On October 24th, Aaron Powell presented data from the UW-IT Organization Pulse survey. The data and subsequent efforts were presented from an overall organizational perspective. The report is available to read online.
Today’s blog post focuses on data as it relates to CSS. In addition to the UW-IT efforts, CSS leadership reviewed data submitted by 36 staff identifying CSS as their Division. We have a strong commitment towards a positive employee experience. This includes the entire employment lifecycle from applying for a job to departing for greater opportunities and all points in between. The survey provides us an understanding of your priorities, where we are successfully delivering the right mix of challenges and opportunities and where there is room for improvement.
Both quantitative and qualitative questions were asked in the survey. Data from the four qualitative questions are not Division specific but as a Division we were able to examine data from 22 quantitative questions.
Respondents answered questions in reference to UW-IT as a department, not on their specific Division. CSS leadership reviewed the data through our Division lens to identify efforts we can take action on in this next year. Our actions are in addition to the efforts Aaron discussed in the Town Hall for all of UW-IT.
Staff identified and ranked their five most important aspects. CSS scored below the midline on three aspects, which our leadership will focus efforts on improvements in these areas over the next year.
CSS leadership, in collaboration with CSS staff, will take steps to improve three aspects identified in the survey. The actions identified below are our initial plan but we need your feedback and participation to successfully achieve measurable improvements.
Aspects for Improvements:
I am well informed about what is going on in the organization
Communication is a two-way exchange. Information is shared via multiple channels. It is my expectation each of you keep on top of these communications. I further expect staff to ask questions of their managers, directors and AVP (me) as needed. Below are the methods we use, plus new approaches being added.
- In August I began providing a weekly AVP update to the CSS directors. This weekly communication keeps them abreast of new information and my plans for CSS. They will cascade information down via your managers.
- My blog. I am committing to a quarterly publication. I’ve put this in the new section since it’s been so long since my last post.
- Your Manager and Director are your best resource for the most current and accurate information..
- Community – UW-IT Town Halls and CSS All Hands meetings
- Publications – Inside UW-IT News, CIO and CSS blogs
- Other – Email updates and team meetings
I am encouraged to experiment / take risks and mistakes are seen as learning opportunities
Communication is the key to experimenting and taking risks. I encourage open and honest dialog with your managers. Let them know things you want to try, low-risk areas where you can experiment, and discuss what success and failure look like.
- Be supportive of your peers as they experiment
- Provide constructive feedback to your colleagues
- Realize feedback is a gift and accept it as one
- Participate in Innovation Day activities
Above all, appreciate we all make mistakes – even so, it is unlikely any of us will make a mistake so horrific it will cause the closure of the UW. So, embrace mistakes – they are going to happen.
I am provided with development and/or advancement opportunities
These are two separate topics but asked as a single question. Therefore, I will address each separately.
UW-IT allocates $1,000 per person, per year for professional development. The Directors create an annual plan identifying skills they want to develop in their Unit over the next year. Below are steps new and current staff can take to ensure they receive the best opportunities.
New staff (newly hired/reorged into CSS or recently promoted within CSS)
We have a program called 3 in 30 designed to help you succeed and demonstrate your success to your peers. Each individual receives a plan designed uniquely for them. The plan is based on the needs of your manager and your specific skills. You have flexibility to modify the plan to accommodate your goals and interests. Please utilize this program to its full potential – it is a tool for you.
Ongoing CSS staff
After graduating high school, I joined the US Air Force. One thing I learned early in my military career that has served me well for 40+ years is that my career and personal/professional development matters more to me than to anyone else. With that in mind, the our approach is designed to support you with the expectation you are taking control and driving your career at the pace you want. Your manager, director and I are here to support you in your journey. Some practical steps you can use include:
- Develop a plan with your manager
- Discuss where you want to be in one, three and five years
- Identify the skills required to successfully reach your goals
- Align your professional development with your goals
- Review the plan with your manager in your 1:1s
One of the many things I love about working at the UW is the multitude of opportunities available to us. Below are some practical steps you can take. This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather something to get you started.
- Develop a plan
- There are books and possibly POD courses to assist you with this
- Identify opportunities for advancement
- UW-IT job openings are posted on Inside UW-IT, UW openings are on the HR pages
- Find opportunities to demonstrate latent skills
- There are committees, projects, etc. where you can learn new skills and/or demonstrate skills you aren’t using in your current role
- Seek help from trusted leadership
- Many of us in UW-IT are available to help you with resume writing and interviewing skills – please ask
Your leadership is here to support you. I’ve laid out what we have available to you and identified my desire to move the needle on your opinions in three areas:
- I am well informed about what is going on in the organization
- I am encouraged to experiment / take risks and mistakes are seen as learning opportunities
- I am provided with development and/or advancement opportunities
Please take advantage of these opportunities and provide feedback to your leadership on what more we can do to improve.