Suggestion: Increase visibility and presence of Exec Team members in daily activities and events
Recommendation: Executive Team members should regularly attend department/program meetings to listen and to share information about ET activities and for staff to get to know ET members and their role. A quarterly or yearly schedule should be developed.
ET response: We are eager to attend more department and program meetings. Please send Jeannie Odle an invitation for ET representatives to join you.
Suggestion: Create a climate to have open and honest dialog with all employees and listen and respond to their ideas and concerns.
Recommendation: In preparation for program meetings, ET members to send a short questionnaire to program staff at least two weeks in advance asking the following questions –
- What are they passionate about?
- What is important to them?
- What are they most proud of?
- What are they struggling with?
ET response: We, like you, want to work in an environment that supports open and honest dialog. The recommended questions are important. We’d like to get a few meetings under our belt where we discuss how others feel about formalizing this questionnaire as a routine agenda item for these meetings. We don’t want a rote questionnaire to interfere with spontaneous and sincere dialog.
Suggestion: Improve communications on decisions made at Exec Team and involve others appropriately.
Recommendation: Announce upcoming major decisions and give opportunity for input (if it will be used); include the “why” along with the “what,” and focus on the message at least as much as the medium with which it is delivered.
ET response: We try to do this but we’re not as effective as we need to be. We wonder if elaborating on where and how we obtain input will increase awareness of the process we use to make decisions.
Suggestion: Create an environment that fosters trust-building –
- Between individuals
- Among work groups
- Between employee groups
Recommendation Between Individuals: Follow up on individual comments, concerns and follow-through on commitments heard in program/department meetings. Send thank you’s to those who attend expressing appreciation for their feedback.
Recommendation Among Workgroups: Encourage managers to find opportunities for staff to visit or invite other department staff to meetings to learn and to share what departments do, and how they can work together and share resources.
Recommendation Between Employee Groups: Encourage all staff to participate on standing committees, cross-group project teams and volunteer opportunities. Create a Dashboard site for campus and community volunteer projects.
ET response: Yes. Yes. Yes.
We hope the Interpersonal Communication Effectiveness Project Task Force will help us with improving trust between individuals.
Managers, we encourage you to invite other departments to visit.
The work of groups like these Effectiveness Project teams is a good example of the productivity of cross-department task forces, and we will look for opportunities to expand that model.
We will incorporate this feedback into our ongoing work, and we so appreciate the task force members –
Allison Stewart-Hull Beth Bonnet Charisa Henckel
Colin Stapp Christopher MacLean David Hallett
Jeannie Odle Julie Peters Kim Martin
Kip Carlson Linda Herrera Mitch Smith