OPD Blog

Posted Date: November 15, 2017

We all know that clear and unified messaging is critical to our teams having a common understanding of goals and expectations, and to external stakeholders understanding our mission, vision, and values.  But to be truly effective, communications should also be purposeful and connect on an emotional level with our audience.

To be purposeful, communications must target the audience we are trying to reach, have a clear message, and have a goal of moving the audience to action – what do we want our audience to do with the information we have given them?  We may want them to support a cause, or perhaps we just want to motivate them to tell others about the extraordinary work that takes place across the UNT Health Science Center every day, to expand awareness and our reach within the communities we serve.

Communications will elicit that action from our audience when they are powerful – when they are based on more than just facts and figures and when they connect with our audience on an emotional level.  I could list dozens of examples of extraordinary teamwork I encounter every day in my job, from the ways a small group of dedicated NamUs team members scattered across the United States collaborate every day to bring resolution to family members of the missing, to the incredible support we have received from Information Technology Services to initiate and complete a major software development project.  However, simply listing these examples isn’t memorable, it doesn’t explain how critical this teamwork is to meeting our goals, and it doesn’t resonate – it isn’t powerful.  So instead of listing examples, I’m going to tell you a story.

Over the last six years, NamUs team members have participated in Missing Person Day events across the country, where family members are invited to have their cases entered into NamUs and have their DNA samples collected, in hopes their DNA will help locate their missing loved one.  While our staff are critical to planning and implementing these events, we have always been guests invited by a host agency.  This year, we decided to host our own event here at the UNT Health Science Center to show support for our own local community of families searching for missing loved ones.  It was our first event, and we didn’t have much time to plan, so our mission felt overwhelming at times, but in the end, it was a moving, successful event due to the remarkable support we received from staff across the university.

Staff from Human Resources, Information Technology Services, GSBS, the UNT Center for Human Identification, Student Affairs, the JPS Health Network, and the Office of Brand and Communication all donated their Sunday to volunteer at the event, working directly with families of the missing.  Media coverage from across the region was coordinated by our Office of Brand and Communication, Facilities provided guidance on coordinating after-hours services for the venue, CETS ensured A/V equipment was set up and functioning prior to the event, the UNTHSC Police Department ensured our room was accessible and secured after-hours, and NamUs team members across the country worked to secure speakers and perform outreach to families and local law enforcement agencies.  One family whose case had been resolved traveled from Kansas just to share their story of hope and resolution with other families in attendance.  Our first Missing Person Day was an event that could not have been successful without extraordinary teamwork across the university, not because this was anyone’s job, but because everyone simply cared about serving others first and came together as one team to make a difference in the lives of these families.

Having a purposeful and powerful communication plan will continue driving the success of all our teams, working together every day to form one university with one shared mission of transforming lives, each in our own unique way.

BJ Spamer

Director, NamUS

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017

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Posted Date: November 8, 2017

According to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, growth occurs when we are outside of our comfort zones. This makes perfect sense, of course. If you aspire to be a mogul expert, you’ll never get there by skiing the wide and smooth green slopes every day.

The concept applies to both our personal and professional lives. Many of us are fortunate to have or have had a mentor or supervisor who either challenged us to do something that we didn’t necessarily want to do or allowed us to try something we were not fully equipped to take on. We did it, and we are better for it, but we probably didn’t do it without that person’s support or guidance…just like we are more likely to be a skier who can make a nice run down a bumpy mountain if we take a lesson, watch a video, or at least move to a blue before taking off down a double black.

Our people-focused culture at the Health Science Center allows and in fact encourages us to step outside of our comfort zones. Our values and their behaviors steer us to empower one another and break down barriers. There is no question, then, it is my responsibility as a supervisor to develop members of my team, to help create opportunities and challenges for them to embrace.

During much of the time, our jobs require us to complete tasks, check things off the list, wrap up projects that fall squarely within our position descriptions. If I’m being honest, I will say that as a supervisor it is much easier to make sure everybody is working their list than it is to open a comfort-zone conversation. However, I am blessed to work with a team of people whose commitment to the HSC’s mission and vision is clear and whose professionalism and passion are real assets to the institution. As a team, I think we have done a good job of assuming the “permission to fail” mentality and developed new ideas and programs that we acknowledged might be outside the HSC’s comfort zone. But I need to take a more proactive approach in encouraging each person I supervise to think about what being “outside the comfort zone” would look like for them. Then it will be my privilege to answer, “How can I help?”

