Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Inclusion Capability

As a high-performing organization, Henrico County focuses on providing our employees with the resources and support needed to excel in our ever-changing work environment. The new Capability Model (shown below) is designed with this support in mind. You can learn more about the capabilities within it on Capability Model resource page.

To help you understand each of the seven individual capabilities within the model, the County Connection features a series of articles, each of which focuses on one of the capabilities. This article focuses on the capability of Inclusion. 


For an organization to thrive, all employees need to have a sense of belonging and feel valued for their individual contributions. As a result, these diverse and inclusive workforces are better at decision-making, innovation, and overall results. These results are due to elevated levels of engagement and motivation to produce high-quality work.  


Some may think of specific types of diversity such as race, ethnic background, gender, or sexual orientation. While these are certainly elements of diversity, there are many more to consider. A few examples include age, cultural background, religion, disability, language, education, personality type, and personal values. The Inclusion capability focuses on creating a sense of belonging for the entire diverse workforce. It is defined as “Acknowledging and showing appreciation for the individual differences, contributions, and talents of all team members, and strengthening employee confidence in their abilities.”


There are many ways for all employees in the workplace to help foster a sense of inclusion. Here are some examples:

  • Increase your self-awareness. Be mindful of how you express yourself with your colleagues. Ask yourself: How am I coming across to others at this moment? Do I appear open? Calm? Approachable? Am I intentional about getting to know my teammates?
  •  Welcome everyone’s input during meetings. Create an environment where employees feel empowered to share ideas without fear of rejection. Pay attention to whose voices you’re hearing and not hearing during meetings. Encourage, listen and be open to diverse views and opinions, and acknowledge them with respect. Send your agenda ahead of time to provide introverted employees time to contemplate the ideas they will share, and make time for them to connect offline with additional thoughts after the meeting.
  • When planning activities, consider your coworkers’ individual needs and circumstances. Are there elements of the activity or celebration that might make any of your colleagues uncomfortable? Your plans need to ensure everyone can attend and participate. 
  • Connect with others. It can be natural to gravitate toward people when we have things in common with them. Instead, challenge yourself to build connections with those who are different from you. A great way to do this is to attend one of Henrico County’s workshops on diversity and inclusion to engage in open dialogue. Share information about yourself and ask questions of others to learn more about them. 
  • Encourage involvement and participation. When leading others, involve employees in decisions and initiatives that impact their work. Ask for their opinions and input through informal discussions, meetings, focus groups, or surveys. Asking for the input of your diverse workforce leads to better decisions and more engaged employees.
  • Recognize and appreciate others. Acknowledge your team members individually for the unique value they bring to the workplace. Share with them how their specific contributions positively impact the workplace and the organization. 


Fostering inclusiveness maximizes the organization’s success and engagement of the employees by involving the diverse perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and approaches of every person. To find more examples of diversity and inclusion, view the “Psychological Safety: Fostering a Sense of Belonging” video and the “Voices of the Heart” video series on the HR YouTube page

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Now’s the Time to Conserve Energy

As we approach heating season and electricity and natural gas prices increase, there is no better time to practice energy conservation and efficiency at home and work. According to Dominion Energy, the average home energy bill will increase by $12-$20 per month due to rate increases approved by the State Corporation Commission in September. Richmond Gas Works also notified its customers in July of price increases that will add, on average, $38 to the monthly bill for homes that use gas heat.  

Here are some cold-weather energy tips to consider:

  • Keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees or below, per the US Department of Energy heating recommendations.  
  • Open blinds and curtains that let in sunlight during the day, and close the blinds and curtains at night to keep heat inside the building.
  • Look for gaps and cracks around doors and windows that can be sealed with weatherization products such as caulk or foam.
  • Replace HVAC filters. Dirty filters reduce efficiency and make forced air systems work harder. Check filters monthly and replace them as needed (at least every three months is recommended).
  • Change incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs to LED for energy savings, longer lamp life, and better light quality in any season.  
  • Change the ceiling fan direction to clockwise to push air up and redistribute stratified warm air.
  • Conserve energy by doing the following:
    • Turn off lights, computers, and devices you aren’t using.
    • Unplug chargers and seldom-used equipment between uses.
    • Keep doors and windows closed when it’s colder outside than inside.

For more information about saving energy at your home, there are two local non-profit organizations that offer energy education, energy audits, efficiency measures, weatherization, and guidance to go solar. Find resources from Viridiant at https://www.viridiant.org/ and the Local Energy Alliance Program at https://leap-va.org/.  

To learn more about what Henrico County is doing for energy, sustainability, and the environment, go to https://henrico.gov/go-green/. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Henrico’s Energy Manager, Carrie Webster, at 804-501-5763 or [email protected].

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Welcome Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority!

