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Notes from the Chancellor » UT: A Great Place to Work

UT: A Great Place to Work

Welcome Back picnic

At UT Knoxville, we continue to work hard on behalf of our employees, and have managed to give across-the-board and merit raises for the past three years—a significant accomplishment in difficult economic times.

Yet we know that improving pay is only part of the equation.

In 2011, UT employees systemwide were encouraged to participate in an anonymous Employee Engagement Survey about workplace satisfaction. About 7,100 employees provided feedback.

We then formed campus teams to look at the survey results and make recommendations.

Our campus team was co-led by Toby Boulet, associate professor of mechanical, aerospace and biomedical engineering, and Mary Lucal, director of human resources talent management. The team suggested a variety of plans to enhance supervisor competencies, communication, collaboration, shared governance, senior leadership, performance management, recognition and appreciation, and system support.

As a result, I plan to host informal breakfasts with targeted staff groups and new employees. I’m also planning to set aside some time to open my office for faculty and staff who would like to meet with me.

Some of the team’s recommendations have already been implemented. This year, we sponsored the very first “Welcome Back Picnic” for faculty and staff. We hope to make this an annual tradition. We’ve also developed a plan for providing increased training for supervisors on the annual performance review process.