FY 19 year-end wrap up from John Bollier

August 5, 2019

Dear Colleagues, 
As the fiscal year comes to a close, I write to thank you for all that you have done this year to support the University.  By all measures, it has been a very successful year and I sincerely thank you all.  As an organization committed to continuous improvement, we naturally are seeking to achieve equal or better results in the year ahead while also measurably improving our workplace environment. 
To support this goal, the department’s leadership continues to utilize prior workplace survey data in determining areas on which to focus.  Based on your feedback, we have implemented multiple new initiatives during the year, meant to increase communication, training opportunities, and teamwork.  I would like to share with you a few updates regarding these initiatives that are intended to support staff and improve the workplace environment across the entire Facilities department.  
The need to increase communications was a clear “take-away” from the most recent employee survey.  In response to this feedback, a new Facilities newsletter has been issued quarterly this year, and this will increase to bi-monthly in the coming year.  Additionally, we continue to host quarterly “All Hands” and skip level meetings with managers to communicate news across the organization.  We have also held small group sessions for service and maintenance staff on topics of interest, including basic First Aid, wellness, benefits, and Workday.
Ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to learn and grow in their career is a top priority of our department.  Reflecting this commitment, construction was completed this month of a new 5,000 square foot training facility adjoining our current computer training classroom at 344 Winchester.  In the coming years, these spaces will be used to support our various trades apprentice programs and allow us to offer a variety of classes for anyone in the department – more to come on this soon.  During the past year we have focused heavily on increasing our training opportunities through the following:
  • Operations Manager Training - offered monthly to all operations managers.  Topics covered include Yale and Local 35 MOA updates, HR/Staffing Process for Local 35, FMLA Training, Kronos, Managing Labor Relations Issues, and the S&M Employee Handbook and Work Rules Review for Managers.
  • Lunch and Learns by Organization – every month, we host Sustainable Initiatives Lunch and Learn sessions for the Office of Facilities, Construction and Planning, Sustainability, Engineering, and Utilities. Project Management/Construction trainings are held for interested managers within the Office of Facilities and Construction & Planning teams. In addition, Operations/Engineering Lunch and Learn sessions are offered to managers within Physical Plant, Custodial, Grounds, Engineering, and Utilities.
  • Service and Maintenance Training Facility at 344 Winchester – a State Sanctioned Apprentice Program for Licensed Trades is available to staff. Applicants interested in the program are selected through an interview and screening process.  Additionally, during the past year, an apprenticeship for carpenters has been jointly developed with L35 leadership, and it will enroll its first apprentices early next year.    
These are just a few of the initiatives that have been implemented based on your feedback. Over the course of the upcoming fiscal year, I look forward to sharing more updates as we continue to strengthen our skills, service, and customer satisfaction across facilities.