Employee Engagement at the U

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Case Studies: Employee Engagement in Action

  • "Employee Engagement Action Planning Training" summary (pdf) and template (Excel), University Services. The University Services Human Resources Office conducted an employee engagement training session for leaders which focused on action planning as a response to engagement survey results. Because University Services has a diverse group of staff who perform varying functions (Facilities, Police, Dining, Housing, Parking, U Market, Printing, Addressing and Mailing, Health and Safety, Capital Planning, and varying other personnel), the goal of the training was to provide broad guidance and resources to enable more effective planning of employee engagement initiatives. An employee engagement action planning template was developed to support leaders in the process.  

  • “Workload Distribution: Analyzing the Complexity of Individuals’ Perceptions,” Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (pdf). The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS) reviewed its results to the employee engagement survey question regarding equitable distribution of workload for the first two years of the survey. GPS leadership decided to explore this question further and identified a range of employee perceptions. Given the complexity of the issue, they have implemented a variety of initiatives in response to what was learned.

  • “How One School’s Staff Team Influenced Culture, Climate, and Engagement,” School of Nursing (pdf). After the University of Minnesota conducted a system-wide employee engagement survey, the School of Nursing looked at what they could do differently to positively impact their results. One effort was the creation of the Staff Employee Work Group to initiate change in collaboration with school leadership. From April 2014 to date, this Work Group has used the results to design several different initiatives to address survey results.

  • “Moving the Needle: Improving the Diversity Climate via Employee Engagement,” College of Design (pdf). In recent years, the College of Design (CDes) Diversity Committee has been actively pursuing several strategic initiatives to improve their collegiate diversity climate and ensure that the college operates in a way that is more inclusive and equitable. CDes was able to merge its most recent initiative with its college-wide Employee Engagement efforts–an assessment of their diversity climate and subsequent unit-by-unit response strategy to the findings.

  • “Using an Individual Development Plan for Employee Development,” Academic Support Resources (pdf). In the 2015 Employee Engagement Survey, one of ASR’s improvement opportunities was to increase the number of employees who felt their manager/supervisor coached them in their development. The ASR leadership team selected employee development as an organization-wide focus and started addressing employee development by redesigning their Individual Development Plan and process, focusing on the high leverage supervisor/employee developmental conversation.

  • “Why You Should Care About Engagement” (video). Academic and administrative leaders from across the University talked about why employee engagement is important to the University of Minnesota in a series of panels held in 2016. Videos from both panels are available.

Employee Engagement Panel Discussions

Leadership: The Essential Ingredient to Employee Engagement 

A panel of University of Minnesota leaders discussed their use of employee engagement data over the past several years and how they’ve taken action to sustain and improve employee engagement.

Additional resources provided at the session include:

Senior Academic Leaders Share Best Practices on Motivating and Engaging Faculty and Staff

Academic leaders met to discuss how engagement data is used for leadership and team development. You can access:

This session was co-sponsored by Leadership and Talent Development in the Office of Human Resources, and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.