Sports tourism is nothing new to Henrico County.  Recreation and Parks has done a phenomenal job managing a variety of sports over the years, and the foundation is solid.  The great news is that Henrico County has had an impressive increase in sports tourism which is why the newly- formalized Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority, HSEA, was created. While the authority and framework are new, it is not starting from zero. Henrico County has some incredible history that the Authority will use to help build its strategies going forward. The HSEA will retain and build onto the established framework plus develop an indoor sports tourism product. There are two ways to look at this new Authority: first, creating the Authority was the next logical step for the county to build upon the successes of what’s been done with Henrico’s outdoor facilities and sports. Second, the Authority provides a competitive opportunity to compete with other localities up and down the East Coast that have facilities similar to the new Henrico Sports & Events Center at Virginia Center Commons (VCC) and the future GreenCity Arena.

The Sports & Events Center at VCC is slated to be ready for use in the fall of 2023.  It will have 12 basketball or 24 volleyball courts.  This equates to 115,000-square feet of continuous playing space.  This flexible space can be transformed for gymnastics, futsal, pickleball, cheerleading and much more.  It will have a restaurant, lounge, meeting spaces and locker rooms.  The facility will hold all Henrico County High School graduation ceremonies starting in June 2024 and beyond.  This same space can be used for tradeshows and concerts with seating up to 4,500.


The HSEA is also involved in the planning stages of GreenCity, the largest ecodistrict east of the Mississippi. ​ Plans for GreenCity include office space, housing, and a 17,000-seat arena.

The HSEA is excited to announce that Glover Park is expanding to accommodate more tournament play in the near future as well.

The Authority’s mission is to further develop and foster sports and entertainment tourism.  It aims to attract local, regional and national tournaments and events to the County’s highly regarded athletic and event facilities

The website, HenricoSEA.com is currently under construction but keep an eye out for its unveiling. 

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Manage Blood Sugar with the American Heart Association’s Life’s Essential 8

Knowing how sugar (glucose) and insulin work in the body is essential for understanding how diabetes impacts health. Diabetes happens when the body has a chronic build-up of extra sugar in the bloodstream, causing blood sugar (also called blood glucose) levels to rise higher than average, known as hyperglycemia. When you eat, your body breaks food down into sugar and sends it into the blood. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps move the sugar from the blood into your cells. When sugar enters your cells, it is either used as fuel for energy right away or stored for later use. In a person with diabetes, there is a problem with insulin. And not everyone with diabetes has the same insulin problem. There are different types of diabetes – type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. If you have diabetes – type 1, type 2, or gestational – your body either doesn’t make enough insulin, can’t use the insulin well, or both.

Nutrition and physical activity are essential parts of a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. Following a healthy meal plan and being active can help keep blood sugar in your target range. Managing blood sugar is about balancing what you eat and drink with physical activity and diabetes medicine, if you take any. What you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when you eat are critical in keeping your blood glucose level in the range your healthcare team recommends. The American Diabetes Association recommends using the Diabetes Plate Method to create perfectly portioned meals with a healthy balance of vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates – without counting, calculating, weighing, or measuring. 

Remember, along with diet and medication, regular physical activity is an integral part of managing diabetes or dealing with prediabetes. When your body is active, your cells become more sensitive to insulin, working more effectively to lower your blood sugar. Light walking is a great place to start and a great habit to incorporate into your life. Walking with a loved one or just by yourself while listening to an audiobook are good ways to move more. If you are struggling with getting started or feeling overwhelmed by the idea of creating a more active life, there are health coaching resources available to support you through this behavior change journey. 

Community resources are available if you are concerned about your risk for developing diabetes or are looking for help in managing your current diabetes diagnosis. 

Anthem ConditionCare offers tools and support to Henrico County health plan subscribers and their covered family members for diabetes management.

The Balm in Gilead – Southeast Diabetes Faith Initiative – Virginia, 620 Moorefield Park Drive, Suite 150, Richmond, VA 23226. (804) 644-2256

Bon Secours Center for Healthy Living Sarah Garland Jones Center, 2600 Nine Mile Road, Richmond, VA 23223. (804) 287-7941

VCU Health Hub at 25th, 1330 N. 25th Street, Suite A, Richmond, VA 23223. (804) 628-6401

Henrico County Employee Health Services offers health education and individualized dietary counseling. 7740 Shrader Rd, Suite A, Henrico, VA 23228. (804) 501-1600


Resource list:

‘Managing blood sugar’ link: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/lifes-essential-8/how-to-manage-blood-sugar-fact-sheet 

‘Diabetes Plate Method link: https://www.diabetesfoodhub.org/articles/what-is-the-diabetes-plate-method.html#:~:text=The%20Diabetes%20Plate%20Method%20is,you%20need%20is%20a%20plate!

‘Health coaching resources’ link: https://henricova.sharepoint.com/Fitness_Wellness/SitePages/HealthCoaching.aspx

‘Diabetes risk’ link: https://doihaveprediabetes.org/take-the-risk-test/#/

PDF: https://www.heart.org/-/media/Healthy-Living-Files/LE8-Fact-Sheets/LE8_How_to_Manage_Blood_Sugar.pdf

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