For those of you who missed it in Ann's all-OIT email this week, she mentioned the OIT self study as part of the upcoming External Review. Part of this involves the follow-up we've done on the OIT Climate Survey Action Team. Since I'm part of that team, I wanted to share Ann's comments with you:
As part of preparing the OIT self study for the upcoming External Review of OIT, one section in the report is on Human Resources in OIT. This section of the report includes an overview of the Climate Survey Action Team (survey and associated work). I share this section of the self study document (thanks to Heather Rafshol, Brad Cohen, Jim Hall and the Climate Survey Action team). While we have provided updates on this work throughout the months, this overview serves to provide everyone with a summary of this effort and the importance of following up on these important recommendations.
“In the wake of a 2008 employee survey, CIO Steve Cawley charged the Climate Survey Action Team to develop an action plan to address three common themes exposed in the survey as areas that need attention. The themes (and corresponding survey questions) were recognition (“I am satisfied with the recognition I receive for doing a good job.”), job clarity (“My job responsibilities are clear so that I know what is expected of me.), and coaching (“My supervisor provides feedback and coaching to me on a consistent basis” and “I receive adequate guidance from my supervisor to succeed in my job.”). The charge required implementation of the action plan to show improvement in these areas through future surveys and other tracking measures.
The team is composed largely of volunteers from across OIT with additional support from central OHR. Through the summer and fall 2008, the team worked through an OHR designed process to fully understand the survey results and develop a set of recommendations. In order to better understand the issues generated by the survey, a series of focus groups with OIT employees were conducted, identifying underlying causes that gave rise to the focus group and survey results. A set of prioritized recommendations was then shared with senior management and all staff in OIT in December.
Recommendations aimed to accomplish three goals:
- Foster Environment of Supervisory Excellence
- Bring Value and Consistency to Performance Review Process
- Foster Environment for Employee Development
The recommendations have been approved by senior management and accepted by staff. The action team has moved to manage implementation of the recommendations, and currently is focused on creating an evaluation strategy to gauge the impact of the recommendations. The action team will move forward with a rolling membership, and a number of supervisor volunteers are in the queue to keep the momentum going. Specific recommendations include:
Foster Environment of Supervisory Excellence
- Determine degree of formal supervisory preparedness.
- Define effective span of control (supervisor:direct-reports ratio.)
- Implement effective span of control (supervisor:direct-reports ratio.)
- Establish expectations/best practices.
- Establish cohorts, mentoring/support networks among small groups of supervisors.
- Work to cap task load for working supervisors (doing vs. leading/managing) at 50/50.
- Provide and encourage ongoing professional development for supervisor skills.
Bring Value and Consistency to Performance Review Process
- Update job descriptions annually to assure expectations are aligned.
- Provide coaching/training to prepare supervisors for documenting job responsibilities.
- Elevate value of day-to-day operations and functions in performance reviews.
- Senior supervisors should draw on supervisor reviews (cascading review process).
- Tie performance review to meaningful objectives and goals.
- Clarify relationship between review and compensation/promotion.
- Make recommendation regarding proposal to create transparent and consistent OIT-wide Outstanding Service Award Program.
Foster Environment for Employee Development
- Pull existing resources for employee development together and make visible to employees.
- Establish expectations/best practices for OIT-wide baseline for employee professional development.
- Define career paths within employment bands. (For example: “junior” → “senior” → “lead”, or “assistant” → “associate” → “full”.)
- Increase transparency of hiring/promotion process.
- Establish cross unit peer mentoring program.
- Conduct next OIT climate survey no earlier than next Fall.
- Create broader measurement plan for gauging effectiveness of implementation.
- Share proposed recommendations.”