One on One with Human Resources
Tim Reavis: What have you done this summer in the HR department?
Davena Mgbeokwere: I’ve worked on several projects this summer, none of which I expected to be doing. The first was coordinating an employee wellness appreciation luncheon for all Orange County employees.
TR: Oh I remember attending that. As I recall, there were a lot of activity booths set up for us. It was fun.
DM: I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s nice to see what an employer can do to show employees that they care. The goal for the luncheon was to improve general well-being of employees.
TR: Would you call the luncheon a success?
DM: For the most part yes, though it can be difficult to get people to come. Typically it’s the older crowd that doesn’t want to come. They’ve been there, done that. Also, pay raises for county employees overall have been scarce in recent years. So, to some degree, employee enthusiasm for an event like this is hard to sell.
TR: What else have you worked on?
DM: I’m updating class specs for a few of the departments in the county. Class specs are similar to a job description, but more general. They are used across multiple departments to convey general duties, whereas a job description is used for a specific job.
TR: Sounds very “HR like”.
DM: Yeah, I’ve learned a lot about HR in general this summer. I could probably teach our cohort something new, or two. I’m also working on other employee wellness projects, such as a stairwell challenge, and I’m writing a mini-grant to get a weight management program going.
TR: Are those initiatives to address a specific problem?
DM: Last year OC conducted a county health assessment. The three health risks the county had were weight, high blood pressure and stress. The initiatives are designed to address all three problems.
TR: Anything else you’d like to share?
DM: Before the internship I never considered all that an HR department does to retain employees. The luncheon was great because they provided activities and free lunch, but they also have award programs to recognize employees for their hard work. There’s a lot of careful thought that goes into how the HR department implements federal policies such as medical leave and affirmative action. I have a new appreciation for an underappreciated department.
TR: Thanks for your time.