Our employees have spoken, and we have heard

A fall 2017 employee engagement survey revealed that CU Boulder staff members, while showing some signs of satisfaction, also experience undue stress and encounter barriers to personal and institutional success. We are striving to help.

Be Heard, an initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences, is an employee and organizational wellness program that aims to make CU Boulder a top place to be employed and to address some concerns illustrated in the employee engagement survey. Taking this step means investing in our most valuable asset: our employees. Be Heard is designed first to demonstrate care for and awareness of the stress our colleagues endure.

Groups of faculty and staff will share their innovative ideas for engagement and growth. They will foster skill-building for effective change management, which will pave the way for a more inclusive, efficient and collaborative work environment.  

Be Heard comprises four phases of workshops during the 2018-19 academic year:

  • Phase 1: Personal Resilience—evidenced-based programming will provide tools to self-regulate the harm of a stressful work environment in the moment. Increases in resilience capacity at the individual level will be the foundation for working groups to change antiquated processes, procedures and climates.
  • Phase 2: Leadership Foundations—leveraging the power of storytelling, participants will craft their unique leadership narrative, thus empowering all levels of employees to be agents of change.
  • Phase 3: Innovation & Change Management—embodying a growth mindset in the face of adversity, coupled with tactical skill-building for proposing and enacting change, participants will make strategic planning actionable.
  • Phase 4: Institutionalizing Change—armed with comprehensive action plans to support innovative change initiatives, working teams will propose and implement self-generated change for employee, campus and student populations.

We will initiate a pilot group in December and a larger rollout this spring. I will invite pilot participants within the next week, and will encourage all to accept the invitation.

Participating in Be Heard is likely to convey benefits including the following: Increased resilience and decreased stress, leadership development, networking, change and project management skill building, innovative solutions for organizational change and more!

I ask that supervisors, chairs and directors support participants and encourage full involvement in each phase of Be Heard.  

All of us have stories to tell, and the college invites you to share yours—to Be Heard.   

James W.C. White
Interim Dean