In order to ensure Trinity’s long-term, sustained success, we must promote leadership development among our current faculty and staff members. This will be accomplished by University Vice Presidents leading an initiative to improve training for their respective divisions, to mentor emerging leaders and make available continuing education opportunities, among other possibilities. These opportunities will enable faculty members and Trinity employees to perform their duties more effectively and with greater confidence. We will also nurture the next generation of campus leaders by investing in ourselves. Opportunities for continued promotion and growth improve Trinity’s ability to retain talented colleagues, resulting in higher employee satisfaction, greater institutional and programmatic continuity, and possible cost savings. Through the division of Student Life, we will enact similar programs to ensure that all Trinity students have opportunities to hone their leadership skills both inside and outside of the classroom. By cultivating alumni leadership, Trinity will continue to benefit from the trusted counsel of our most important external advisors.
Trinity launched its first-ever Gallup Employee Engagement Survey in November 2018 for all faculty and staff. The initiative marks a first step in an ongoing effort to solidify and strengthen Trinity’s workplace culture. The survey, administered by Gallup, served as a measurement tool for engagement and provided data necessary to create actionable plans for improvement.
Results obtained in spring 2019 showed that overall, faculty and staff are incredibly proud to work at Trinity University, and they find meaning and purpose in their work. However, the University identified two specific areas in which it needs to show improvement: finding new and better ways to reward and recognize hard work and dedication, and identifying opportunities for growth.
“The executive leadership team is setting smart, measurable goals for improvement in these areas,” says Tess Coody-Anders ’93, vice president for Strategic Communications and Marketing. Coody-Anders notes that quantitatively, the University should strive for a substantial increase in the percentage of employees who consider themselves engaged in the workplace. Qualitative success will be measured by a feeling of value from employees who are excited to come to work every day. “The University incorporated specific questions from the survey in our University-wide dashboard to measure progress for the Trinity Tomorrow plan. As we receive divisional updates on a semester-by-semester basis, we will begin to see where we are making progress.”
It is well-documented that the result of having a highly engaged workforce yields dividends: Employees are more productive, there is greater employee retention, and employees are invested Trinity’s mission and vision. But, Coody-Anders clarifies, the Gallup process is about more than just this survey. “We are using survey results as a way to be intentional about engagement,” she says, “but Gallup is a movement on campus. As a long-range initiative, we will use Gallup to understand where both opportunities and challenges are. Beginning conversations about change that you and your team feel would meaningfully make a difference—what you do going forward is what really matters.”
For the second year, the Trinity Staff Engagement Council (TSEC) hosted Growing TUgether, a professional development day for Trinity staff. At about 750 strong, staff are involved in every nook and cranny at Trinity University, and Growing TUgether gives them development opportunities tailored to their Trinity experiences.
Fifteen breakout sessions focused on hard and soft skills, from technology training to time management techniques to creative storytelling. Special focus was given to building campus partnerships and supporting a culture of collaborative communication.
Alli Roman, director for Trinity’s Diversity and Inclusion Office, gave the lunch-time keynote, “Transforming Silence: Speaking truth to power while creating space for others to do the same.” Roman discussed ways the University can create a more diverse and equitable community through the use of storytelling, addressing our aspirational value of intentional inclusion.