HR pros emphasized making faculty and staff input routine, connecting face-to-face, and showing how feedback shapes action and generates results:
1. Re-think governance
“We are having projects at certain levels go through an IT governance framework for decisions. Some require vetting at a higher level, but some are determined at a local level by an IT leaders.”
- Define roles and processes: Define opportunities to participate and evaluate. (Note: Governance and decision frameworks are a Talent@Iowa focus.)
2. Speak clearly to each other
“The process of going through an HR leader in an org with the expectation that information will be disseminated to departments hasn’t worked for us…The best information is conveyed directly by an accurate source.”
- Communicate directly: Get relevant info straight to constituents, without leaning on intermediaries.
- Establish dedicated channels: Consistently post news online, distribute regular newsletters, or create other resources people know to consult.
- Be judicious: Make clear that feedback is welcome (and publicize how to provide it) but don’t overdo surveys or direct requests.
3. Ask in person
“Focus groups can help identify likely reactions, questions, and barriers to new initiatives. This technique can also build buy-in when faculty and staff feel they participated in an initiative’s development.”
- Hold focus groups (formal or informal): Test and develop ideas while generating engagement and support.
- Host open forums: Invite comments and field questions.
- Promote contacts: Make sure both faculty and staff know who to contact locally and centrally.
- Build trust: Show how feedback makes a difference in shaping ideas and driving results.
4. Integrate feedback mechanisms
“For example, after a performance evaluation is submitted, show a short survey about the process.”
- Build into tools and processes: Integrate one-question surveys and other quick assessments.
- Include chat options: Identify real people who can field comments (including in real time).
5. Make participation routine
“How about interactive Q&A portals in high-traffic areas? Use touchscreens to display questions and collect quick responses.”
- Go straight to the source: Hold listening posts, conduct live surveys, or collect comment cards from people where they are.
- Pilot easier survey tools: For example, explore direct-reply email surveys (versus click-and-complete web tools).
- Offer short webinars or workshops: Provide flexible information, training, and buy-in resources.