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Assessing the State Classified Personnel System. Focus Group Summary and Survey Question Recommendations May 14, 2004. Agenda. Focus Group Objectives and Approach Overall Themes Ideal Scenario Other Opportunities Draft Survey Questions Next Steps Appendix REPLY Results

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Assessing the state classified personnel system l.jpg

Assessing theState Classified Personnel System

Focus Group SummaryandSurvey Question Recommendations

May 14, 2004


Agenda l.jpg
Agenda

  • Focus Group Objectives and Approach

  • Overall Themes

  • Ideal Scenario

  • Other Opportunities

  • Draft Survey Questions

  • Next Steps

  • Appendix

    • REPLY Results

    • “What Works/What Doesn’t Work” At-A-Glance


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Objectives

  • Identify questions to be asked on an all-employee opinion survey assessing the State Classified personnel system and opportunities for improvement.

  • Gauge effectiveness of current University of Colorado State Classified personnel system processes and practices.

    • What works well in the current State Classified system?

    • What does not work well in the current State Classified system?

    • What are the possible opportunities for the staff and the University in creating a new personnel system?

    • What are the potential drawbacks of creating a new personnel system?


Approach l.jpg

Six Groups

Participants were selected in an unbiased/random manner, to achieve a high degree of fairness in representation

State Classified staff to four sessions (one at each campus)

Male: 18, Female: 34, Total: 52

Years of Service: 10 average

Exempt Professional staff and Faculty who supervise State Classified staff at two sessions (CU Boulder and UCD)

Male: 9, Female: 22,Faculty: 13, Exempt Prof: 18,Total: 31

Years of Service: 12 average

Two-hour sessions led by Watson Wyatt

Participants were promised confidentiality to encourage candid feedback

Sessions were tape recorded for Watson Wyatt’s use only

REPLY instant survey system was utilized

Approach


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Overall Themes (Classified, Faculty and Exempt Professional) – Keep…

  • Job security (no dismissal without cause and recourse)

    • Legal rights that ensure fair employment practices

    • A system that’s tied to government (“makes it more trustworthy”)

  • PERA

  • Benefit choice (medical)

  • Equitable and objective hiring practices

  • Written job descriptions

  • Compensation:

    • Pay for performance concept, with periodic job evaluations based on written goals

    • Appreciation for years of experience

  • Diversity of workforce


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Overall Themes (Classified, Faculty and Exempt Professional) – Change…

  • Increase stability, flexibility, consistency and simplicity (fewer rules)

    • Reduce bureaucracy and frustration (molasses, byzantine)

    • Remove disparity between types of employees at CU (State Classified, Faculty, Exempt Professional)

    • One personnel system for everyone

    • Faster process to remove poor performers

    • Bumping is good for very few people, but creates a lot of disruption and morale problems

  • Hiring practices (testing system and Rule of 3 are archaic and burdensome, increase ability to hire temps into permanent positions)

    • Currently are a waste of time and effort; make tests relevant

    • More diversity through consistently equitable hiring practices

  • Pay-for-performance

    • Apply pay-for-performance more consistently through increased training and accountability

    • Pay-for-performance must be funded by the State to be meaningful

    • Add confidential supervisor evaluation to pay-for-performance system

    • Pay tied to goals can be difficult and create inequity – goals are easier to set for some departments than others

  • Consistent, equitable, accurate, flexible, easy-to-write, easy-to-use job descriptions

    • Fewer job classifications

  • Create growth opportunities instead of stifling those with ambition or talent

    • Remove 10% promotion salary cap

    • Upgrading without requirement to post jobs (it’s a joke, time consuming, creates morale problems)

    • Reward for depth of experience, not just numbers supervised

  • Benefits

    • More CU contribution for benefits (some thought University pays only 20% of medical premium, others thought 50%)

    • Sick leave accruals increased; increased trust for those using sick leave (no doctor’s noterequired for only 3-day absence)


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Overall Themes (Classified, Faculty and Exempt Professional) – Issues

  • Lack of consistency and understanding is everywhere

    • Disparity of treatment of employees from one campus to another and from one type to another

    • Supervisors aren’t well trained in disability accommodation so aren’t in compliance

    • System complexity allows people to manipulate and abuse it – and they do!

    • Retention rights – very inconsistent application

    • “Good old boy” culture still exists in some areas, even though system is designed to prevent it

  • Beware making changes that will force talent to leave the organization

  • Job security is more important to some than higher pay

    • Job security is more important in the academic world since chairs and deans regularly change – need to avoid patronage

  • PERA = protection of retirement income

    • Make sure PERA remains funded

    • Older employees are VERY focused on retirement


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Overall Themes (Classified, Faculty and Exempt Professional) – Opt Out Issues

  • Need to know more:

    • “We need to know what the alternative to the current personnel system is before we can decide whether it’s a good idea or not.”

    • “How is the opt-out question affected by the Enterprise question?”

    • “Can’t we just fix the old system?”

  • Cost:

    • “Will implementation of a new system be cost-effective?”

    • “If there’s a shortage of funding for pay, where will the money come from to create a new personnel system?”

  • Suspicions:

    • “Is this just another one of those initiatives that come and go?”

