AN ORGANIZATION’S SUCCESS DEPENDS INCREASINGLY ON THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, INNOVATIVE CREATIVITY, AND MOTIVATION OF ITS EMPLOYEES AND PARTNERS. THIS CRITERION ADDRESSES THE WAYS IN WHICH THE FACILITIES ORGANIZATION ENSURES AN ENVIRONMENT OF CONTINUED LEARNING THROUGH COMMUNICATION, POLICIES, RECOGNITION, TRAINING, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES, AND OTHER METHODS.
- OFS will continue to work closely with Human Resources to ensure that positions are properly classified.
- Facilities and Services meets regularly with Human Resource Services to review positions.
- A review to identify essential functions and appropriate licenses is underway for 2012‐13.
- NMSU just completed a campus wide staffing study with Deloitte Consulting.
In 2008, New Mexico State University Human Resource Services partnered with Mercer, a global leader in Human Resources consulting, to develop and implement a new job classification and compensation program. This led to the consolidation of many of our classifications and a subsequent reduction in the total number, as Facilities and Services had an excessive number of very specialized positions prior to this effort. We took this exercise as an opportunity to review the license requirements for all positions.92
We have benchmarked staffing levels with the APPA Facilities Performance Indicators (FPI) since 2008, and we have used Sightlines as a source of 3rd party benchmarking since 2010. In addition, NMSU contracted with Deloitte Consulting in 2015 for a university wide staffing study, and one of the outcomes is a layers and span analysis that is currently underway.93 Our targets in maintenance, grounds and custodial staffing levels are to be slightly better than regional averages in the FPI and against our peers in Sightlines.
As a result of our benchmarking process, we have continually assessed positions as part of our “no new money” initiative, and as one example, we reallocated a position from Facility Operations to Environmental Health and Safety because of increased compliance requirements. We recently surrendered a couple of custodial positions to bring our staffing in line with APPA regional averages, as our staffing had remained constant but the regional averages had changed.
The environment in New Mexico is rigid and structured with respect to the trades’ licenses, and as a result, a significant amount of Continuing Education Unit (CEU) requirements exist. NMSU pays for the maintenance of these licenses as a part of our agreement with the bargaining unit; however, because we believe strongly in the value of licensing and certification, we encourage all trades employees to consider new or additional licenses and we provide the training and pay for the testing necessary in order for this to take place. In addition, where possible, we rotate our Structural and Facilities Maintenance Technicians through the shops to help them decide if they want to pursue additional training and licensing in a particular trade. We have in place a methodology for advancement when unlicensed staff obtain a license, and we are proud that four people have been promoted as a result.
Departments are encouraged to have a departmental orientation for every new employee and most units do. Supervisors are expected to ensure that all employees complete applicable job specific safety training.
Environmental Health and Safety develops annual workplace safety training focused on facilities issues and provides special sessions in addition to routine offerings. As of 2015, all NMSU employees must pass an Employee Safety orientation that is delivered on‐line.94 Facilities Operations personnel are also required to pass four hours of training on safety processes and injury prevention. In addition, certain operational safety training such as the aerial lift and powered industrial truck operation includes hands‐on skills testing.
5.3 AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM EXISTS WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT TO ENSURE THAT EACH EMPLOYEE KNOWS HIS OR HER ROLE IN THE DEPARTMENT, THE ROLE OF RELATED AREAS, AND THE OVERALL ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT.
- Training programs that promote diversity and opportunities for advancement will be developed.
- A “New Facilities Employee Orientation” will be developed and provided to each new OFS employee. An excerpt from the new employee orientation that was developed at the University for North Texas follows in the Appendix.
- A Facilities and Services new employee orientation has been developed although implementation has been inconsistent. This will be a targeted area for FY 13.
- The new orientation in a revised format has started with two monthly orientations to date.
- Numerous orientations are held throughout the organization to accomplish this, although this has been an area of concern and renewed effort.
