PSESD Staff Grow in Their Racial Equity Leadership

Agency measures icon
  • Pathway to Change Area: Agency Impact Measures of Progress
  • Outcome from the PSESD Pathway to Change: Skill and will for change; adoption of racial equity lens; culture that fosters best work
  • Indicator Description: Staff reporting growth in their racial equity leadership

Data Narrative

As part of implementing PSESD’s racial equity plan, which includes the goal of creating opportunities in hiring, advancement, and retention of a diverse and antiracist workforce, this system supports the development and evaluation of leaders based on antiracist leadership competencies. These include: Cultural Proficiency, Racial Equity Advocate, Racial Equity Mindset and Transformational Values. The Antiracist Leadership Competencies are part of a larger new agency-wide competency-based leadership development and evaluation system.

Full implementation took place in 2019–2020, after a 2018–2019 pilot. An evaluation of the system explored the overarching question: how do we create a culture where continuous professional growth and development contributes to the retention and advancement of a racially diverse and antiracist workforce? The co-designed evaluation focused on the project kickoff, professional learning workshops for Personal Accountability and Coaching for Continued Success, and the implementation of NEOGOV Perform, an online Performance Management System. The evaluation also lifted up staff members’ experiences with the antiracist leadership competencies.

This year, PSESD is measuring its progress based on qualitative evaluation of staff experiences implementing the new system. Over time, this measure will incorporate data from this system. Overall, pilot participants gave high ratings for workshop content, with particular praise for the Personal Accountability workshop. Some staff identified time and capacity as barriers to participation in training. Regarding NEOGOV adoption, pilot participants communicated the value of electronically recording their goals and using an online system throughout the year to prepare for performance evaluations. However, like with the introduction of any new technological tool, some pilot participants cited implementation challenges, including NEOGOV’s user interface and learning the new system.

Departments utilized a variety of approaches to select which competencies to focus on for staff goal setting. Some participants struggled to connect their job-specific goals to a competency, partially based on a lack of clear understanding of the role competencies play in their work. Additionally, some participants were unsure how the competencies would be used in staff evaluations. During focus groups, staff members cited a fear of being evaluated on what pilot participants understood to be subjective criteria.

The results of this evaluation were used to adjust the system before full implementation. These modifications included: communications about the value of NEOGOV and training opportunities; clarification about how competencies would be assessed and what role they would play in individual evaluation; and continued support and learning opportunities for staff with various levels of comfort and knowledge about antiracist leadership practices.