Headquarters employees take initiative to increase constructive culture

Six foundational keywords exemplify the Idaho Transportation Department’s efforts to enhance its culture – Results, Respect, Development, Support, Teamwork and Accountability.

Each word is the focus of an individual workshop designed to help employees better relate to key components of ITD’s evolving constructive culture, explained Kristina Zahnter-Yocom, who facilitated the first two workshops (held in July and August).  The workshops are an opportunity for new and seasoned employees to come together for fun, interactive learning.

The new Constructive Culture Workshop series is one part of a grassroots campaign initiated by a group of employees at Headquarters who want to cultivate the culture of their own work environment and to inspire fellow employees to do the same.

Each two-part workshop consists of interactive, hands-on activities and engaging group discussions.  One of the six culture keywords is the jumping off point for each workshop where participants discover ideas, approaches and practices that they can begin implementing immediately to foster constructive behaviors in their work groups and across the department.

Sandy Harris, a member of the employee-initiated committee, said “We want everyone who comes to a workshop to leave it feeling inspired by the energy and the fun, but also empowered by the ideas generated.”  

A new workshop will be held monthly through December 2015 and registration is on a first-come-first-served basis.

 “The July workshop focused on ‘Results’ and was filled within one day of being advertised,” said Zahnter-Yocom. “The turnout was better than the committee had hoped for, with a great mix of participants.”

“The best part of the first workshop was being able to witness those ‘Ah-ha’ moments when individuals realized how we naturally turn competitive when results are involved, but that mentality can create an environment where success becomes limited to just a single person or team,” Zahnter-Yocom added.

As one July workshop participant suggested, “In order to achieve results as an organization, we need to create a ‘win-win’ environment.”

Registration for the September workshop, exploring “Development,” is underway. The two-part workshop will take place Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to noon. To participate in it, or future workshops, go to ITD’s Learning Hub and search for “Constructive Culture Workshop.” Each workshop consists of two parts on two separate days and seating is limited.

(Below) After putting their engineering, building and driving skills to the test, HQ employees were better able to understand and visually depict their role in our culture.

Published 09-04-15