Leading the Nation: Survey Data Backs New Strategic Direction Initiative at Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission  

Headquarters: Richmond, VA

Industry: State Government

Employees: 150-499


To be the nation’s most innovative state agency by fostering a people-first culture of continuous improvement and transparency. 


Workplace Survey, Insights 


Open communication channels support new Strategic Direction initiative and exceptional service delivery. 

With help from insightful leaders and committed Team Members, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission is on track to be the most effective and innovative state agency in the nation. Providing industry-leading services to injured workers, victims of crimes, and employers requires high levels of engagement. The organization uses the Energage Workplace Survey and Insights data to build strategic direction, focus on people first, and make strong attempts to meet its vision of leading the nation as the most effective and innovative state agency. 

“One of our mantras here is to constantly seek to improve. And you only improve if you really take an honest look at your organization. The survey results will help us identify what is working well and what are the areas of concern that we need to pay attention to.”

Evelyn McGill, Executive Director of Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission

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A culture of continuous improvement and open feedback retains employees  

Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission’s strong retention rate comes from a culture of open communication, transparency and continuous improvement. Several Team Members could retire but opt to stay. Some individuals left and later returned to the organization after realizing how much they valued leadership and culture after experiencing different environments. Team members are deeply passionate about their work and possess a strong appreciation for the meaningful contributions they make. And it is not merely hearsay- feedback from the Workplace Survey shows that Team Members value intentional leadership, designed to ensure an inclusive, productive career experience.   

Senior leadership at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission welcomes feedback from the survey with open arms. They encourage transparent communication and value what Team Members have to say. But they also take it a step further, keeping the Team updated on what is working well and what is not. Leaders often ask for suggestions and opinions, during the Commission-wide Town Hall Meetings of the Team, held quarterly, using those comments to improve the career experience, which creates a unique culture of open communication and trust.  

Trusted survey insights identify priorities and new improvement opportunities 

Evelyn McGill, Executive Director at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, says our team purchased Energage Insights to take their mantra of continuous improvement to the next level. The organization has high levels of engagement, supporting its #WEWORKASONE leadership philosophy. But still, Evelyn explained, they wanted to get more granular with the data, sharing it with every department for review and feedback. She is excited to use Insights to become intentional about strategic direction while exploring each department’s unique needs.   

Most importantly, the Energage Platform recently helped the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission launch its Strategic Direction Initiative, outlining the organization’s priorities and goals for the next several years. Leveraging survey data, insights, and internal data has helped the Strategic Direction Initiative’s Committee structure the plan to design the future path for the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission. The resulting plan will identify areas of opportunity and communicate an action plan for growth.  

Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission’s service delivery relies on a people-first culture 

Team Members at the Workers’ Compensation Commission build meaningful relationships and partnerships with each other and the stakeholders they serve, a strategy borrowed from the private sector, and applied to this government agency. Team Members are the backbone of the organization, delivering strong professional services and representing the Commission in national and international organizations. Leaders at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission invest in the Team, creating a workplace where everyone can thrive, ensuring the success of both our individual team members and the collective goals of our public service mission. 

 The leadership philosophy of the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission’s senior leaders is one that believes that to have those meaningful relationships and a people-first culture, you must respect and actively listen to Team Members, no matter their experience level. Whether someone is a senior leader, a manager, a frontline mailroom clerk, or a local worker needing help navigating their benefits. The organization operates with the belief that every individual deserves equal respect, communication, and consideration. This approach encourages everyone to bring their best and most productive selves to work each day, providing them with the opportunity to realize their true potential. 

“The target for us is to meet our vision of leading the nation. We do that by valuing our workforce and creating a very positive culture and career experience. We recognize the importance of the people we serve, ensuring we deliver the highest quality services possible.”

Evelyn McGill

Executive Director of Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission

Employer recognition awards attract attention and add networking opportunities 

Since participating in the Top Workplaces program, the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission has received multiple employer recognition awards celebrating its supportive, people-first culture, which is something the agency never expected.   

 Evelyn shared that it has been a tremendous journey since winning the Top Workplaces awards. She regularly hears from candidates expressing their desire to work at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission because of the Top Workplaces recognition. Current Team Members also appreciate the awards, often expressing pride in being part of the winning culture and working alongside leaders committed to continuous improvement.   

 As the Executive Director, Evelyn espouses the view that investment in the Team leads to strong results. She trusts the Top Workplaces’ awards because of the local partnership with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the fact that the award is based on anonymous survey feedback from Team Members. The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission recognizes how special being a Top Workplace in the Richmond area really is; it validates that the organization is achieving its vision and ensuring that its Team has the tools and resources to serve the public in a welcoming and respectful environment. Evelyn also notes, the Top Workplaces community also serves as a great platform for networking and connecting with other outstanding organizations in the area, fostering continuous improvement and growth.  

Recent Top Workplaces awards