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Best-Run Government: Employees

Best-Run Government: Employees

To be the nation's best-run government, King County needs a talented and diverse workforce. These strategies allow us to enhance the overall employee experience, meeting the needs of staff today and into the future.

King County is meeting the needs of a changing workforce

Nathan Vass - King County Employees

Nathan Vass is a part-time Metro bus driver and photographer whose work has been featured at Seattle Art Museum.

New employees have new expectations. Best-Run Government: Employees is Executive Constantine's initiative to modernize King County's human resources using these guiding principles:

  • Respect for people
  • Continuous improvement
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Undo institutional racism and individual bias
  • Value for the communities we serve
  • Provide fair pay for quality work

Employees are problem-solvers, and supporting them creates opportunities to develop and thrive. We treat others with respect at all times, and embracing diversity at all levels helps people feel included for their unique perspective and ideas.

We are good stewards of public resources and work together to innovate with a focus on results. King County recognizes productivity, encourages learning, and promotes a healthy quality of life for employees and their families.

By focusing on four key areas

Shayla Holcomb - King County Employees

Thuy Chung is a dental assistant with Public Health - Seattle & King County.

King County is committed to building equity and opportunity for all employees, while embracing continuous improvement and Lean management tools. Here's what that looks like in action:

  • Engage employees
    We must support their development so every employee can reach their full potential.
  • Improve recruitment and hiring practices
    Attracting and retaining a talented workforce that represents the diversity of the communities we serve is paramount.
  • Enhance business processes
    The systems and technologies we have should support employees from the moment they apply to the day they retire.
  • Develop a total compensation package
    King County is beginning negotiations with labor partners on the next total compensation contractsBy Jan. 1, 2017, we will have a package that is sustainable, equitable, and competitive with regional employers. 


We're building strong partnerships with labor

Robert Duncan - King County Employees

Robert Duncan was Metro's 2012 Operator of the Year and recently earned a 28-year safe driving award.

In the past several years, managers, employees, and labor leaders have collaborated on innovative approaches to reform King County government, including:

  • Two-year labor agreement
    Slows the growth of compensation costs and gives parties the chance to discuss all aspects of compensation at the same time.
  • Agreement on the implementation of Lean
    Deal reached with the King County Coalition of Labor Unions helps staff eliminate inefficiencies and increases the capacity of employees to deliver quality customer service.
  • Joint effort to reduce health care costs 
    Agreement through the Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee with the King County Coalition of Labor Unions supports employees’ health and well-being.

Continued collaboration with labor is critical to making King County one of the best places to work in the nation. We are working closely with union partners on this initiative, so please share your thoughts with your union representatives. 


And listening to our employeesbecause they know best

Jacquelin Jay Ware - King County Employees

Jacquelin "Jaye" Ware manages the jury and all civil trials assigned to King County Superior Court as a bailiff.

King County staff understand the needs of residents better than anyone. Employees also know what they value in a career. For Best-Run Government: Employees to succeed, we need employees to provide input and shape our efforts:

  • Talk to your union
    Many employees who are represented by unions participating in Total Compensation Coalition Bargaining will be asked to participate in a separate survey about compensation, benefits, and leave. Employees are urged to complete the union survey, which helps focus negotiations for the next total compensation contract covering 2017-2019.
  • Share your story ideas with us
    Our Employee News Blog at is a great place to showcase your team's success. Please send us your stories and we'll work with you to make it a blog post you can be proud of.
King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography