There is a need to improve communication across the University. While some information, like UFC meeting minutes and budget reports, are already available, they are scattered across the University website. The communication of other information, as indicated by the faculty/staff engagement survey could be improved by implementing new measures.
After some discussion in the “communication group,” one clear theme that developed was that managers and supervisors play an important role in promoting healthy organizational communication.
- Reinforce the value of managers and supervisors holding regular (monthly) staff meetings to communicate issues and solve problems
- Perhaps additional training from HR for new and current supervisors
- Make “communication” a more substantial item in performance evaluations
- To increase engagement, visibility, and approachability, managers and supervisors should MBWA (Manage by Walking Around). Get out of your office and have more direct interaction with your staff.
- Promote the Staff Advisory Council (SAC), University Faculty Council (UFC), “Contact HR” form, and the Banner Users Group (BUG) as existing examples of where a dialog can be created among UMW employees and the larger University.
- Post cabinet meeting minutes regularly and in a timely fashion
- Hold all-campus meetings twice a year
- Record or live stream the important segments of these events for staff unable to attend (done in the past)
- Continue to hold forums targeted on specific issues (FLSA, strategic plan, compensation)
- Revive the “Ask the Leaders” online forum
- Existing e-newsletters could be shared with a wider audience – not just a select group
In an effort to avoid the time and expense of deploying a new enterprise software program, use a readily available communication platform (UMWBlogs, EagleEye, OrgSync or SharePoint) that could address the gaps in University communication; EagleEye is the clear favorite at a creating an official “channel” of internal news (e.g., updates on strategic initiatives, compensation, budget) that could be centralized and distributed among current UMW employees.
Suggestions/Benefits of using EagleEye:
- Already available and supported
- No new software to purchase or web platforms to create
- No end-user learning curve since EagleEye is a web-based newsletter that can be distributed via email across UMW
- Create a new tab where this new information can exist – called something like “Inside UMW”
- Already allows for feedback/comments from readers, Must develop a procedure for responding to feedback received through new channel Anonymous commenting or moderated commenting
Questions/Challenges of using EagleEye:
- Privacy – password protected segments of information?
- Protocols – what should be presented via the EagleEye and who should submit this information for distribution Awareness – how to make new and existing employees aware that this channel exists?
- HR and supervisors should be involved in promoting staff awareness Inventory – what information is currently available across the UMW website?
- Should it be included in a new UMW “channel?”
- Noise – how to present and moderate a wealth of information so that it is easily discoverable and readers are not overwhelmed with information?
- Does a platform like the EagleEye allow for readers to subscribe just to the information in which they are interested?