit. "To keep lines of communication open with all employees and provide such a broad range of training during the event shows incredible leadership. We at Aegis Corporation were proud to be a part of the event and look forward to continuing our work to keeping this County Mutual member county safer and thriving in the workplace."
All total, Sheboygan County has 825 employees and though some departments could not send everyone due to work obligations, most participated in the December 5 or December 7 half-day event at the UW-Sheboygan Theatre.
“I am incredibly proud of the willingness of our employees on every level to make the county the strongest it can be,” said Sheboygan County Board Chair Tom Wegner, who presented at the event. “Though there is always room for improvement, the survey results showed we enjoy a high level of employee engagement and most people are happy and proud to work for Sheboygan County."
Read the full article that appeared in the April 2018 issue of Wisconsin Counties magazine, "Sheboygan County: Engaging Employees in All-Employee Summit," here.