 

Carol Noel

Senior Director, Development

2017 HSC Fellows Candidate

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Posted Date: September 27, 2017

As reinforced in the HSC Fellows meeting last month, leadership is about producing change and movement. This includes the ability to establish direction, align people, and to motivate and inspire. We discussed that as a coach we provide challenge and support to get team members to get outside of their comfort zone.

Each year, around her birthday on September 25. I think of Angie. I knew Angie from a former life in a previous institution.  What I remember most about Angie is the transformation she made to become an adopter for change. In this former life, my goal was to consolidate some physically separated departments to make a more cohesive Enrollment Management team, and while we were at it, we were given the opportunity to create a Welcome Center. And while we were creating this center, the new working environment, which for most people had been private offices, was to be an open space plan. That is a lot of change at one time.

In the beginning, Angie was unsure about the plan. It was from her concerns that I learned how important communication was to both planning and progress. Angie had a lot to say about the Welcome Center and she was well qualified to give her opinion, since she started in the organization on the front line, answering the admission phones, responding to e-mail inquiries, and greeting guests.  Additionally, the institution was her alma mater, not only for her undergraduate degree, but a graduate degree as well. She was one of those people who is so committed to the institution that it is the only place they want to be.

Angie ended up taking on a position of more responsibility as a result.  This was a step that would take her out of her comfort zone. She became an Assistant Director of Admission, in charge of the Welcome Center, with her own staff, and I could immediately see her employ the skills of a leader, establishing direction, aligning people, motivating and inspiring.

And then Angie had some setbacks with health issues.  Her well guided team continued to operate flawlessly, despite her prolonged absences.  She would get better, return to work, but then have a relapse.  At one point, she could only walk with the assistance of a walker, and yet, she had not even celebrated her 30th birthday. From her desire to get back to work, Angie persevered.

One day, however, I got a call that Angie had fallen in one of the hallways and was unable to get up. An ambulance had been called. I rushed over to find her, lying flat on the floor. Being one of the main hallways, a crowd began to develop. Angie was conscious, but I could see that she was beginning to get embarrassed. So I laid down on the floor next to her and said, “Don’t worry, no one can tell which one of us needs help.”  She began to shiver, and so I held her hand. I rode in the ambulance with her and stayed at the hospital until her parents could arrive.

It was another long recovery period. When she had been transferred to a rehab center, I went to visit her.  She was sitting very quietly in the bed with her parents by her side.  This was not the outgoing, bubbly Angie that I had known. I would venture to guess there was some serious depression going on.  We got to talking however. I shared everything that was going on and she got interested in the conversation.  A short time later, she was able to return to work.

In April of 2011, I left that institution to come here. In my going away party.  Angie was front and center of the crowd.  I was given some mementos by the institution, which I cherish. Angie had written me a poem and framed it. I opened it in front of everyone, but quickly realized that either I or Angie, or others may become emotional, so I did not read it aloud. I keep this memento in my office too, but not in plain sight. To my surprise, Angie’s Dad was also there. I didn’t know he was coming.  Angie must have shared with him that I was leaving. He stepped forward and handed me a card and I obliged by opening it. Inside the card were two $20 bills. “I wish it could be more” he said. I felt immediately sheepish, knowing that he did not need to do that. More than the money, however, the real gift is what followed. “You saved my daughter. When she was at the lowest point of her recovery, you were there to challenge her to get back to work and supported her by working around her recovery schedule.” “Thank you,” he said, and thus this was one of the most rewarding and humbling moments of my life.  Sometimes, perhaps we don’t know the impact developing talent has on the lives of those whom we work with that go far beyond the workplace.

About two years after my start at the UNTHSC I got an e-mail. It informed me that Angie had lost her valiant battle with her health issue and had passed away. She was 32 years old. I consider myself blessed for having been a part of her life.

 

Matt Nolan Adrignola

Senior Associate Dean of Administration & Student Services, School of Public Health

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017

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Posted Date: September 20, 2017

Early in my career, I was promoted to lead an industrial innovation team. The Vice President of Research in the company said, “I am promoting you to develop people, not to manage projects. If you develop your people properly, you won’t need to worry about projects.” I wish I could say I listened to him right away. It was so tempting to try to manage projects, science and outcomes. I fell for that because it was easier than being a leader.

It took some time, but I eventually learned the significance of my mentor’s words. However, the same temptation still teases me today and that is why I need to be challenged to be a disciplined leader.

I think we have to remind ourselves regularly that developing people is hard, takes time, includes risk and will involve occasional missteps (by leaders and subordinates).

