November 14, 2013 Employee Forum VC/Provost minutes
Attending: Gena Carter, Jackie Copeland, Lois Douglass-Alston, Yvonne Dunlap, Paula Goodman, Brenda Malone, Chris Meinecke, Kevin Seitz, Charles Streeter, Anna Wu
Brenda Malone called the meeting to order at 10 a.m. She welcomed interim Vice Chancellor Kevin Seitz, and noted that this would probably be her last or next to last Vice Chancellor/Provost meeting. Malone said that she had accepted a position at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Attendees expressed their dismay that Malone was leaving the University but wished her well.
Brenda Malone said that the University was carrying on with its pilot management evaluation process. Gena Carter said that the pilot had gone to the School of Pharmacy, the School of Government, the Office of Human Resources, and the Housekeeping Division. She said that the Office of State Human Resources (OSHR) had blessed the pilot, but had subsequently began studying a Statewide performance management program. Until the State Human Resources Commission reviews the pilot, UNC-Chapel Hill must sit tight. She did not anticipate any changes, but the pilot is in a holding pattern for now. Malone thought that OSHR intends to create a statewide grievance procedure, but the University System will likely be allowed a somewhat different procedure. Carter said that the OSHR Commission would allow the University to roll out the management evaluation program in March or April, given approval. Malone noted that the University would not be in the position of accepting dictates from OSHR if it had embraced personnel flexibility.
Yvonne Dunlap asked about the evaluation of higher level personnel. She said that supervisor management training is important as some in leadership do not know how to interact appropriately. Brenda Malone noted the diversity workshops that Vice Provost Taffaye Clayton of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs have conducted. She suggested having Clayton attend one of the VC/Provost meetings. She thought such a conversation would be useful to figure out a strategy on diversity. She was heartened by Chancellor Folt’s emphasis on diversity in her installation speech.
Brenda Malone said that the program of supervisory training for all managers is gradually taking shape. Kathy Bryant is working on the supervisory development program. There is also a high level supervisory evaluation program intended for developmental purposes in pilot. Gena Carter said that Human Resources has used Qualtrics to solicit feedback from employees in Housekeeping. She said that the Housekeeping Director Darius Dixon went over the results with each assistant director and zone manager to develop an action plan based on this feedback. She said that the program could become part of the next evaluation cycle. Anna Wu said that broadening the program in Facilities Services would require careful thought. Malone added that the University had taken great care to make sure the process was perceived as open and fair. She said that the evaluations were not intended to be punitive. Malone said that Human Resources would work with the HR Council to see about broadening the program. Wu noted that the program had taken shape in Housekeeping following a series of steps. She said entering a department cold could lead to percolating difficulties.
Aluoch Ooro said that much depends on how the evaluation process is presented. She recalled that her unit had gone to 360 evaluations as part of a desire to keep up with private industry practices. She thought that the process could change the structure of how units are managed. Brenda Malone emphasized that the pilot program is not a 360 evaluation. Lois Douglass-Alston raised concerns that the program may not give an outlet for expression of concerns. Malone said that the form was designed to be simple. Gena Carter thought that people might use an open-ended comment section. Chris Meinecke said that relations between supervisors and employees can benefit from other options to resolve disagreements such as the Ombuds Office. Meinecke thought it important that Human Resources continue to direct these programs for consistency’s sake. Ooro cited a larger problem with apathy and lack of interest on the academic side. She said that decentralization has played a part in this problem. Malone said that the impetus for the Human Resources Transformation was to overcome decentralization difficulties. She said that the University’s culture does not accept centralized Human Resources. She said that these pilots have been helpful in preparing the environment to handle changes.
Yvonne Dunlap suggested that Human Resources representatives introduce themselves at staff meetings. Brenda Malone asked how many attendees knew their HR lead. Many attendees said that they did not know their representative. Malone said that the point of the HR leads is to build community. She thanked the group for its feedback. Aluoch Ooro recalled confusion around who oversees Human Resources activities in the School of Public Health.
Brenda Malone noted the question as to whether SPA employees can supervise SPA employees. She said that SPA employees classified to supervise may do so. Supervisory training is not a prerequisite to supervise employees. Gena Carter said that the mandatory training Blueprint for Engaged Supervision Training (BEST) will launch in Human Resources and then throughout the University soon. Human Resources will e-mail an announcement in early December. Supervisors will have one year to complete the relevant classes. Malone said that this schedule is difficult to orchestrate, but that the vision of how the training will work is very powerful.
Yvonne Dunlap asked about exit interviews. Gena Carter said that exit interviews are offered but are not required of departing employees. She said that Human Resources had rolled out exit interviews for SPA employees in September 2011. Only 39 people filled out their surveys, with the overarching themes for leaving being lack of promotional opportunities and pay increases. Dunlap asked if Human Resources provides a packet for each departing employee. Carter said that this is not done, and instead it is hoped that the department’s HR officer either prints out the packet or directs the employee to the relevant website. Carol Tresolini asked if supervisors of departing employees receive this data. Carter said that this information is not shared as employees are assured that their responses are confidential. She said that Human Resources would likely engage in a general conversation with a particular area if trends emerge. Paula Goodman suggested putting the exit interview document in HRIS as part of the checklist for departing employees. Chris Meinecke agreed that PeopleSoft would also be a good location for this document. Malone said it is important that someone sits down with departing employees to garner this information. Meinecke said that departments still need someone at the ground level to conduct these departure processes. Malone said that these processes are part of the supervisor’s role, not Human Resources. She emphasized training as the basis of supervisors’ understanding of these processes.
Brenda Malone said that she would likely be present at the December 12 meeting of the group. She wished all good morning. The meeting adjourned at 11:01 a.m.
Matt Banks, Recording Secretary