Great Colleges To Work For: Focus on communication

In last week’s OnCampus, the Drake community reviewed highlights from the 2021 Great Colleges To Work For (GC2WF) survey. Based on themes in survey responses, three focus areas have been identified for the year. As a reminder these are:

  1. Ensure a consistent and robust cascade of communication;
  2. Facilitate re-connection and attend to our culture; and
  3. Leverage internal, professional development opportunities for leaders.

While the GC2WF survey results are insightful and enlightening for big picture purposes, we need to drill deeper to identify concrete opportunities for improvement for each of these three focus areas. Your targeted suggestions and specific ideas for change and innovation in each area are what we need now. From there, we will work on pulling together proposals and initiatives for concentrated efforts in each these areas.

For the next few weeks, we’ll focus on idea-gathering relating to the first priority. Please share your ideas on ensuring a consistent and robust cascade of communication is shared with and accessible to faculty and staff.

How can you contribute?

First, you can complete this short survey. It consists of 3 questions asking for your ideas, suggestions, and observations about communication. The survey should only take a couple minutes, but it will be of tremendous help to us. This survey is open now and will be open through Oct. 5.

Another option is to attend one of two virtual brain-storming sessions. In these sessions, we will first talk a bit more about the GC2WF survey, review existing communication practices, and then we’ll share ideas for how to improve communication practices:

  • Communication Brainstorming Session 1: Thursday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Join via Teams.
  • Communication Brainstorming Session 2: Friday, Sept. 24, from 2–3 p.m. Join via Teams.

In future OnCampus issues, we’ll share your feedback and focus on what actions can be taken to ensure there is a consistent and robust cascade of communication. Once we feel we have a firm plan of action addressing the first priority, we’ll move on to the second priority focusing on connection and culture.

Quick Note on Pulse Surveys: Drake regularly relies on surveys to gather ideas and feedback. As a reminder, the GC2WF survey in the spring and the Administrative Services survey in the fall are the two primary annual surveys used to gather regular and general feedback from campus. Some colleges and departments conduct targeted annual surveys as well.

You should also expect to see periodic invitations to respond to short, pulse surveys—such as the one linked above—designed to solicit either quick feedback or diver deeper into a narrow topic. While we expect employees to participate in the GC2WF and Administrative Services surveys and comply with college or department expectations for responding to targeted surveys, pulse surveys are optional, even if participation is encouraged and helpful.

— Maureen De Armond, Human Resources, and Nate Reagan, President’s Office