Hello Team Commerce:
It was so great to get together with you all at our spring quarterly activity last week. The weather was perfect for a Commerce field day and I hope you enjoyed getting out and playing some lawn games as much as I did. These quarterly activities are designed to be some active time away from work – getting to know each other and having some fun. While we do need to maintain a level of service, and very much appreciate those who stayed back to do so, we do hope as many people as possible will attend these kinds of gatherings in the future.
Our next quarterly activity will be our Commerce annual breakfast on August 31. Please plan now to be able to attend this activity.
Quarterly activities are just one way that we’ve intentionally worked this past year to increase collaboration and unity in the department. You’ll recall we call this effort “One Commerce.” This idea of unity is vital to the success of our department and the trust we build with each other and with the public. “One Commerce” has guided our communication efforts over the past year, including our town hall meetings, monthly newsletters, and commerce roundtable efforts.
Recently the governor’s office released the results of an employee survey that was conducted earlier this year. I hope you were able to participate and feel comfortable sharing your opinions on state employment. We take the results of this survey very seriously. One thing we learned was over 92% of Commerce employees love their job and that over 95% of our employees understand how their work contributes to the success of our department. That’s great news. We love having all of you on the commerce team. We also learned that roughly a quarter of you don’t feel like you receive clear communication about work related changes and priorities. This is concerning.
I recognize that this past year we’ve had a lot of changes, both procedural and in our department priorities. We will continue to find ways to help you navigate those changes. Please know that if you ever have any questions about changes that are occurring or are unsure about where your work should be focused, please bring those questions to your supervisor.
One of the changes we’ve been working on, and one I’ve committed to keeping you updated on, is our efforts toward greater wage equity. We worked really hard this past year to restore commerce’s operating budget so we can offer more fair wages and make investments in technology. Studies have helped identify areas of improvement for structural wage equity. Your division director has been empowered to make decisions of how to use their budget to best address those areas. We’re working with HR to continue analyzing wages for certain positions so they’re reflective of the actual work you do.
We’ll talk more about wages along with other results from the employee survey in our town hall meeting on June 28. These town halls are an opportunity for employees to ask me questions directly and anonymously and have an open conversation about the things you’re concerned about. Please plan to attend, and know my door is always open to discuss issues that are concerning to you.
Thank you for the work you do for the state. Your hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed. We’ll chat again soon.