“Human Resources” is the set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization. The Human Resources (“HR”) department plays an integral role in developing and making the DA’s Office a success by bringing out the best work ethic of its employees and creating a positive and enriching work environment.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office HR department is responsible for managing and supporting more than 250 employees. The department consists of the Director of HR and one HR Specialist. Their responsibility to the Office’s employees is wide-ranging, encompassing several functions, including:
Workforce Planning – Recruitment and Retention
Workforce planning is an important part of human resources management. It encompasses planning, execution and evaluation tactics for recruitment, interviewing, pre-employment screening, selection, hiring, orientation, and retention – all with keeping the objectives, goals and talent needs of the organization in mind. The District Attorney’s Office is a team of individuals with diverse areas of expertise and practice, making the function of workforce planning in such an organization both crucial and challenging. From support staff (including clerical, victim services, paralegal, IT and investigations) to “legal” staff (including trial and appellate lawyers) to administration (including the numerous department heads and upper level management), the HR team must employ a variety of methods to effectively meet the staffing needs of the various components of the Office.
Human Resources Development
Human Resources development is the framework for helping employees improve their personal and organizational skills, knowledge, and abilities. HR development includes such opportunities as employee training, career development, performance management, coaching, mentoring, succession planning, tuition assistance, and organization development. The Office’s Human Resources department provides direct and indirect assistance in all of the above areas with an eye toward developing an efficient and skilled work force. The complex dynamic that exists within a service-oriented, governmental and legal organization like the District Attorney’s Office makes resource development a consistently challenging and evolving function. With the main goal being success of the organization, the HR team supports its employees in meeting and exceeding Office expectations. It is through the success of each employee that the organization’s success is achieved and sustained.
Compensation and Benefits
Labor represents a significant expense for any organization. Compensation and benefits programs must support the business strategy to recruit, motivate and keep employees while adhering to employment laws and controlling cost. The HR team must be proficient at designing, implementing and evaluating equitable compensation and benefit packages, and must collaborate with the various department heads and the Controller to define proper pay and benefit packages.
Employee and Labor Relations
The employer/employee relationship is critical in Human Resource management. The HR team strives to create and maintain a cohesive environment where the organizational needs align with the employees’ needs, rights, and expectations while assisting with individual questions, conflicts, and issues that arise in the workplace.
Policies and Procedures
The Office’s Policy and Procedures Manual establishes a framework and sets standards that guide employee conduct in the workplace and the community. This includes employee performance and decision-making, and how employees interact with one another and manage the business operations of the organization. The HR team plays a vital role in rolling out the Office’s expectations through its policies and procedures and in helping managers apply the Office’s policies equitably and fairly.
Employee expectations and liability
The HR team promotes employee awareness of policies and expectations through ethical standards, codes of conduct, programs, education and communication. Through accurate and thorough record keeping organizational risks are limited, as ambiguity and subjective decision-making is minimized.
Employee Security, Safety and Wellness
A secure and safe work environment serves the entire organization. The HR department uses disaster and emergency plans, safety guidelines and training, ergonomically-minded office and equipment selections and security procedures to promote employee security and well-being.
Diversity in the Workforce
The District Attorney’s Office is committed to a diverse working environment. In the office, in the courtroom, and in the community, diversity serves to increase the Office’s positive impact on its employees, partners, victims of crime, and the community at large. Diversity in gender, race, culture and nationality provides an enriching environment and makes the organization more efficient, innovative and collaborative in accomplishing its goals of prevention, fighting for victims of crime and holding offenders accountable.
Awards and Recognition
The District Attorney’s Office has been a dedicated supporter of Guard, Reserve, Active Duty military and Veterans within the organization and across the State by establishing a culture that promotes internal, outward and visible military policies, procedures and practices. The Office has been recognized through several awards from the Employer’s Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR), including:
Above and Beyond Award
This award is given to identify employers at the local level who have done more than the legal requirements of USERRA for their Active Military, Guard, and Reserve employees. The Office was presented with this award because of the differential compensation benefits and extended health benefits provided for their National Guard and Reserve employees while deployed or during military training.
Pro Patria Award
This award is given to employers who have shown tremendous care and support of their Active Military, Guard, and Reserve employees through their leadership, policies, training, compensation and benefits. This award is given to one small, one large, and one public sector employer in their state each year. The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office was awarded this esteemed honor in 2015.
Several managers from the Office have been awarded Patriot Awards over the past two years for their dedication and support of the National Guard and Reserve employee and their families. Any Guard or Reserve employee or spouse of a National Guard or Reserve member can nominate a supervisor or manager who has gone above and beyond in their support of the military. The Office’s recipients are:
- George Brauchler (2) – Nominated by Rory Devlin and Jonathan LeCount
- Elaine Hahn – Nominated by Jonathan LeCount
- Rebecca Gleason – Nominated by Jonathan LeCount
- Cori Alcock – Nominated by Adam Hepp
Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award Nomination
This award is the highest recognition given to employers by the U.S. government and is awarded to employers for their support of employees serving in the Guard and Reserve. In 2015, the Office was nominated by an Army Reserve employee for our outstanding military support displayed through our compensation, benefits, and leave policies. The national selection board will select employers to receive this award in each of the three categories: small employer, large employer, and the public sector. The winner of this prestigious award will be announced in the Fall of 2016 and, if selected, District Attorney Brauchler will receive the award on behalf of the Office from the President of the United States in Washington DC.