That’s why I think “project management” tempts leaders over “people development”. Leaders can drop into “safe mode” by focusing on low-risk projects that appear to generate short term results without really having to lead, manage, or develop people. I believe this kind of activity gives an illusion of productivity. Sure, short term results are generated but they are typically not all that innovative.

Organizations have to be careful not to reward this behavior from its leaders. Demanding “Results!” from its leaders might have a short-term benefit, but it often comes at the expense of a long-term return from its teams.

Rob McClain

Director, Research Enterprise Solutions

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017

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Posted Date: August 30, 2017

Every department has a set of priorities, their “must do” daily responsibilities that may not directly align with UNT HSC’s strategic plan. The Environmental Health and Safety Office is no exception, and at first, I found it challenging to describe what we do in terms of alignment with the strategic plan. The mission of our office is to create a safe environment so that all of you can do your jobs and achieve the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan (paraphrased), but do we end there?

Having a clear mission, vision, and purpose help show us the direction, but they alone are not enough to create results. As leaders, it is our responsibility to come up with the strategy for success in our areas. If you do not have a written strategic plan for your department, then it’s time to create one with your team. Even if our daily tasks do not directly impact a measure on the strategic plan, the way we execute our strategies determines the culture around us. Integrating customer service and increased efficiencies are probably the easiest areas to focus on, but I challenge you to think about ways your department can influence student satisfaction, or help researchers apply for grants, or support the Patient Safety Institute.

You may be surprised at what your team comes up with, as I was when I posed these questions to my team. Two of us are now Associate Fellows in the Institute for Patient Safety, which creates opportunities for research collaboration. 3 of us are on a Best Place for All committee, and we have weekly meetings to recognize others that have done outstanding work.

Chapter 5 of “The Strategist” by Cynthia Montgomery talks about strategy as a system for creating value, so I’m going to use this concept as the foundation for our next strategic plan update meeting. I will use the outline of the exercise we did in Leadership 125, but change the questions to “What do we do that creates the most value, what do we do that creates the least value, and what do we want to do to create more value?”. I’m interested to see where the discussion goes, and hopefully we can identify areas where we are spending resources and time that would be better spent on something else.

Finally, after the creation of a strategic plan for your area, and the identification of how you create value, you need to change your behavior. Doing the same old routine is not good enough, it’s not strategic, and it’s not beneficial. Waiting for someone to tell you where to go and what to do doesn’t make you a leader. I admit that I struggle in this area, but through the lessons and the readings I’m gaining the confidence to ask more questions and challenge the reasoning behind decisions that don’t make sense to me, and hope to serve as an example to my team.

Matt Moncus

Safety Director

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017

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Posted Date: August 30, 2017

I work in an administrative office. I don’t teach, I don’t do research, I rarely interact with students. When the See 2020 plan was first released, I remember looking it over to find out where I contribute and feeling my little balloon of energy fill with lead and drop as I read through the goals. No one had thought to write in a goal for increasing the number of days between proposal submission to OGCM and the Sponsor deadline! Can you believe it? Okay, but in all seriousness, I was struggling to see how my team could help increase research expenditures. We aren’t the ones deciding what opportunities to apply for or what sponsored projects a researcher should perform, our researchers do the heavy lifting there, right? And that was the only obviously sponsored-project-oriented goal on the plan. So now what? Well, we discussed it briefly in a staff meeting, then I tucked the plan away and moved on with the million and one projects and contracts on my desk. I know, not a great answer, but honest.

Fast forward to early 2017, and our interim Vice President for Research has pulled together the division leadership team to work on the 2018 strategic plan for the Division of Research and Innovation (DRI). She laid out goals and priorities for the division. We all contributed ideas and discussed different ways to reach those goals. We made significant progress towards a real plan for the division, though we didn’t come to a final decision on which ideas to pursue. So this is the part where I go back to my team and share the vision for DRI and tell them how they can contribute to reaching our strategic goals, right? Nope. Well, I suppose I should give myself some credit here. There were ideas discussed in that meeting that I took back to my team, but not in the context of the overall institutional strategic plan. I still didn’t feel like we had a solid plan for how we would reach our goals, and I was waiting for someone to tell me what it was – until we did a couple of exercises in Fellows last month.

First, we were asked to interview multiple individuals on campus about our institutional vision and strategic plan and share that feedback with others in the group. The common theme we found was that individuals across campus were struggling to see where they fit in the plan.

