As the department begins work on its goals for the Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018 Biennial Budget, its accomplishments in the past biennial budget are noteworthy. The Human Resources Department facilitated an employee engagement survey which concluded that City employees have a much higher than average engagement level compared to other public service organizations. Among the findings, 93 percent of the respondents believe their work is meaningful and helps improve the lives of others in the community (six percent gave a neutral rating), and 87 percent would recommend the City of Auburn as a place to work to people they respect (10 percent gave a neutral rating).The engagement survey affirms a positive organizational culture aligned with a public service focus.
With a continued attention toward positive employee relations and teamwork, 22 employee events were delivered. In conjunction with the Finance Department, requirements of the health care reform mandate have been implemented and we continue to monitor this complex law for new changes that may be required. Working with the Information Technology and Finance Departments, we successfully migrated to a new automated time and attendance system, an investment that will pay significant dividends well into the future.
The department continued its focus on employee development by conducting numerous training and certification programs in customer service, ethics, supervision, leadership, and risk management. These investments in employee development included launching the Safety and Risk Management Awareness program for supervisors, and the Auburn Academy, a twelve month course in which employees participate in teamwork and communication related training while gaining knowledge about each department's operations to enhance organizational identity, employee engagement, and service to our citizens.
In support of safety, 66 facility safety inspections were conducted and four safety manuals were developed. Recruitment in a recovering economy was facilitated through additional branding initiatives and attendance at 35 job fairs. While the average number of applications received per vacancy has declined, likely due in part to a more competitive labor market, the online application system was enhanced to screen for minimum qualifications before allowing an application to be submitted.
Finally, the groundwork for some significant projects that are currently underway was accomplished to help ensure that the City of Auburn remains an employer of choice and a strategic partner within the community.