By: San Mateo County Department of Human Resources Health and Wellness Team
San Mateo County Department of Human Resources Health and Wellness Team recently interviewed San Mateo County Department of Child Support Services Director Kim Cagno to get her take on the importance of focusing on employee health and well-being as an essential piece of a successful organization. Take a look below!
Employee Wellness recently spent time with Kim Cagno, Director of Child Support Services (DCSS), who shared how employee well-being impacts her agency and the County.
Shaping a ‘Culture of Success & Well-Being’
Kim described, “As leaders, it’s important to model the way, practice transparency, and be ethical. However, I believe it’s equally as important to get to know staff beyond their job classification duties. Every month, I set aside time with staff for their birthdays to learn who they are and what interests them. We call it Coffee with Kim.” This positive experience enables Kim to learn more as a leader through her staff. “I don’t think about a title, it’s about the passion that drives us to do the work we do. There is continuity in this message as we pass it down through the managers, supervisors and the rest of our team,” she stated.
When new employees join DCSS, Kim wants them to know she is approachable by practicing a holistic approach. “Our executive team meets with new hires to get to know their interests beyond the work they will do. The onboarding process is a warm welcome to DCSS through in-person interactions, sharing who we are and what drives us. New hires shadow all divisions, so they know they are part of the team. Every level of employee connects with new members of our team,” Kim explained.
Employee Well-Being as an Essential Part of County Culture
Kim discussed, “If we’re not investing in our employees, we can’t expect them to do their best work. The County’s strong and progressive commitment to well-being ensures employees are safe and have access to programs that improve and/or maintain their well-being. We hope employees are successful in the organization and feel a part of a larger team that goes beyond work and connects with the community.”
“Employee Wellness is a fundamental part to ensuring staff have great days at work. We want employees to come to work and be able to participate in wellness activities on County time to balance their physical, emotional, and mental well-being,” Kim explained. She believes supportive work environments are important, and leadership has a responsibility to encourage staff along the way, so they can thrive in their careers at the County. When asked about the connection between organizational success and well-being, Kim stated, “You can’t have one without the other.”
Employee Wellness’ Contribution to the County’s Organizational Success
Over the last 4-5 years, Kim has reflected on the changes in the County’s culture with the presence of Employee Wellness. “The County has made visible changes to show our commitment to the success and well-being of our staff by imbedding these ideas, practices, and activities into the culture here,” she stated. Kim provided examples that resonated with her and DCSS:
• Growth in the dedicated County Wellness Team
• Expansion of Wellness Champions at the department and health division levels
• Increased wellness activities enabling staff to come together as a team
• Staff having more energy throughout the day and engagement at work
• Improved and effective wellness communications (i.e. PreventionCloud Wellness Portal and Wellness SharePoint Site)
• Dedicated wellness funds for department activities throughout the year
Kim summarized, “As leaders, employee well-being can and should be at the forefront of our minds. Wellness has become part of the fiber of what we do here. Innovation and growth of Employee Wellness is imperative because staff are getting more engaged. We see it in events like the ‘Gifts of Gratitude’ Signature Initiative and the Heart Walk. Through the encouragement and support of leaders, staff can prioritize their well-being, allowing them to connect and build relationships at work, at home, and in the community. In addition, the County can continue to be a thriving organization with high-performing employees.”
“Kim has been an amazing partner for (San Mateo County) Employee Wellness, and we’re thrilled she and her agency are being recognized for their efforts to make the County a great place to work,” said Talya Williams, Manager of the San Mateo County Department of Human Resources Employee Wellness Program.