Dear YD colleagues,
During this time of year, we pause, reflect and give thanks for all we have to be grateful for in our lives.
The Youth Development leadership team and I want to let you know how thankful we are for you, and our commitment to creating an environment in which all of our staff can thrive.
Over this last year, we embarked on a process to work with you in identifying strategies and solutions to accomplish that goal. We wanted to begin by talking with you and capturing your ideas about the opportunities for improvement identified in the employee engagement survey.
Here are some of the key things that we heard you tell us were important:
- Workload balance is a critical challenge that needs to be addressed.
- Staff want to have more voice and influence in the organization and their work.
- Support and resources for professional development is needed.
- More and improved communications are desired (between teams, regions, and from leadership).
- Salary ranges and promotion ladders need to be explored.
- Additional training and mentoring is needed on the use of Quickbooks for managing federation/council finances.
- A simplified or reduced number of 4-H enrollment forms is desired.
- The Minnesota 4-H Program Planning Guide, which includes processes for sunsetting work and is one method of reducing workload, was highlighted in a previous issue of YD Update and was added as a reference to Growing Opportunities Together: Volunteers in Vision and Action (GOT:VIVA).
- A specific request regarding communications was made for talking points on the strategic plan, targets and program priorities. Communications Manager Wendy Huckaby has put together key messages that staff can use in local communications and as talking points when working with key stakeholders. (See separate article with more information.)
- An educator with the operations function is learning to utilize Quickbooks and is testing a process for guiding staff on the use of Quickbooks as well as reviewing and improving county financial practices generally.
- Starting salaries of program coordinators have been adjusted and methods of addressing the compression issues are being studied.
The YDLT will continue to provide updates on actions and progress at the leadership-team level and from regions as work develops.
I hope you all enjoy the holiday.
Associate dean & state 4-H director