County of San Mateo: Agile Workforce Academic Essay

Through the mission statement, public administrators attempt to clearly articulate their long-term goals and what makes their organization special and worthy of peoples attention. The mission statement for San Mateo County reads as follows: San Mateo County government protects and enhances the health, safety, welfare and natural resources of the community and provides quality services that benefit and enrich the lives of the people of the community. The mission of San Mateo County calls for a community that is healthy, livable, collaborative, environmentally conscious and prosperous. Its a community that citizens can be proud to pass on to the next generation. San Mateo County has approached its mission as an effort to set strategic priorities, improve accountability and authenticity and to enhance opportunities for meaningful civic engagement in the increasingly diverse community. The goal of San Mateo County is to foster innovation in all sectors, create jobs, build community and educational opportunities for all residents. Focusing on the goals and priorities places an emphasis on whats best for all of San Mateo County today and in years to come. San Mateo County regularly reports the progress achieving the missions goal and identifies areas that need more work. This plan has enabled the County to avoid crisis-driven decision-making. The information provided by the performance measurement ensures that the organization adopts a reliable hierarchical control system necessary to steer the organization towards its desired goal (Osborne & Plastrik, 2000). For example, it will adequately elaborate the importance of decentralizing power. An organizations culture is vital in instilling the motivation factor to its staff. A motivated workforce is vital in the success of the organization. The County is situated by the San Francisco Bay in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west. The County was formed out of the southern portion of then San Francisco County (County of San Mateo Profile, 2015). The climate of the area is mild and the geography is extremely diverse including beaches, forests and rolling hills. San Mateo County is a combination of farmland and urban area. The County is also famous for being home for golden triangle of top three scientific institutions of the world, which are Stanford University, the University of California at San Francisco and the University of California at Berkeley (County of San Mateo Profile, 2015). San Mateo County consists of 20 cities and each city is governed by one`s own council. The cities of the region usually provide basic services such as police and fire protection, sanitation, recreation programs, planning, street repair and building inspection (County of San Mateo Profile, 2015). County government performs functions that are different from city government. Five Supervisors are elected to monitor government operations in the supervisorial districts within the County. The total population of the County of San Mateo counts around 718,451 people belonging to various racial and ethnic groups. The female population slightly prevails over the male, but the difference is almost indistinguishable. There are various spheres of business that function successfully in the region. The Countys largest employers include Facebook, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Franklin Templeton Investments, Oracle Corp., San Mateo County, Kaiser Permanente, Seton Medical Center, Electronic Arts, Inc., Visa, Inc. and the San Francisco International Airport (County of San Mateo Profile, 2015). Agriculture is more developed in the (County of San Mateo Profile, 2015) western part of the region. All in all, the general trend shows that the unemployment rate has decreased from 5.1 percent in 2013 to 3.2 percent in 2015, which is a considerable number. It is important to note that the average income in this region is higher than anywhere else in the State of California. Correspondingly, the cost of living in San Mateo County is more expensive than anywhere else in California. In addition, the County boasts (County of San Mateo Profile, 2015) highly developed system of transportation which plays (County of San Mateo Profile, 2015) crucial role for the economics of the region. The peninsula possesses a large network of highways, bridges, the Port of Redwood City, the San Francisco International Airport, which is second largest airport in the state, and a number of other public transportation modes. All in all, San Mateo County seems to be one of the most successful regions of the State of California. Various spheres demonstrate that its policies meet the expectations of citizens. Typically, technology companies incorporate agile workforces into management practices. Why? In order to compete for talent with the surrounding culture of Silicon Valley and keep County employee pension and healthcare cost down, San Mateo County would like to create an agile organization. On March 12, 2013, San Mateo County Manager, John L. Maltbie, asked the Board of Supervisors to accept the report on Creating an Agile Organization, the Board accepted the report. The report provided direction on the first steps in creating an agile organization. The County made an agreement with the unions, SEIU, Service Employees International Union, and AFSME, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The agreement allowed the County to have 73 limited term employees for a three-year period. Limited term employees are employees who serve the County for a period of up to three-years. The phrase limited term refers to a maximum length of employment with the County and is not a guarantee of employment for the length of specific term because the employees are at-will employees. The following menu of limited term work options were designed to allow individuals to work for the County through many different avenues: Contractors community-based organizations, independent contractors, or freelancers performing unique, specialized and/or time sensitive work. Fellows employees with a postgraduate degree of an expertise in a particular field assigned to work that is concentrated around central projects and initiatives. Extra-help short term assignment for new and/or experienced individuals that are not expecting to last more than a year. Interns short-term assignments for individuals new or re-entering the workforce. Work is ideally project-based and contains a learning component. Volunteers individuals providing seasonal to year-round services involving work that is not budgeted. Self-help convenient web-based and/or mobile app based services that improve connectivity of the public to services they need. Shared services staff, real estate, equipment, or organizational resources shared with local municipalities, non-profits, joint powers authority, and school districts to increase service efficiency and reduce costs. Limited term employees are typically brought on to work on special projects, help the department address a significant spike in workload, or backfill for a regular employee who is on leave or working out of class. The benefits of these term employees are that they are able to obtain skills in the area of Human Services while gaining necessary experience at the same time. This might be an ideal situation for a college graduate who is still trying to figure out what they want to do while gaining valuable experience with a government agency. The agile pilot program might also work for some departments that have project-based needs which would enable the department to achieve their goals, while providing employment and training. This gives departments interim help for urgent, short-term needs, while relieving them of the added burden of more pensions. Limited term employment offers individuals the opportunity to experience and learn about the County without making a long-term commitment to the organization. At the end of the term, an employee may choose to either apply for a regular County position or explore the external job market. Over the three-year period, the County hopes to expand many of the different limited term work delivery options which, packaged together, allows the County to rethink the ways in which it recruits for talent and deliver services to its residents. Scope and Limitations References County of San Mateo 2015-2017 Profile. (2015). All of California in One County. Retrieved February 3, 2016, from Osborne, D. & Plastrik, P. (2000). Chapter 3 Uncoupling Creating Clarity of Role by Separating Steering and Rowing. In The Reinventors Fieldbook: Tools for Transforming Your Government (1st ed., p. 105). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

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