    • “Is this just another way to keep from paying me what I am due?”

    • “Is this a way for the University to get rid of expensive, older employees and bring in younger, cheaper ones?”

    • “The State legislature wants to get rid of higher ed to save money.”

    • “Seems like we’re being pushed toward wanting to opt out.”

  • Positives:

    • “The University should have more authority to do what it needs to do.”

    • “We should have everyone under one equitable personnel system.”

    • “Worth it to opt out, even if no extra pay is available, just to make other changes.”


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Overall Themes – Additional Comments from Faculty (who supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional

  • The State Classified system is time-consuming and a burden:

    • Difficult to get State Classified staff into upgraded positions

    • The State Classified system makes things take 25% more time than they should; “makes me look stupid!”

    • Job descriptions are too cumbersome and subject to interpretation, but it is helpful to have guidelines

    • Hiring is antiquated; it’s impossible to hire someone from outside the system unless it’s done “under the radar,” want more authority at the departmental level

    • “We end up with older, less productive employees because of our cumbersome system.”

  • Pay-for-performance without pay increases created mistrust and it ties back to faulty testing; positives include annual discussion, goal planning and coaching

  • It’s unfair to have two people doing essentially the same job but under different systems treated differently (increases, pay, comp time/OT)

  • “Exempt Professional status is more secure than State Classified, because I can’t be bumped.”

  • State employees can have misaligned loyalty with the University; promotes an us versus them mentality

  • Staff are hungry for an idea of what the alternative might be

  • Set a mission that empowers every University employee, then set the system based on that mission


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Overall Themes - Differences by supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt ProfessionalCampus

  • CU Boulder

    • Faculty gets more money and it’s likely to stay that way under the current president; State Classified staff want respect from faculty

  • UCD

    • Lots of people are retiring from the State Classified system; creates brain drain and opportunities for promotion

    • UCD is the step-child, CU Boulder is the favored child – they have more resources there

    • UCHSC employees are better paid

    • Promises about pay have been made and broken

  • UCCS

    • We have to do a lot more here (“wear lots more hats”), because we’re smaller – we’re not recognized for the extras we do

  • UCHSC

    • We need a system that can coordinate well with the grants and contracts (soft money) received; they’re complicated enough without a complex personnel system on top of them

    • UCH opted out to stay competitive, but their employee retirement plan was hurt when stock market fell significantly

    • “Do we need to be concerned about outsourcing if there’s a new system?”

    • “Retention rights? What retention rights?”


Ideal scenario l.jpg
Ideal Scenario supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional

  • Job security for those that deserve it

    • A grievance process that is less difficult and time-consuming

    • In the event of layoff, reallocation of worker by an impartial, well-informed HR department (rather than through an inflexible bumping system)

  • One set of simple rules for everyone, that don’t require work-arounds and that everyone applies consistently

  • Pay for performance that’s fair (more supervisor accountability) and funded (if not funded, then don’t link the performance to pay)

  • PERA

  • Benefit choices (with good out-of-area options), with greater University contribution

  • Flexible, easy-to-write and easy-to-use job descriptions

  • Flexible and fair hiring practices

    • More authority at the department level for hiring

  • Flexible and fair compensation practices

    • Compensation that considers work load

    • Compensation that recognizes breadth of responsibility, not just the number supervised

    • Ability to give inexpensive recognition of good work, as desired

  • Responsive, well-trained HR staff


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Other Opportunities supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional

  • More training about how the system works now

    • Meetings are most effective

    • More visible HR staff

  • Performance evaluation training, with accountability for equitability

  • Communication about the value of current benefits

  • Communicate what job protections exist outside the State Classified system, if any


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Next Steps... supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional

  • Focus group results on task force website

  • Survey: May 20 – June 4

  • Faculty has been notified that survey is coming

  • Notify staff of survey via:

    • Campus broadcast e-mail

    • Groups without e-mail will get hard copy

    • Article in May 20th Silver and Gold

  • Include in e-mail notice:

    • Link to survey

    • Task force website address

    • Translation services available

    • Similar messages as for focus group invitation

  • Tracking respondents

    • Confidentiality issues

    • Employees don’t know their employee I.D. numbers

    • Using normative data helps confirm no duplicate participants

  • Survey results presented to task force on June 17


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REPLY Results - State Classified Staff supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional

  • Focus group 3 – UCD

  • Focus group 5 – UCCS

  • Focus group 6 – UCHSC


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Combined State Classified Staff Responses supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


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Combined State Classified Staff Responses supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


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Combined State Classified Staff Responses supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


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Combined State Classified Staff Responses supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


Combined state classified staff responses19 l.jpg
Combined State Classified Staff Responses supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


Ep and faculty responses fg7 l.jpg
EP and Faculty Responses FG7 supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


Ep and faculty responses fg721 l.jpg
EP and Faculty Responses FG7 supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


Ep and faculty responses fg722 l.jpg
EP and Faculty Responses FG7 supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


Ep and faculty responses fg723 l.jpg
EP and Faculty Responses FG7 supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional


Ep and faculty responses fg724 l.jpg
EP and Faculty Responses FG7 supervise State Classified staff) and Exempt Professional