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PASDO Disc. Group, Session II, minutes 2010 Annual

ACRL: Personnel Administrators and Staff Development Officers Discussion Group

Minutes: Monday, June 28, 2010

1.       Welcome and Introductions

2.       Announcements from the Group

  • The TRLN (Triangle Research Library Network) Management Academy is scheduled for Spring, 2011. 
  • Several universities are recruiting for positions with specific qualifications (UCLA: Head, East Asia; Purdue: University Archivist; Temple: Special Collections)

3.       “A year in conversation: performance management process at Gelman Library.” Jean McCullough, Manager, Human Resources and Diversity Programs, Gelman Library, George Washington University.  Ms McCullough described the past year’s approach to Performance Management (PM) at Gelman.

The year began with the organization developing a strategic plan which crosses functional areas.  A primary concern focused on ensuring that everyone was on board with the new performance management approach, called “A year in conversation”.  The intent is to transition from a competency focus to goal setting: how you did it.  This was viewed as not ‘HR’, but as a commitment of the organization, so agreement was needed from everyone.  Goals were tied to the organization’s strategic plan.

                They began the year with training sessions: how to write a goal that was clear, behavioral, time bound.  All staff attended the sessions.   Next they met with supervisors, to ensure the mission of the unit was tied to the library’s.  This took 4 months.  Next they moved to coaching sessions called conversations.  The conversations are intended to include course corrections.  They anticipate tying the process to planning, budget, merit.

                This first year was an abbreviated version, as much of time was tied to training.  The process will become more robust over the next 3-5 years.

Group discussion: several universities described their approach to goal setting and PM.  Temple mentioned the tie between performance development and faculty review.  Houston, in an effort to simplify, has asked for 3-5 most significant accomplishments, as well as a current vita.  Goal writing is tied to the mission, with quarterly meetings scheduled.  Arizona has successfully separated merit and performance.  Merit is based on evidence of behavior and creative work that contributes to the organization.

                On idea that was mentioned was a ‘Gallery Walk’.  Departmental goals are mounted in a public area for viewing by staff.  All staff are encouraged to view these, with opportunity for comments.

4.       Organizational Assessment via ClimateQUAL: Sue Baughman, ARL (http://www.climatequal.org/) Sue began by asking the group: what does it feel like to work in a healthy organization?:Energy, transformation, fairness, work is valued, collaboration, conversation, trust, 2-way communication.  

Organizations willingly spend resources trying to understand users’ needs.  By looking at the organization’s climate and culture, we can better understand staff behavior, to improve the work of the organization.  Climate effects how staff perform, can interfere, undermine performance.  While several tools exist to help assessment climate, Sue’s focus was on ClimateQUAL. The study was grounded in customer service. 

                Changing the culture of an organization can take a long time (7 years, 7.5 years at Arizona).  Administration often wants instant change, or doesn’t want to hear how bad it is.  Assessment can make people (senior leaders) nervous, difficult

                At this point 28 institutions have administered ClimateQUAL, which provides a growing support group, with the ability to share results.  You need to be prepared to dig into responses to find out why – don’t assume.

                Possible follow-up activities include focus groups.  Often the data reinforces your own internal knowledge.  The results can force accountability, points out opportunities for growth.

5.       Other discussion

6.       Coordinators for 2010-2011: Judy Sackett (University of Kentucky) and Melissa Laning (University of Louisville) have agreed to co-chair the ACRL PASDO Discussion Group for 2010-2011. 

7.       Topics for discussion at Midwinter Meeting:

a.       Work/Life Balance

b.      Training New Directors

c.       Continue discussions about budgets and impact on staffing