Putting my investigative mind to test at DCS:
Employee Relations!!!! The area of human resources that is by far my favorite! As you all know from last week’s post, I was at the Department of Child Services for the past two weeks. Camille Rowley, had asked if I would help her with an employee relations project at the DCS office. This project involved going through employee relations files and analyzing the situation, the resulting action taken by the company / employee and the category of the incidents. We then went on to enter the information contained in the files into a database for quick access for future use. By reading through the employee relations files, I was able to learn how DCS handles their administrative investigations, civil service complaints and workplace harassments.
Camille was an extremely resourceful mentor during this project. Upon arrival to DCS, I attended a meeting to discuss the changes coming to the department in 2017 and prior achievements in 2016. It was a rewarding experience to sit in on that meeting to learn more on how this department is structured and run. Only being an intern at DCS for a few hours, I was elated to be included in their discussion. Throughout the meeting Aiesha Peterson-Smith asked if I had any comments to add regarding each topic. I was able to share my comments openly and felt honored to be given a moment to speak. Aeisha, as well as her colleagues, always made a point to include me during their meetings. I attended two other meetings while interning at DCS. One meeting was in relation to planning a management training session for lawyers in DCS. The last meeting dealt with improving job descriptions and interview questions for caseworkers.
During my time at DCS, I was also able to have meetings with Michael Ackerman and Jennifer Jones. While speaking with Michael, I was able to gain insight into how DCS uses Human Resources data for recruiting and hiring caseworkers and caseworker manager. While speaking with Jennifer, she showed me how they program that data using excel spreadsheets. It was fascinating to hear how data plays a huge part in hiring accurately in DCS.
Giving Farewells to Denny Darrow
During my last day at DCS, I attended the farewell open house for Denny Darrow. Denny was leaving to take the Human Resources vice president position at Purdue University. I had only known Denny for a few months but I felt I had known him for years. The reason I say that is because Denny would always acknowledge my presence and make a point to speak with me upon running into me in the Government building. Even if Denny was on his way to a meeting, he would stop what he was doing and ask how my internship was going. That meant a lot to me that he would take time to get to know me.
I noticed at the open house I was not the only one who felt appreciated by Denny. Employees expressed their appreciation through speeches and songs. Bruce Baxter wrote a humorous song about Denny’s farewell. While Bruce played the guitar and the band sang, the employees chimed in and sang the chorus. It was heartwarming to see what a difference Denny made in the lives of every individual at SPD. I looked up to the way he interacted and lead his employees. He described his leadership style at the open house as an “upside down pyramid.” The kind of leadership that is focused on helping people grow and develop. The workers are the ones that drive the organization toward success. He was extremely proud of the accomplishments that his employees at SPD achieved during his time as director. Denny Darrow was an incredible, amiable leader who is definitely missed this week in SPD. I wish him the best at Purdue University. Boiler up!!
To Be Continued: Week 3-Week 4
Next week I make my way back to SPD’s talent acquisition office. My responsibility is to recruit for our spring internship position.
During Week 4 on Tuesday October 25, I am job shadowing in employee relations with Matt Brown. On Thursday, October 27 I am job shadowing Heather Whitaker. Lastly on Friday, October 28, I am conducting interviews for our spring internship position.
Next week is full of adventures!