Make your voice heard

March is Employee Appreciation Month.  UMHS leadership is hosting breakfast, lunch or dinner at all our sites as a way to say “thank you.” We also conduct our annual Employee Engagement Survey this month. There are only two more days to participate in it.

I’m happy to say the IT department is at an overall participation rate of 66% compared to 48% for all of UMHS.  We had a 90% participation rate in IT two years ago. It was my first year as the new CIO and I made it very clear to the people on staff that I couldn’t address problems in the department if I didn’t know what they were. I needed their input!

Based on the survey results two years ago, we established four workgroups to focus on several key areas. Some areas we were definitely weak on and others we were OK but knew we could improve – recognition and appreciation, employee development and training, service excellence and teamwork.

While we’ve made good progress in all these areas, I’m the first to admit there is still far more work to do.

I have been encouraging our IT department staff to “Make Your Voice Heard.”  There are multiple channels for staff to give me and the entire leadership team input and feedback. In addition to Continue reading

So you didn’t get the job

Last week I wrote about how to stand out in the interview for a new job. I promised that I would write about what to do when you don’t get the job.  I’ve been there before and it’s not easy.

You think you’ve nailed the interview. You’ve met with lots of people. You like them and your potential new boss. You think it’s a great opportunity and you are excited about the prospects. You anxiously wait for “the call”. And then it comes. The hiring manager, HR person, or recruiter says “we’re going in another direction” – that common euphemism to say that someone else is getting the job.  They go on to say some nice things about you and that you interviewed well but all you hear is that you didn’t get the job.

Your friends and family are supportive. They may say “it wasn’t the right one anyway”. Or “something better will come along”. They tell you how to feel but what you want to say is what my youngest daughter would say to me – “you can’t tell me how to feel, you’re not inside my body!” Continue reading

Time to listen – voices of the staff

When we encourage staff to speak up, we, as leaders, must be ready to listen. I’ve heard it said we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen more than we speak.

I encourage my staff to “make their voice heard” and have written about this. Yesterday, I participated in the University of Michigan VOICES of the Staff Town Hall Meeting.  It was the third such session in the last ten years and focused on the Future of Work. Over 100 staff from across the university and health system were brought together to help define and shape changes needed in our working environment. The goal of the meeting was to determine the most pressing challenges for all UM staff to develop VOICES work team themes for 2015.

Prior to the town hall, 600 staff were surveyed for ideas.  100 staff members who were willing to give a half day to the town hall were to turn those ideas into concrete proposals. At the end of their working session, each of the 12 groups gave a 30 second “elevator speech” pitch to our new University President, Dr. Mark Schlissel. Continue reading

Welcoming feedback

It’s that time of year again. At UMHS, we do all performance evaluations at once in June / July timeframe.  360 feedback is key – up, down, sideways and customers.

Performance EvaluationI asked each of my direct reports for at least 6 names – including peers, their direct reports and customers.  Then I requested feedback from those individuals by either email or a phone call.

I just finished answering 8 surveys on colleagues – part of their soliciting feedback on how they are doing.

I sent my survey soliciting feedback on me to about 35 people including peers, internal customers, and direct reports. Continue reading