Summer Project on Employee Retention by gdp19166


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          Retention Plans for Colleges and Major Administrative Units

Effective Employee Retention Plans
University administrators, department heads, directors, and deans all play key roles in retention
of faculty and staff. The climate within the department is a basic factor in faculty and staff
retention, hence the department heads and directors of campus units play a pivotal role. Here I
use the word “department” to indicate units smaller than “major administrative units” and also
use the words “division” and “major administrative unit” interchangeably. The deans, vice
chancellors, and associate vice chancellors are prime motivators of department heads and
directors, so the recommendations in this report are directed to the college deans, vice
chancellors, and associate vice chancellors. In this section we describe best practices that can be
taken by the college or division leadership to create welcoming departmental climates within
their college or division.

Ideally, college and division employee retention plans will be tailored to their departments’ or
units’ faculty and staff composition and needs. Among the most important components of any
employee retention plan, however, is training for department heads and directors that includes
employee management and communication skills.

Following is a set of recommendations for activities to include in college and division employee
retention plans. Some of the recommendations apply to just faculty or just staff, but some apply
to all employees. The Office for Diversity and African American Affairs would be delighted to
assist in developing, implementing, and evaluating the success of any of these activities. Each
campus division or college may choose to implement some, but not all of these activities. An
important part of the retention planning cycle each year is to evaluate which of the various
components have been most successful for retaining female and ethnic minority faculty and staff.

Suggested Components of College and Campus Unit Employee Retention Plans:

1. Department Head Training. Require department heads and directors to take training to
   develop skills for managing diverse faculty and staff. Skill in conflict resolution,
   communicating reasons for decision-making, and making employees feel valued are needs
   identified by the NCSU Faculty Well-being Survey. Similar questions will be included in the
   Staff Well-being Survey which will be administered in Spring 2008. Leadership development
   workshops for department heads that emphasize how to create a supportive environment have
   been found to be instrumental in promoting cultural transformation (Quinn et al. “Enabling
   Family-Friendly Cultural Change.” Change. July/August 2007, pp 43-47).

2. Mentoring and Collaboration.
     o Provide incentives (e.g. release from teaching a course, summer salary), or encourage
         departments to provide incentives, to senior faculty to collaborate on a research
         project with a junior faculty member.
     o Require that each department to provide a mentoring program for new staff and
         faculty with checks on a regular schedule to ensure the mentoring relationships are
         working. Develop a mentoring program for non-tenure track faculty.
       o Institute a college-wide or division-wide career advisor program. See for an example of a
         faculty career advisor program at Michigan State.
       o Encourage and provide time and funds for staff and faculty to take advantage of
         leadership training programs such as BRIDGES and ACE leadership development

3. Develop an inclusive climate within the department. Make it known to department heads
   and directors that diversity efforts are important to the college or division and will be
   rewarded. Provide incentives to departments for the following types of efforts.
       o Include faculty and staff efforts to build department culture and create an inclusive
           environment in faculty annual activity reports and staff work plans.
       o Include faculty and staff efforts to build department culture and engage diversity in
           departmental promotion and tenure criteria, statements of mutual expectation, and
           staff position descriptions.
       o Encourage and expect faculty and staff to take advantage of diversity training and
           campus events and participate in campus organizations. Integrate campus events and
           programs into the life of the department.
       o Have promotion and tenure committee and departmental faculty work through online
           training for promotion and tenure committees to increase awareness of unconscious
           biases (available at ).
       In addition colleges can host periodic (e.g. once/semester) lunches for faculty of color
       and women faculty or diversity lunches for all faculty and staff to build community and
       keep in touch with how things are going.
4. Compatibility with family life and work/life balance
       o Encourage/require department heads to allow staff to design flexible work hours.
       o Strongly encourage faculty and staff (both men and women) with new children to
           take appropriate leave time and make use of tenure clock extension policies.
       o Include lactation rooms and non-gendered bathrooms in new construction and
           renovated buildings.
       o Some faculty may come to NCSU while their spouses/partners are still in graduate
           school or working in other cities. Initiate a regular program and protocol for finding
           out whether faculty have partners that need employment in the Raleigh area and if so,
           to work with department heads, faculty, OEO, Human Resources, ODAAA, and the
           Provost to find suitable employment for the trailing partner.
5. Non-tenure track faculty
       o Convert lecturer positions to 5-year teaching assistant/associate/full professor
           positions wherever feasible.
       o Provide competitive salary and working conditions (e.g. office space) for non-tenure
           track faculty
6. Record-keeping. Provide a record of how many faculty and staff left the university during
   each year, years retained, and how many have been promoted. In addition, include remarks
   related to:
       o Why did the person leave (from your perspective)
       o Where did they go?
       o For faculty: if they were not yet at full professor level, whether or not they were
           making good progress toward the next promotion.


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