384 

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE  

 

Proactive leadership that engages in both internal organizational and broader external 
community priorities  

 

Establishes a participatory, collaborative organization dedicated to continual learning, 
improvement, and innovation   

 

Workforce and leadership development program in place to assure recruitment, retention, and 
competency of utility staff relative to a Utility of the Future business model. Development 
program includes a leadership and management skills training program that provides both 
formal and informal leadership opportunities for employees  

 

Employee “in-reach” program established to share work experiences and ensure greater 
understanding of the utility’s key strategy relative to the Utility of the Future business model 

 

Innovation initiatives adopted that encourage risk-taking, and that are adequately funded and 
staffed   

Employee Engagement: DEP’s 5,700 employees are engaged through a variety of programs, publications 
and events, including:  

 

the Always Creating Excellence (ACE) Awards, which recognize employees who have been 
nominated by their fellow colleagues for exceptional work in leadership, customer service, 
environmental health and safety, and innovation, 

 

the Pipeline Newsletter, which highlights major agency accomplishments and provides 
information on environmental health and safety, technology, and employee assistance services, 
and  

 

regular outreach from the Employee Engagement Office, which plans “quality of life” events 
(sporting events, boat cruises, holiday parties/luncheons) and agency-wide philanthropic 
activities (holiday toy drive, blood drives).  

Environmental Health and Safety: DEP has achieved a high level of Environmental Health & Safety 
compliance and sustainability through the implementation of an aggressive audit and incident 
management program, which establishes continuous improvement targets, thereby resulting in a 
reduction in injury rates for 10 years in a row to a level that is 40% below the average for water and 
wastewater utilities. Further, DEP has recognized that one of the best ways to engage employees is to 
involve them in the development of safety and workplace violence prevention programs and policies 
(e.g., Labor management committees, Employee Recognition, near miss reporting and EHS suggestion 
programs). DEP provides education and professional development opportunities for operational and EHS 
staff alike by integrating safety education into a variety of learning platforms which exceed regulatory 
requirements.   

Association Membership: DEP plays an active role in the broader national and international dialogue on 
stormwater and wastewater management. DEP holds active board membership roles in 28 
organizations, including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, Water Utility Climate 
Alliance, and Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and regularly presents at conferences to 
further the discussion of cutting edge technologies and anticipated industry trends. In the fall of 2015, 
DEP also signed a three year partnership with the City of Copenhagen to share best practices to manage 
increasingly intense rainfall patterns.