EAD Best Practices: Communication and Dialogue

This document contains best management practices from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education's Equity and Diversity Committee.

How can my center improve communication and increase dialogue?

1. Conducting informative annual reviews:

• Annual Evaluations include the following elements: interactive communication, inclusive decisions, job expectations, resources to perform job, and professional development. (A3RI)

• Staff members feel their opinions are included in decision making and feel part of the team. Time is spent during the annual performance reviews talking about climate issues and encouraging staff members to attend training or workshops in addition to professional development classes. (BIOTRON)

• A formal evaluation process has been implemented for our academic staff in response to the sentiment that many felt their goals and objectives were not clearly defined, in regards to job performance and expectations. (RARC)

• New yearly evaluation forms were developed with employee input. (SRC)

• More openly couple yearly evaluations with merit raises. (SRC)

2. Meet regularly with staff:

• Exit interviews to identify major areas of strength and weakness in the quality of work life (work environment, growth opportunities, job satisfaction, job value, salary, skills/job match, fair treatment, trust of management). (A3RI) (IOA)

• Open and honest dialogue among employees to talk about real issues happening in their work units (feeling of a safe environment). (GRAD/RSP)

• Offer at least one meeting per year for IOA employees to talk about climate and diversity issues. (IOA)

• Restructured the Internal Advisory Committee (now named Internal Action Committee) to provide a mechanism for effective communication among all center staff and act as a liaison between staff and senior management. The committee consists of 15- 20 staff members representing each unit of the center. (PRIM)

RESULT: In response to an employee survey conducted in the fall of 2006, RARC has begun holding staff meetings on a quarterly basis. This has increased the level of communication within the department and has helped foster a more inclusive environment. (RARC)

3. Form an active department/center equity and diversity committee:

• The center Equity and Diversity Committee will now meet quarterly with the director to review and evaluate the center Equity and Diversity Plan goals. (ASC)

• Equity & Diversity Committee charged with reviewing and improving climate issues running since February 2006. Mission and Vision Statements written. Defined “climate” as applied to survey results. Conducted PSL Climate Survey in October 2006. (PSL)

4. Transparent office policies, keep people informed:

• A statement was drafted and distributed to all PSL staff to initiate some understanding of the two personnel categories—classified and unclassified—and what differences there are in the promotion process. (PSL)

• Communications have improved with regular staff meetings and posting of group leaders’ meeting minutes. (SRC)

5. Conduct and evaluate regular climate surveys:

• The climate survey highlighted the desire for better communication between supervisors and staff concerning performance and professional development. The center directors have reviewed and approved the proposed changes which include: further definition of roles and responsibilities; updating and confirming the organizational structure within the department; and the development of a new annual performance evaluation system to review performance, set goals, and discuss professional development with any employee desiring a personal review. The center directors’ approval was attained, in part, due to the participation of the directors themselves in Equity and Diversity Committee meetings and being able to discuss and provide feedback to the committee as the project evolved. (SSEC)

RESULT: Found most employees who responded to the survey were happy with their jobs, however it does interfere with personal or family life. Now hold quarterly staff meetings; held two workshops including sexual harassment training and dealing positively with conflict; instituted a formal evaluation process with academic staff. (RARC)

RESULT: Through the suggestions of the center equity and diversity committee, and taken in part from climate survey results, the frequency and methods of communication has increased throughout the center. (SRC)

6. Other:

• Memo sent requesting limit email usage and encourage face to face communications. (PSL)

Keywords:faq   Doc ID:31727
Owner:Anne M.Group:VCRGE and Graduate School
Created:2013-07-22 11:22 CDTUpdated:2017-02-08 18:12 CDT
Sites:VCRGE and Graduate School
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