Fayetteville Named Top Performing City in Nation


Kevin V. Arata, Corporate Communications Director

Release: IMMEDIATE           Contact: Rebecca Jackson, Strategic Performance Analytics Director

Date: 4/26/2018                      Phone: (910) 303-0355 (cell)

 Fayetteville Named Top Performing City in Nation

(Fayetteville, N.C.) – Governing today announced the City of Fayetteville has been named the top-performing city overall in the 2018 Equipt to Innovate national survey of American cities. Equipt to Innovate is a joint initiative launched by Living Cities and Governing magazine. It is an integrated, collaborative framework anchored in seven key characteristics of high-performance government — being dynamically planned, broadly partnered, resident-involved, race-informed, smartly resourced, employee-engaged and data-driven.

“I’m excited that Fayetteville has been selected as the top performing city overall in the 2018 Equipt to Innovate national survey of American cities,” City Manager Doug Hewett said. “The City Council and Senior Management Team have really embraced the culture of innovation, performance management, collaboration and strategic planning to better plan and resource our local government. The results of the Equipt to Innovate survey exemplify that we are a well-run city on the move and we are humbled to receive this award.”

“The City Council’s strategic planning process incorporates feedback from the community, employees and senior management,” said Rebecca Jackson, City. “Strategic goals for the City are cascaded down through the organization to all City programs and ultimately to individual performance. Performance metrics are established, which tier up to the strategic goals and allow the City to gauge its performance. Under-performing programs are analyzed to determine if performance can be improved through increased resource allocations, process improvement initiatives or innovation efforts to completely retool the program.”

Performance analysis is used to inform City Council decisions during the annual Council strategic planning session. The City launched a performance application called TRACStat (Transparent Reporting and Analytics for Citizens) in 2016 to provide accountability and transparency into the performance results. TRACstat is an online tool, which provides access to the City’s key performance indicators, budget and financial data and staff updates for critical City projects, called Targets for Action. Performance results are used to enhance policy and management decisions. The City is also developing operational dashboards to ensure proactive monitoring of ongoing trends in an effort to innovate and continuously improve services to the community. Residents, businesses and employees are the City’s stakeholders.

The City utilizes a number of channels with which to connect with its community, beyond the traditional television, website and social media platforms. The City holds numerous face-to-face resident engagement events throughout the year. Café Conversation citizen engagement sessions are utilized to gather resident input for the strategic planning process and the performance management system. The City conducts a biennial, statistically valid, citizen survey via an independent third party that identifies satisfaction levels with City services and priority services for citizens. Feedback from the citizen survey and the Café Conversation have been input into policy decisions on the recent Parks & Recreation capital projects, funding for additional police officers and increased resources for economic and business development, among other projects.

The City Council recognizes the value of collaboration with external strategic partners, making this a priority for the City with a strategic goal of “Developing and expanding strong and active community connections.” Fostering cross-sector initiatives with community partners, such as Fort Bragg and Greater Fayetteville United, offers opportunities to innovate and address complex community issues like neighborhood revitalization, the opioid epidemic, social capital, homelessness and poverty.

The City of Fayetteville is a diverse community. The City serves as a leader for the community’s “equity lens” and works to address racial disparities through good policy and active programs. In 2017, the City partnered with Greater Fayetteville United to conduct a countywide social capital survey that evaluated the level of intra and interracial trust, communication, engagement in civics, satisfaction of public services and informal social ties in an effort to identify gaps and build bridges to improve the quality of life for all. The assessment provided the data to establish a benchmark and empower residents and local agencies to work together and build a stronger social fabric. The City also recently held a regional summit to improve statistics for gender and ethnic diversity of police and fire employees.

Engaged employees are the foundation for high performance. The City provides employees with multiple opportunities to understand how their departmental activities and individual performance connect to goals. The City also offers employees diverse training programs and opportunities to collaborate to improve services. Fayetteville’s cross-departmental Data Analytics Team supports data analytics and process improvement projects, and trains in Six Sigma and best practice for project management. The City regularly conducts employee surveys and uses the data to develop action plans addressing the gap areas. The City Council championed a new employee appreciation initiative with the development of the “Core Values Award.” The City’s Core Values are the foundation of the City’s strategic plan, which is adopted annually by City Council.  The Core Values Award ceremony provides an opportunity to formally recognize the highest performing employees who have been nominated due to their commitment to the City’s Core Values.

Fayetteville will be formally recognized for the award on Tuesday, May 1 at the 2018 Summit on Government Performance & Innovation, an annual gathering of 650 innovators, public sector change-agents, disrupters and civic entrepreneurs from around the country interested in making government work better for local communities.

For a comprehensive overview of the survey findings and a discussion of how cities fared across the categories, download the report “Profiles in High-Performance Government: Cities on the Move” at www.governing.com/equipt.

For more information about the City’s citizen engagement and strategic planning efforts, please visit www.fayettevillenc.gov/spa. To see how the City is performing in relation to its strategic goals, visit www.fayettevillenc.gov/tracstat.