Polk County is the largest county in the state of Iowa, serving over 490,000 residents and employing approximately 1,500 employees. With the Central Iowa community being one of the most diverse in the state, Polk County strives to bring together creative leaders, innovative ideas, and opportunities for the people Polk County serves.
Equitable Talent Management
Over the years, Polk County has increased their focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, including prioritizing equitable talent management. Polk County serves as a DEI leader with their thoughtful approach to collecting employee feedback and assessing the needs of their employees. Polk County believes that fostering a belonging workplace culture requires listening to their employees, especially those who feel they cannot be their authentic selves in the workplace due to low representation of employees from underrepresented groups.
Although Polk County is in the beginning phases, they have implemented a survey platform that gives employees opportunities to voice their concerns, opinions, and creative ideas. The survey is intended to help facilitate change to the workplace culture to be more welcoming and foster belonging. Through lifecycle surveys, such as onboarding, engagement (annual), and exit, Polk County employees are being transparent on what Polk County as an employer needs to do better and assessing what is going well. Each survey hits on pivotal moments in an employee’s career. While this initiative is a new implementation for Polk County, to date it has showcased that Polk County employees have been waiting for an opportunity to be heard. The employees describe feeling valued that Polk County is listening and making changes because of their feedback.