Building Character and Leadership
Drive + Dollars = Opportunity
Integration, Coordination and Reflection
Stormy economic times have many organizations cutting back or
eliminating employee development. “Not at JWU,” says university
president John Bowen ’77. “Our Employee Development Institute is
inherent to FOCUS 2011.” Bowen and architects of JWU’s strategic
plan know there are “few things more powerful than maximizing
employee capabilities, aligning their development with strategic goals
and investing in employees so they can better serve our students and
position JWU for greater success while reaching their own potential.”
The programming and JWU Competency Model have been
developed to give employees a “shared history, shared expectations
and a shared sense of what’s important,” says Kris McNamara ’94
MS, director of the Employee Development Institute. “JWU is a
nurturing learning environment for its students. We asked ourselves,
‘Shouldn’t we do the same for our faculty and staff?’” Reaction from
around the university has been encouraging:
Jeanne Spinosa, manager of telecommunications, Providence Campus
“An organization is only as good as its employees. This programming
tells me that JWU cares to invest in its faculty, staff and administrators.
The better professionals we are, the better prepared we are to
serve our students.
“Personally, the training sessions have meant a lot. It’s given me
a safe and structured environment within which to reflect on my
behaviors and actions, step back, be more self aware and learn from
my colleagues. You connect with people from across the university.
“We have different perspectives, but share challenges and goals.
Even though I’m not in the classroom, I affect the student experience
through my interactions with my student employees, and through
the service my department provides our students, faculty and staff.”
Jordan Fickess, executive administrator, North Miami Campus
“Our primary goal is to help students achieve their dream of graduating
with a college degree. One way we accomplish that is by developing
employees. The knowledge faculty and staff gain is passed on. We
tell our students that learning never stops.
“The institute and workshops have established an environment
of continuous growth and improvement. It has challenged staff and
faculty to raise the bar in their daily interactions with students and
others; helped engage employees; given us a renewed energy; inspired
us to think differently and employ new methods to tackle goals.
“The competencies are a great barometer and reflect our campus
culture. The Manager Series has changed the way we hire and mentor.
JWU101 helps reinforce our university history. We’re all asked to
think carefully about resources, and work toward a common goal.”
Kim Ostrowski, director of admissions, Denver Campus
“I’ve worked in higher education for 17 years and attended trainings,
but these are customized for JWU, so they don’t end up as a binder
on the shelf. We’re incorporating it into our daily routine.
“There is a secondary team-building benefit. Training with
employees outside your area fosters an even more collaborative
campus environment. I’m just so grateful for this type of professional
development. Short-sighted organizations are paring down employee
benefits. JWU will reap the rewards of honoring its commitment and
allocating time and money to develop its employees.”
Mark Norman, executive director of operations, Charlotte Campus
“With increased demand for productivity, organizations must
empower employees to make instant decisions to support customers,
yet remain consistent with policies. JWU’s Employee Development
Institute offers developmental workshops to prepare leaders and
frontline employees to meet rising expectations. JWU’s growth over
the past decade no longer allows us to look to a few to make decisions.
It has to be a team effort, and through these workshops our
employees gain the tools to make decisions with confidence.
“Through surveying our students we have evidence that our employees
are the greatest factor in how a student perceives the
experience. Therefore, they are the key to our efforts to attain our
graduation goals by retaining our students. The institute guides us in
selection, training and coaching. It’s important we have our ‘aces in
Image: Providence Campus employees engage in a team-building exercise.