The second exercise challenged us to explain how we contribute to the goals laid out in the SEE 2020 Roadmap. So I pulled it out and studied it, looking at the list of goals in the last column. And as I thought about it, I found that I could answer that question much more clearly than I expected. Here are the goals I identified as items my team and I can contribute to:

Nationally recognized as a Best Place For All: Every single person on campus can work toward this goal every day. The map may list this under the Chief People and Performance Officer, but we are collectively responsible for its success or failure.

Living by our Our Values: Much the same as above, we are all contributing to this.

Have thriving Leadership Institute: Are you coaching or being coached? Have you participated in Inspire, L125, or HSC Fellows? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these (like I have) you are contributing.

Known for our extraordinary service experience: Our office has both internal and external customers. We have the opportunity every day to provide extraordinary service.

Total research increased – expenditures to $55,000,000: Our office works every day to help our researchers balance administrative demands with research demands. We work to ensure that their proposals get past the administrative hurdles in order to be reviewed on their scientific merit.

The education & research partner for health systems of Tarrant County: When working with these organizations, our office recognizes that the relationship has greater value than the single transaction. Every interaction has the potential to strengthen the relationship.

At long last, I’d had my “ah-ha!” moment; I realized that I did not need a prescriptive instruction to take back to my team, I just needed to clarify which goals I thought we could contribute to, and ask my team and myself to take ownership of how we can work toward them. Yes, the strategic plan is developed at the top level, and it has to be clearly and repeatedly communicated down through the organization. Here’s the thing, though: I didn’t need to wait for the how-to manual to come out. It is so easy to get caught up in the pile of day-to-day work, but we all need to be moving in the same direction if we are going to reach our goals.

So now I have taken this back to my team and challenged them to think about what they do every day and how it contributes to these goals. We’ve discussed the division priorities, and we’ve set aside a team meeting for further discussion after they’ve had some time for reflection. I am looking forward to hearing their perspective.

 

Andrea Anderson

Director, Grant and Contract Management

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017

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Posted Date: August 30, 2017

When reviewing the first chapter of One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams by Chris Fussell, several key points emerge:

  • Each of us is drawn to being part of something larger than ourselves, something with purpose, something we can believe in.
  • Leaders need to introduce and consistently reinforce an aligning narrative that will override those held by individual component units in order to create a team of teams organizational model.
  • Leaders should consider an aligning narrative
    • Credibility = Proven Competence + Integrity + Relationships

They found that this new narrative created cultural, then operational unity, breaking down the bureaucratic walls that had once blocked their ability to communicate, collaborate and trust. Ultimately what ensued was a purpose-bound, interdisciplinary team with singular focus on mission. The new culture allowed their enterprise teams the space to react with speed and autonomy to the unpredictable challenges thrown towards them daily. Essentially there were many teams freely operating and engaging with one another in the pursuit of one mission.

When considering this academic year and the creation of the Center for Geriatrics that received its own budget authority and responsibility, there was a need to develop a “One Geriatrics” focus and team development. The newly created Center for Geriatrics inherited several programs, “teams” and “team members” from other departments within UNTHSC/TCOM. There was definitely a need to create a “Team of Teams” approach !

The Center for Geriatrics consists of 28 interprofessional faculty and 27 staff assigned and assembled into various programs/teams within the Center. For example there is the 1115 Waiver STEP Team providing in home transitions of care, the Reynolds IGET IT Program team developing and delivering interprofessional geriatrics education, the HRSA WE HAIL Program team collaborating with the county hospital (JPS Health Network), a private university (TCU) and a community partner (United Way Area Agency on Aging) to deliver interprofessional geriatrics education to health profession students, residents and practicing health care professionals and deliver services to older adults and their caregivers, the Geriatrics Clinic GAPP team, the Palliative Care and Hospice team, the TCOM Academy of Medical Educators faculty, the Clinical Trials group, the Neuropsych/Geropsychiatry group, etc.

