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Feel the Teal Service SWOT workshop report: What you said, what we are doing

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More than 500 Coastal Carolina University employees to date have participated in the Feel the Teal Service SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Workshops and, in doing so, have shared candid and valuable feedback in regard to important service issues at CCU. Discussions during the workshops have been lively, and there was definitely a consistent focus on several key issues from October through January. The top five perceived weaknesses shared were:

• “Faculty are not involved with Feel the Teal.”
• “Communication is poor from the top down.”
• “Decisions are being made at the top and are not including the implementers.”
• “Policies that were recently passed have affected service and morale, such as expenditure policy/student pay policy.”
• “The paperwork process is long and tedious, need too many signatures.”

The Feel the Teal Leadership Team and Steering Committee was tasked with reviewing and addressing the top five perceived University weaknesses as shared by the employee participants. This past April and June, Feel the Teal Leadership Team meetings allowed this group to share various viewpoints and identify action plans to address and improve these perceived weaknesses.

I would like to share “what you said” and address “what we are doing” as my Atheneum focus for this month and next month. What follows are three of the top five perceived weaknesses (what you said) and how these weaknesses will be addressed moving forward (what we are doing). Next month will showcase the last two of the top five perceived weaknesses.

Please share these updates with your area in order to acknowledge the feedback, open the lines of communication and address upcoming changes. It is with such open communication and transparency that we will strengthen our culture and service strategies at Coastal Carolina University.

Thanks you sharing your suggestions for providing the best possible service at Coastal Carolina University.

Sincerely,

David DeCenzo, Ph.D.
President

Weakness Response from Feel the Teal Leadership Team

“Faculty are not involved with Feel the Teal.”

Important facts and information that is sometimes forgotten or unknown, but relates to this weakness.

• The Leadership Team consists of faculty representatives who are actively involved in the overall picture and projection of Feel the Teal.
• Out of the eight members on the Steering Committee, three of them are faculty members, including Faculty Senate chair.
• CeTEAL’s mission is to promote a culture of excellence in teaching and learning at Coastal Carolina University by facilitating the integration of proven pedagogical techniques into the instructional process and encouraging the development of a universitywide community of reflective practitioners.
• CeTEAL offers more than 250 professional development workshops, specifically for faculty, that build community and pride for the University.
• Feel the Teal participates in the New Faculty Orientation and Expo each August in order to educate faculty on our service excellence initiative.
• CeTEAL has a wide variety of courses and training sessions that have similarities with the eight Feel the Teal training modules; for example: Classroom (in) civility and Disruptive Behavior, and Handling Conflict with Competency.

What is being done and will be done.

• In line with Strategic Plan Strategy 5 – The CCU Story (effectively communicate the goals, successes, contributions and needs of our University, students, faculty, staff and alumni), we will commit to better communicate the story of faculty engagement and involvement using examples such as student testimonials, teaching excellence recognition and celebrations.
• Continue to share successful faculty implementation of Feel the Teal; for example, the Wall College of Business uses the SERVQUAL model as shared in Feel the Teal Attitude of Service (module 2) within the marketing program with specific service applications.
• Continue to provide Feel the Teal training with an open invite to all faculty, staff and student workers to participate.
• Moving forward, future Feel the Teal committees/council may include representation from each college a faculty member who has completed Feel the Teal.
• Explore the idea of awarding a Feel the Teal bonus for faculty and staff.

“Communication is poor from top down.”

Important facts and information that is sometimes forgotten or unknown, but relates to this weakness.

• The Leadership Team has addressed poor communication at length and recognizes that improvement is necessary on the parts of both the senders and receivers.
• The Leadership Team has discussed that part of the communication issue is a lack of transparency and rationale for decisions being communicated.

What is being done and will be done.

• Improve effective communication via the strategic plan, specifically through the strategic plan goals and objectives listed below:
o Strategic Plan Goal 3.4. Improve internal communication within the institution to promote greater inclusion in decision-making, accountability at all levels, and more effective implementation of all systems and policies.
• Strategic Plan Objective 3.4.1. By June 2017, the University will implement a process for key program and process redesign that invites department's affected and front-line implementers to comment whenever possible before adoption is made of any new policy or process such that the outcome supports the effective and efficient use of staff and faculty time and University resources.
o Strategic Plan Objective 3.2.2. The University will adopt a Communication Excellence Standing Committee that includes representation from faculty, staff, students, University community, athletics and alumni to provide input to the communication effort on an annual basis, to develop targets for improvement, and to advance needed resources to support the effort on a continuing basis.
• Encourage frequent departmental faculty/staff meetings for information to be shared.
• Add departmental reports to the Feel the Teal® Leadership Meeting to update group with relevant information.
• Commit to communicate the WHY and what the initial problem/concern was that brought about the change/policy.
• With the implementation of the new coastal.edu comes the ability for development of an internal communication system where faculty and staff will be able to offer feedback and opinions. This is currently being developed. 

“Decisions are being made at the top and not including the implementers.”

Important facts and information that is sometimes forgotten or unknown, but relates to this weakness.

• Administration acknowledges that employees want to know the reason for decisions as it affects their University work areas and operations. There are times that state- and federal-level decisions make this difficult.

What is being done and will be done

• Strategic Plan Objective 3.4.1. By June 2017, the University will implement a process for key program and process redesign that invites affected departments and front-line implementers to comment whenever possible before adoption is made of any new policy or process such that the outcome supports the effective and efficient use of staff and faculty time and University resources.
• Clearly communicate information about decisions being made at the top with the explicit rationale/regulations.
• Continue to send weekly policy updates via email but modify them to rationale when possible and highlight or note the changes made from past policies.

• Explore the possibility of not only posting potential policy changes on the website, but notifying the affected implementers, whenever it is possible.

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