New ways to engage leaders and staff among topics at Leadership Team meeting

February 4, 2021

The IT Leadership Team met on Wednesday, January 27 and discussed the following topics:

New resources for leadership

Ryan Schlagheck gave an overview of two opportunities for leaders to support and guide their teams, including skip level meetings and updated diversity and inclusion coursework. These resources were developed in response to 2019 Workplace Survey feedback.

Skip level meetings provide multiple benefits, including opportunities to:

  • Maintain or improve overall communication
  • Build more effective relationships with employees
  • Broaden understanding of cultural progress—both in terms of strategic objectives and shared competencies

One approach to hosting skip level meetings is to have less-structured, “getting to know you” conversations, to show your concern for the team member’s morale and welfare—particularly during this global pandemic. Leaders are encouraged to review skip level meeting tips, which offer guidance on how to engage with your teams and a template to initiate the meeting.

Ryan also shared that there are two new or updated trainings available, in support IT’s Workplace of Choice organizational priority. Taught by experts in the field, the Yale Unconscious Bias Foundations and Diversity, Inclusion, and Belong for All courses are available on LinkedIn Learning and accessible via the IT Academy webpage, under Workplace of Choice. An additional collection of Diversity and Inclusion Resources is also available online. To recommend that a resource be added to this list, contact a CCI member by sending a message to

Update on mid-year reviews and succession planning

Blanche Temple reviewed previously distributed guidance on upcoming mid-year performance discussions, including the deadline to complete mid-year performance reviews by Friday, February 5. She also suggested that leaders review ITS-specific performance management guidance posted on the About IT website.

Additionally, Blanche shared that she would be contacting senior leaders in the coming 4-6 weeks to conduct talent and succession planning conversations. Talent planning intends to address any competency gaps by implementing and maintaining programs to attract, acquire, develop, and retain quality talent. Whereas succession is a proactive and systemic process that allows leaders to identify positions considered to be at the core of the organization and then create a strategic plan to fill those positions with qualified and capable employees.

Human Resources has a number of tools to support this process, such as the Performance/Potential Matrix (aka 9 Box), as well as the Succession Planning template, which identifies promotion readiness, potential successors for key positions, and degree of readiness to assume positions. More information will be posted shortly on the About IT website.

Self-serve training reports now available in TMS

Cheri Ross invited Shaun Ennis to provide a demonstration on a new Training Management System (TMS) My Orgs Reporting page, which includes three self-serve reports to track compliance status (including required COVID-19 training), course enrollments, or assessment questionnaire status of employees assigned to planning units, departments, or assigned cost centers. The reports are available to supervisors, lead administrators, business operations managers, HR Partners, and other appropriate individuals. If you are a supervisor, the employees you supervise will automatically populate for you, along with other relevant data based on the report selected and on current information in Workday. If you do not see an individual you are expecting to see, please ensure that individual has been associated with your supervisory org/cost center in Workday.

Shaun Ennis and his team developed these initial reports when Salesforce Lighting was updated, and there are already plans to develop additional reports. As Shaun demonstrated, the quickest way to access the service is via the My Orgs Reports (New) page within TMS, which requires Google Chrome (rather than Internet Explorer). Depending on your role, you will see one or all reports including:

  • Assessment Report: Displays the last date on which the compliance assessment was taken. This is an annual requirement
  • Requirements Report: Tracks compliance requirements assigned to employees, the status of that compliance requirement, and the date the requirement was satisfied
  • Transcript Report: Displays a comprehensive transcript of all courses completed

To access these reports, users will need to provide a Net ID, status and cost center/department/planning unit (in some cases), requirement, date range, and more; results can be downloaded in an Excel format. The new reports allow managers and other responsible individuals to quickly track and verify compliance with coursework. For questions or more information on My Org Reports, contact

Talend Upgrade project

Talend, a data integration and API services platform similar to IBM’s WebMethods, is undergoing an upgrade. Greg Locke provided an overview of the project and the tool, which moves data across the University–from Finance to HR to Research, and more. As part of this move, application team leads are responsible for managing the migration of their code, their timeline, and any impact to customers.

Randy Ritter reviewed the projected schedule, including plans to deliver the development platform (February 1), test platform (March 1), and production platform (April 1) to enable application teams to start code migration from Talend 7.1 with the goal of moving everyone off Talend 7.1 by June 30, 2021.

Ask John anything

John Barden responded to questions including:

A friend of mine at Yale was told that she will be working from home indefinitely. Additionally, they are being funded to fortify their home offices. Are other departments at Yale thinking about shifting to this format?

There are conversations underway to ensure that we are consistent, where possible, with how we approach remote work as well as the provisioning of people with equipment. More information is forthcoming.

In response to the President’s memo on the return to campus for spring semester, I’m assuming students are still conducting all classes remotely—is that true?

Not all, but most. In the fall, about 80% of classes were remote for undergraduate students; this is expected to continue in the spring. The percentage of graduate and professional students learning online is varied, depending on the nature of the program. These decisions are being made based on population needs, health guidelines, and other criteria. Looking ahead, it’s hard to say how this will impact future learning experiences, including distance learning opportunities for FY22.

Is there any planning underway to reduce Yale’s footprint in existing buildings, or consolidate teams?

There is still uncertainty right now. As we think about the notion of flexible work, what I’m hearing from our leaders is not an overt focus on using this experience as a way of regaining cost savings and footprint. There is more of a focus on rethinking how we can best meet the needs of our community at Yale. However, if the best way to meet those needs also allows us reduce costs, this would be a positive outcome.

How well do you feel IT is doing to support diversity and inclusion, given our efforts over the last few years?

I’m very proud of the work we’ve been doing together. The President has included Belonging as a major initiative at Yale, and while I’m confident that we aren’t “done” with the work we need to do, I feel that we’ve made a tremendous amount of progress in making systemic changes that are likely to improve our outcomes over time. These aren’t instant changes, but from a structural perspective, we’ve done quite a lot to move the ball forward.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 24.