April 2014 Feedback

In April 2014, SAC received the following feedback, which has since been addressed:

Issue #04-01: Feeling underappreciated for many years of service to Brown

Status Log

Date

Status

Detail

2014-04-01 Submitted
Form
2014-04-01 Logged
Issue #04-01
2014-04-03 Assigned
Ashley Dufour
2014-05-16 Scheduled
2014-05-27
2014-05-27 Discussed 2014-05-27
2014-05-27 Closed Recommendation Approved

Concerns

  • Recognition for longevity at the University
  • Balancing awards for longevity with awards for performance

Background

The Manager of Employee Programs in the Human Resources department explained how longevity was recognized by Brown:

  • at 5 years, staff receive a pen;
  • at the 10, 15, and 20 year marks, staff choose among several gifts or a certificate;
  • at 25 years, staff choose between a gift and  a certificate + 10 vacation days;
  • at 30 years, staff choose between a watch or a lamp.

After 30 years, there is no more gifting. While Human Resources appreciates continued service and loyalty to the University, they must also balance the costs of rewarding longevity with performance-based rewards.

Recommendation

The President’s Staff Advisory Council,

Appreciating the hard-work and dedication of the staff who have loyally supported this University;

Recognizing the role managers have in the recognition of their staff;

Understanding that gifts from Human Resources represent but one limited form of recognition for service;

Acknowledging that the reasons gifting stops at 30 years could be better articulated to staff;

Urges managers to show appreciation for their employees and the work they do even if with small and inexpensive gestures such as:

  • hand-written thank-you cards;
  • public acknowledgment of and employees contributions (if the employee is comfortable with this); and
  • verbal appreciation of quality work.

Issue #04-05: Frustration with feeling restricted in access to Brown's gym and fitness activities

Status Log

Date

Status

Detail

2014-04-01 Submitted Form
2014-04-01 Logged Issue #04-05
2014-04-04 Assigned Kim Departie
2014-06-02 Scheduled 2014-06-10
2014-06-10 Discussed 2014-06-10
2014-06-10 Closed Recommendation Approved

Concerns

  • Flexibility to work out during the day
  • Employee productivity
  • Supervisor is unsupportive

Requests

  • More satellite fitness centers

Recommendation

The President’s Staff Advisory Council,

Considering the availability of such resources as the university ombudsperson, Ruthy Kohorn Rosenberg, which offers independent, confidential, neutral and informal assistance to staff, and can also provide conflict coaching to staff needing to have difficult conversations;

Considering Human Resources Policy 20.053 permitting alternative work arrangements that accommodate the needs of employees and their departments;

Recommends that the submitter have another conversation with their supervisor about an arrangement that would allow gym usage during the day.

Issue #04-07: Interest in indoor market during Winter months

Status Log

Date

Status

Detail

2014-04-02 Submitted
Form
2014-04-02 Logged
Issue #04-07
2014-04-04 Assigned
Suzanne Alden
2014-04-18 Scheduled
2014-04-22
2014-04-22 Discussed 2014-04-22
2014-04-22 Closed Recommendation Approved

Related Topics

Staff community

Background

The university has organized holiday bazaars in the past that were eventually discontinued due to concerns about liability and the issue of staff serving as vendors (i.e. earning money) on work time.

Submitter Request

The submitter is suggesting that Brown organize an indoor market during the winter months as a means for Brown staff to be able to purchase crafts, Bookstore merchandise, products, and other goods, while connecting and networking with their peers.

A conversation with a representative from Human Resources indicated that they are opposed to organizing this type of event. The reasons for this are liability (e.g. vendors being injured at the event or those buying products harmed by product use/consumption); the lack of budgeted funds and the high costs that would be incurred, such as custodial, space, security, fire safety, permits, etc.; the labor-intensive nature of the event; and the existence of farmers markets at Brown and multiple networking opportunities already available to staff throughout the year.

Recommendation

Considering the following:

  • the University has year-round opportunities for Brown staff to network and create connections on campus;
  • there are already farmers’ markets which  provide opportunities for purchasing local products; and
  • a similar event to the one suggested, the Holiday Bazaar, has been offered in the past and discontinued due to concerns about liability and high cost;

SAC recommends against the creation of a winter market, but encourages Brown staff to take part in opportunities for learning and networking already available as a way to meet and build relationships with other employees. Options include:

Issue #04-11: Concern that summer hours at the fitness center will inhibit pre-work use

Status Log

Date

Status

Detail

2014-04-15 Submitted
Form
2014-04-15 Logged
Issue #04-11
2014-04-21 Assigned
Ashley Dufour
2014-06-06 Closed Issue Resolved

Concerns

  • Availability of fitness center
  • Costs of keeping center open

Requests

  • Continue to open the fitness center at 05:30

Comment

The posted hours for the Nelson Fitness center were updated while SAC was preparing this issue. Given that the fitness center will be open at 05:30 as requested by the submitter, this issue has been closed without recommendation.