A purpose for the entire Center for Geriatrics was developed and articulated “to provide high quality geriatrics education for all health profession students in order to meet the needs of an aging Texas and America and ultimately improve the care for older adults and their caregivers”. The clinical services, research efforts and community engagement activities provided by the Center for Geriatrics supports the purpose of creating an interprofessional  healthcare workforce of the future. Each of the programs and “teams” within the Center for Geriatrics were engaged in the development of purpose and strategic plans. Committees where created to include faculty and staff from the different programs and “teams” within Geriatrics. Two examples include the Leadership Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. The Leadership Committee consists of faculty and staff leads from the various programs and teams within the Center for Geriatrics that meets monthly to review key strategic and functional issues, provide transparency and engage these individuals in decision making for the Center for Geriatrics. The Strategic Planning Committee meets monthly and is staff lead and consists of faculty and staff from the various programs and teams within the Center for Geriatrics. This committee has been assigned review the Gallup Survey Results to focus on Employee Engagement within the Center. They have engaged the Office for People Development for assistance in a Design Thinking Approach towards improving Employee Engagement. Some of the successes so far has been the development of a monthly Center for Geriatrics newsletter, monthly birthday celebrations, one on one empathy interviews with faculty and staff and annual strategic planning meeting arrangements.  The Monthly Center for Geriatrics meetings that include faculty and staff occur where the “One Geriatrics’ is reinforced and the activities of the various programs/teams are shared with everyone.

As I was reflecting on the One Mission article and how these concepts have and could be applied within the Center for Geriatrics I came across an Institute for Healthcare Improvement article by Kate Hilton where she discussed Seven Engagement Principles when organizing people to lead change and face uncertainty that are very applicable to moving forward towards “One Mission”

  1. Know why you care. Motivating others to join in action requires answering two questions: (1) What will we do? and (2) Why should we do it? Knowing what we will do is a matter of strategy. Knowing why we should do it is a matter of heart. As longtime organizer and Harvard Kennedy School Professor Marshall Ganz teaches, we share our own motivations to ignite them in others. Sharing and eliciting others’ stories is a powerful way to inspire people’s passion and turn it into action.
  2. Clarify purpose. On the basis of shared motivations, develop a mutual purpose together. When people perceive and — better yet co-create — a clear and consequential purpose, they work for their own benefit as well as the interests of the whole. A shared purpose enables individuals to become stewards of the collective good.
  3. Share power. Listen to the wisdom of those who are closest to what needs to change. Those with lived experience of a problem have the power to solve it — and keep it solved. Unleash their agency to act. Sharing power means growing power.
  4. Celebrate courage. Leaders foster the conditions for change by identifying exemplary behavior. Senior leaders should publicly celebrate innovators and early adopters who show courage and take initiative. Senior leaders should also model courage by embracing uncertainty and trusting others. In doing so, leaders cultivate resilience, share leadership, enhance agency, and increase joy in work.
  5. Move to action quickly. It is better to make a small-scale, low-stakes change and see what happens than to get paralyzed in preparation and analysis. In improvement science, this process is known as the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle: (1) co-plan the test and predict results; (2) do the change and observe results; (3) study the data and compare with predictions; and (4) act on the learning to develop the next test. The PDSA cycle enables us to learn from an idea before knowing whether it will result in improvement.
  6. Build a coaching culture. The change process is hard. The best change-makers seek coaching and give coaching, creating room for everyone to improve their skills over time. A leader who coaches takes responsibility to help others to achieve shared goals. A leader who receives coaching signals openness to learning from others.
  7. Count engagement. Build a culture of (ac)countability. By all means, measure health outcomes. But don’t stop there. Count networks engaged, partnerships formed, leaders developed. Count new ways of thinking and acting, and new cultural norms forged. Develop a real-time measurement system for engagement.

(Kate Hilton, Faculty, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and a Founding Director & Senior Faculty, ReThink Health. Other contributors: Jackie Lynton of IHO People, Alexandra Nicholas of Ko Awatea, and Jessica Perlo of IHI).

 

Janice Knebl

Director, Center for Geriatrics

Interim Chair, Internal Medicine

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017

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Posted Date: August 16, 2017

I saw red. You could argue that I really saw orange and that my computer monitor made it appear red. Either way, I was staring at a chart with three colors: red, yellow, and green. I was aware of the concept of a net promoter score, the research behind it, and the valuable information it provides. However, this net promoter score was different. This net promoter score reflected the perceptions and experiences of my team.

I looked back at my manual to understand the data and there it was, the thirteenth question on the Gallup Engagement Survey, “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend UNT System to a friend or colleague as a great place to work?” Once you ask this question, you accept a level of responsibility for the answer. The thirteenth question produced a fundamental piece of information, that when paired with the rest of the Gallup Engagement Survey, provides a level of transparency to our work-life experience. The actions we then take as leaders send a clear message to our team. If we expect our team members to come to the table and provide honest answers, then each team member can expect their leadership to use the results to support the team.

