Best Place to Work Initiatives
BEST PLACE TO WORK INITIATIVES
SmartDollar is a proven financial wellness solution that teaches users how to save for emergencies, start budgeting, get out of debt, and get on track for their retirement. The online program is self-driven and was launched at HSC on January 7, 2020. HSC was the first university to ever off this program to students and it’s the only university that offers the program to all students, free of charge. Since its launch, users have reported a financial turnaround (debt paid and savings increased) of close to $2 million. The organizational impact is users report less stress, better focus and the knowledge that HSC has provided a way for them to have control over their financial future. Currently, 34% of employees and 10% of students use SmartDollar.
2. Lena Pope Early Learning Center
HSC, Lena Pope and the Miles Foundation launched the Miles Foundation Early Learning Center on HSC’s campus in 2018. The center provides child care for ages six weeks to five years to HSC and the broader community. Lena Pope Early Learning Centers are dedicated to ensuring children are kindergarten-ready by integrating social-emotional learning alongside evidence- based curricula, encouraging family engagement, and offering low student-to-teacher ratios regardless of a families’ ability to pay.
As of July 2022, total enrollment was 67 students. Sixty-six percent were private pay and 34% were on a sliding scale. HSC families represented 41% of enrollment.
Lena Pope Early Learning Center located at University of North Texas Health Science Center receives National Recognition as a Certified Nature Explore Classroom – Learn more here: Lena Pope ELC UNTHSC Press Release
3. Best Place To Work Awards
HSC is on a journey to become a nationally recognized Best Place to Work. There are numerous ways to achieve being recognized (offer the most benefits, pay to be on a list, etc.) but HSC’s goal is to achieve the status because of its values-based culture. This requires intentionality and strategic planning to improve engagement, linkage to strategy and significantly improved two- way communication.
HSC has been recognized as a Best Place For Working Parents in Fort Worth in 2020, 2021, and 2022. In 2022, HSC was recognized as a Best Place For Working Parents in Dallas and Fort Worth. There are hundreds of Best Place to Work awards. In 2021, through the work of the People and Culture Council, the President and Cabinet agreed to focus on two national awards: Top Workplaces USA and Gallup Exceptional Workplace. Both awards align with HSC’s values and culture strategy and both awards are aspirational but attainable with deliberate focus.
4. Focus Groups and External Tour
Organizational changes and restructuring in 2019 provided an opportunity for the Office of Culture and Experience to take a deliberate approach to understand HSC campus needs and best practices of organizations that are Best Places to Work. OCE designed and launched an organization needs assessment plan which included interviewing all of the senior leaders and 10% of our HSC population through focus groups. Additionally, key leaders in OCE met with 11 external organizations who were values-based companies and/or nationally recognized as a Best Place to Work. Using a data-driven approach to analyze commonalities among the organizations and HSC campus needs, OCE developed a detailed, multi-year executable plan. Three areas of focus were identified: 1) instilling and preserving HSC’s values-based culture with new and existing team members; 2) creating a climate of recognition and appreciation; and 3) building capability through connection and community.
The significance of various drivers of employee engagement and recruitment has changed since 2019. It is important that HSC stay abreast of current HSC motivators as well as external best practices of values-based, Best Place to Work organizations. OCE just completed a listening tour for 10% of the employee population, stratified by job grade, faculty or staff, supervisor or non- supervisor. Results will be ready for distribution by September, 2022. Additionally, OCE leaders are meeting with multiple values-based and Best Place to Work organizations and will incorporate best practices into the department’s culture strategy.