The hopes, dreams and promise of higher education permeate college and university campuses at the beginning of fall semester. You can almost touch the timid excitement of freshman, the ambitions of final-year graduate students, or the joy of researchers on the cusp of a breakthrough …
Yet because administration, human resources, faculty affairs and IT employees rarely come into contact with that positive energy, they often struggle to find fresh inspiration after completing heavy summer workloads or too-brief vacations.
To help you get in the back-to-school spirit, we asked higher education leaders what inspires them to tirelessly pursue continuous improvement for their campuses. Here’s what they said:
“Serving our customers inspires me,” said Ranae Covel, HR generalist at Aims Community College. “Anyone who calls HR is a customer, whether it’s another department within the college, or applicants. And that inspires me to help people as quickly as I can and as thoroughly as I can with whatever question or problem they have. And that keeps me going every day.”
“The institution that I work for is a graduate health sciences university, so our job is to educate health professionals — people who save lives,” said NeeCee Cornish, director of enterprise database & integrations at Western University of Health Sciences. “I’m not directly impacting their education, but I sure am making it easier for those who do. So I feel like I have an indirect effect on their outcomes.”
“It’s inspiring to work in higher ed, and I’m sure many people at many universities feel the same,” said Wayne Robinson, director of recruitment and operations at Rice University. “Getting in touch with the mission of the university, which is to provide a world-class educational experience for our students, is motivating.”
“I’m a servant by nature, and I love to serve people. I love to help people. And I think that’s what inspires me to do a good job,” said Tyra Phillips, applicant tracking coordinator at the University of Central Arkansas.
“In higher education, it’s more than just a job. You’re in an environment where people are trying to better themselves. And in my job in HR, I really feel like I’m empowering other people to do their best work,” said Daniel Linton, assistant director of human resources at the University of Memphis.
“What inspires me to do my job well is helping the campus and seeing that success,” said Shannon Phillips, assistant director of technology and compensation specialist at the University of Arkansas. “So rolling out a new process and seeing that change our average time-to-fill, getting the campus where they need to be, and being more proactive and strategic — is really what drives me.”
“Our building is on the far side of campus and contains operations, business, payroll and marketing. We’re not in an academic building. We’re physically separate on campus,” said Brock Sizer, HRIS manager at the University of Pittsburgh. “Because we’re not there, it’s not difficult to lose sight of the students, the education, the research, and the difference we’re making in the community. So, I remind myself to consciously think about that.”
Coming soon: Performance management enhancements
A brand new supervisor dashboard and employee view will be available soon in the employee portal of Performance Management.
“It’s so straightforward and easy to navigate,” said Villanova University Director of Training and Staff Development Jennifer Derry, who beta tested the dashboard. “Right now, we have one supervisor who emails all of his individual managers to ask for ratings so he can have them all in one place, but this dashboard eliminates that step and is so much more secure. That’s time saved for him and for all his managers.”
Here are a few ways these enhancements can benefit your institution:
- Supervisors can easily see who owns what task and determine where the bottlenecks are.
- Supervisors can filter and sort programs to more effectively identify trends and opportunities.
- Employees will have a comprehensive view of their individual performance program.
Read the FAQ to learn more, and download the Best practices guide to transforming performance management in higher education, for actionable tips on improving processes.
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