IID management apparently believed IID needed a major change of direction within the energy department over a year ago. Maybe longer than that, but no one is saying. With that decision the careers of loyal energy management and the planning staff were shattered. Six professional engineers were left without meaningful work. Four of them are still on paid administration leave while the IID management searches after six months to find a reason to terminate them.
That is sad enough. What needs to be said also is how this action by IID management has negatively impacted the present and future employees of the IID. In spite of what has been said by the new energy department management, those employees that have watched this drama play out are keeping their heads down and trying to look busy without standing out. Who could blame them? Their futures are no longer in the hands of career IID employees. Consultants have taken over their futures. That impact has sent shock waves throughout the IID, not just the energy department. Mistrust has replaced camaraderie and several highly qualified and talented employees like Esteban Martinez have left and others are sending out resumes and looking to leave the valley. Potential employees of the future will likely see the news items and social media sites. The talented employees the IID desperately needs to attract may think twice before they consider coming into this human resources debacle.
Successful companies and graduate business schools have long believed and taught team work pays off if employees can be trained to work better together and have combined with ethics training. As I recall on at least two occasions trainers were brought in at IID to help form a foundation for team work and trust. It was very noticeable in my recent evaluation study. Cronyism and silos of discontent had all but been eliminated. That teamwork foundation has now been severally impacted by the recent actions of IID management.
The sad reality is that IID is also in the early stages of losing many talented employees to retirement. The collateral damage of this action by IID management could cost the citizens of Imperial Valley dearly in the future.
As I write this note in an airport business lounge awaiting a delayed flight to South Asia to attend a board meeting, I hope IID management will do what is right to save IID for the employees, citizens, children , and their grand children. I cannot help but be troubled at what will happen in three years when the ZGlobal (ZG) contract expires. Succession planning must be done. But, with ZG filling key line management positions , where will a trained local management staff come from to fill the void left by ZG’s departure? Or, will IID somehow merge with ZG? I don’t think this was the intent of IID forefathers who established IID over 100 years ago under local control rooted in the Valley.