The data in the Gallup survey serves as the starting point for two important conversations: how are we as team members experiencing UNTHSC and how is my team experiencing my leadership. Open dialogue is key to success and it is my responsibility to demonstrate respect for my team by being genuine in the process. The diversity of experience among team members helps identify strengths in process, structure, and culture. It also builds a framework of collaborative development opportunities that foster improvements and growth for the entire team.

As a leader I must extend trust to my team to define good experiences. While the type of work our team does may be in direct alignment with the vision of the university, the collective purpose of team members is what results in alignment of action. When we each share our why we build that collective purpose.

I am glad I saw red. When we take the time to listen to the experiences that inform our team members’ choices we begin to understand how to move forward as one team.

 

Katy Lee Kemp

Director, Clinical Education

HSC Fellows Candidate 2017

 

 

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Posted Date: August 9, 2017

When I hear the word Diversity, I immediately think of groups of people that we’ve all been taught to recognize and ensure there’s inclusion.  This is basic and almost innate in our thought processes and actions, especially in higher education.  Then, I begin to think deeper about what diversity and inclusion is really meant to accomplish.  Diversity is not just based on physical characteristics or qualities but also diversity in thought, diversity in approach, and diversity in ideas.  Each and every person brings a different perspective and it becomes our opportunity to embrace the differences.

For the first time in history, five generations are working together in the workplace, each with different leadership, communication and career development styles.  This fact alone can lead to collaborative opportunities that are unparalleled.  Even though each generation may approach work differently, in many cases the end goal is the same.  At the recent SHRM 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition, Scott Lesnick presented seven core values that all employees have in regard to their work environment, no matter what generation they identify with:

  • Feeling respected
  • Being listened to
  • Having opportunities for mentoring
  • Understanding the big picture
  • Receiving effective communication
  • Receiving positive feedback
  • Experiencing an exchange of ideas

While these values may look or mean different things to different individuals, the core need is the same.  Leaders will need to adjust their approach to different individuals based on their specific needs while encouraging the blend of thought, approach and ideas.

Within my own team, providing perspective and challenging ideas is encouraged.  Our thought processes are all different, and we each bring a different viewpoint to the table. This collaborative environment ensures we are best serving our customers while still considering all aspects.

This to me is the new diversity and inclusion.  It doesn’t matter what “group” you associate with.  We all have value to add based on our backgrounds, life experiences, culture, education, personality, and skills.  It’s up to everyone to embrace the differences and learn from them.

Marjorie Derven, author of “TD: Talent Development” states it simply, “Diversity means inviting a mix of people to the party.  Inclusion means everyone dances together”.  As leaders, let’s make sure our teams are not just slumped against the wall, but are out on the dance floor swaying to the music.

 

Meagan Voorhies

UNTHSC Campus HR Manager

2017 HSC Fellows Candidate

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Posted Date: August 2, 2017

Trust. It seems today that trust if one of the main focuses on how to build a great working environment. Leaders and Supervisors are being taught to instill trust within their own offices/departments. But when it comes down to it, is this really being practiced?

UNTHSC’s values are built on trust. As employees, we are enhancing and learning new ways to establish trust with others. We are learning what trust should look like; but, I am sure each employee has their own belief about what truly creates Trust. I am going to talk a little about how not only I, but how the whole Financial Aid Office (FAO) has established Trust with each other and the office as a whole. The first and most important step to building trust is to believe in your staff and their decisions. I have mentioned to some in the past, but one example is when the FAO has to interview for an open position. During the interview process, the staff make the decision on who they want to hire. I put my two-cents in, but the staff decide who they feel would best fit the role for the open position. The reason for this is the current staff are the ones who will be training the new employee. They will be the ones working with them on a day-to-day basis. This decision process of who to hire allows the staff to work together with one goal: to hire someone they would enjoy working with and they feel have the character and competence to do the job. I must say that the Financial Aid Office has had very little turnover since 2009, and this is something that we take pride in. When a new employee starts, the staff step in to assure the new employee feels comfortable right from the start.

Another example our office builds trust in each other is processing our day-to-day tasks. Each employee is encouraged to find new ways to improve our daily tasks. If they find a better, faster and more convenient way to do a tasks (and as long as it stays within federal, state and institution guidelines), we test it, and once all agree, we implement the new process. This type of trust has allowed the FAO to become the great success it is today.

There are several other things that we do to build trust with the FAO, but I feel these two mentioned are two of the most important. How do you build trust within your team?

Joseph Sanchez

Director, Financial Aid

2017 HSC Fellows Candidate

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