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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Faces of Food Safety: Cecilia Matthews – Your Feedback Matters

Cecilia MatthewsHow does an Agency with over 9,600 employees, working in over 6,000 federally inspected establishments in all U.S. states and territories remain responsive to the needs of the workforce and the public health mission? Cecilia Matthews, a Human Resources Specialist in FSIS’ Office of Management (OM) will tell you the answer is simple—employee feedback. Matthews speaks proudly of the role she plays in achieving Goal 7 of the Strategic Plan. Her work empowers employees with the training, resources and tools they need to protect public health. Matthews believes that empowering employees begins with listening to them.

FEVS

Matthews is the Agency’s point of contact for the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS). “By completing this important survey, you are casting a vote to help improve the Agency,” Matthews said.

"I want everyone to know that their input is more important now than ever."

Cecilia Matthews

Cecilia, or ‘CC’ as her colleagues fondly call her, has worked with the results of five FEVS since she began in OM in 2010. She uses results to conduct trend analysis, summarize information for leadership, and share information with Agency and Department working groups. “Information from FEVS is not only useful for identifying areas where the Agency can improve, but also for pinpointing what employees believe are the strengths,” she said. Feedback from the survey has been used to drive a variety of changes:

  • Senior Executive Service (SES) performance standards were revised to include requiring employee engagement activities;
  • The Agency published the mission booklet, “One Team, One Purpose – Protecting Public Health and Preventing Foodborne Illness,” and; 
  • Leadership implemented a ‘New Supervisor Training’ pilot program.

Matthews acknowledged that employees can easily get survey fatigue and have very little time in their busy schedules to complete yet another questionnaire. However, as someone who personally knows the value of the survey, she is adamant that if you are selected for the upcoming 2015 FEVS you should make completing it a top priority. “I want everyone to know that their input is more important now than ever,” she said.

Cultural Transformation

Matthews is involved in another dynamic Department initiative to make USDA a model employer. She is on the Department’s Cultural Transformation (CT) working group. The goal of CT is to get every employee, regardless of grade, invested in creating an atmosphere of equality and ensure each employee reaches his or her full potential. “CT is about treating others in a sensitive, inclusive and empowered way,” Matthews said. 

Matthews identifies both feedback and employee engagement as linchpins of CT. “You cannot get meaningful feedback unless the employees are engaged in the process,” she said. “I am so proud to be a member of the Cultural Transformation workgroup because it gives me the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and gain insight on their perspective coming from a different culture,” she said.

District of Columbia Native

Matthews is a native Washingtonian who has lived in the city her entire life. She grew up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of D.C., where she currently resides. 2015 marks 28 years of her service to the Federal government. She has been at USDA since 1995. “Working for the Federal government has allowed me the opportunity to blossom and develop my knowledge, skills and ability in an array of various professional positions,” she said.

She has three daughters, ages 29, 24 and 22. She is proud that her oldest daughters have graduated from college—one from North Carolina A&T State University (with honors) and one from American University. She is also excited for her youngest daughter who is currently majoring in criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. Matthews likes to spend her free time with family and considers dancing and working out as her main hobbies. She also enjoys riding her bicycle or walking home from work.

 

Last Modified Dec 12, 2019