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Staff Engagement: Deadline extended to this Friday, Aug. 23

You have a rare opportunity to participate in a three-month effort spearheaded by the OP Staff Assembly to make UCOP a better place to work.

If you haven’t heard, it’s called the Staff Engagement Initiative, and the goal is to delve into the findings of the 2012 Staff Engagement Survey to make recommendations in key areas that emerged as needing improvement.

All policy-covered career employees are eligible to apply to join the effort. The deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. this Friday, Aug. 23, and you can find the application and more details online.

The Staff Engagement Survey was conducted systemwide last summer. Results for UCOP revealed three key areas for improvement: career planning and development, performance management, and communications. (Find systemwide and OP survey results online.)

At a meeting last January following the survey’s release, Executive Vice President Nathan Brostrom said he wants to see improvements in those areas and in UCOP staff’s overall engagement level. Since then, he has been working with OP Staff Assembly (OPSA) and UCOP Local Human Resources to set up the Staff Engagement Initiative.

Here’s how the initiative will work: The Staff Engagement Steering Committee will assemble three work groups from applicants who are selected to participate. The groups will research the survey results in the three areas to be addressed and recommend ways OP can improve.

Each work group will have a lead facilitator, a co-facilitator and seven participants. The time commitment is expected to be approximately four to six hours per month from mid-September to mid-December. Participation in these work groups has strong support from EVP Brostrom and other OP leadership, and release time will be granted to those who participate.

Criteria for selecting participants are as follows:

  • Participants must be UCOP policy-covered, career employees (i.e., not represented by a union, as union-represented employees did not participate in the Staff Engagement Survey) with a performance evaluation of “meets” or greater.
  • Application must be complete and relevant, and the statement must exhibit sincerity of purpose.
  • There may be no more than one representative from the same department on each work group.
  • The goal will be to achieve a diverse group of working titles (i.e., clerical, technical, analyst, management).

The work group kick-off meeting will be held Thursday, Sept. 12. Working meetings and analysis will then continue through November, and the groups will present recommendations to UCOP’s Climate Council in late November and to EVP Brostrom in mid-December.

Want to learn more about the project? See the website or contact Jeanie Urban, former OPSA chair who is now serving as OPSA lead for the Staff Engagement Initiative, at or 510-987-0237.

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