New non‐exempt employees must be trained on the process for entering time into AiM, and this training has the important side effect of making sure that supervisors or assistant supervisors work with the new employee from the first day. We publish regular newsletters as the “Sometimes Monday Morning Memo,” and we generally share these newsletters with the campus.95 Employees also gain an awareness and knowledge of their roles as well as the roles of others through “all hands” and shop meetings. We have many informal meetings, as we have lunch activities for holidays, birthdays, and team building. While these are intended for relaxation and for fun, these events also serve to educate people on their role in their organization. Supervisors are encouraged to take time to walk around with every new employee and introduce him or her to other department staff, and most do.
- This has always fallen within the purview of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), which has been a part of Facilities and Services in the past and was re‐united in 2010. Since 2010, EHS has found efficient new ways to communicate safety initiatives as synergies have been developed.
- The EHS safety policies and procedures are documented and available to all staff on the EHS website as well as through instructor‐led training classes given by EHS personnel. These training classes are provided to instruct employees on all applicable government regulations and on NMSU policies and procedures.
- EHS continues to offer safety policies and procedures on the website. An enhanced version of the EHS website is expected to be released by the end of 2015. EHS transitioned management of employee safety training to a university‐wide centralized training system.
The Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) unit develops and executes comprehensive health and safety programs for the university. These programs comply with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations. The details and requirements of these programs are available to all staff via the EHS website, various safety training opportunities, and one‐on‐one interaction with the EHS Team.96
Each year, through these various programs, EHS provides health and safety‐related information, training, and evaluations for faculty, staff, and students. EHS has an extensive internal inspection program that not only identifies noncompliance and safety hazards, but also identifies if personnel working in that area have received their required safety training. In 2014, EHS transitioned management of employee safety training records and EHS safety class registration functions to a university‐wide centralized training system. In 2015, using this system, the university achieved a 97% compliance rate in the delivery of a general employee safety training module to employees.97
- The safety program will be reviewed.
- All Employers’ First Report of Accident Forms and a low percentage of completed Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Reports are provided to EHS for review.
- A goal is to increase the completion of Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Reports.
- All Employers’ First Report of Accident Forms and an increased percentage of completed Supervisor’s Accident Investigation Reports are provided to EHS for review.
Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) coordinates with the Workman’s Compensation Coordinator and monitors all Las Cruces campus accidents and injuries. A review is completed of each incident to determine the cause and assist the supervisor with corrective and preventative actions. Once the incident review is complete, EHS provides the supervisor with a documented incident response report that outlines the incident, the cause, as well as corrective and preventive actions. The supervisors are also provided a periodic summary of injuries and illnesses with lost and restricted time. The result of this increased communication is that we have sustained a 43% drop in cases of lost and restricted workdays over the last
5.6 THE ORGANIZATION PROMOTES EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH FORMAL EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND ON-THE-JOB TRAINING SUCH AS ROTATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS, INTERNSHIPS, OR JOB EXCHANGE PROGRAMS.
- OFS will stay involved with APPA, RMAPPA, CAPPA, ISSA, and other professional organizations and will take advantage of continuing education opportunities.
- FS had advanced professional development by making sure that training matches a departmental need, is identified on the annual evaluation, and is communicated to management in time to budget.
- Increased emphasis on licensed trades has resulted in many opportunities, and three staff members were able to advance in pay grade this past year. In addition, three supervisory positions in the shops also received pay increases through licensing initiatives.
- FS worked with HR to allow hires within set periods of time to obtain licenses.
Rotational assignments, formal education, and on‐the‐job training for non‐exempt personnel were discussed in Section 5.2. Four people have progressed from the facility technician position to licensed journeyman positions. We provide encouragement for those who wish to advance in all areas; three people have been promoted from the Facility Operations Shops into Project Development and Engineering as Assistant Project Managers as has one accountant. We stress that performance and participating in training are the prerequisites for advancement and promotion, not “time‐in‐grade” and we are proud that so many have taken advantage of this opportunity. We track in‐house promotions.99
The Executive Director of Facility Operations and the Director for Facilities Maintenance have obtained their Educational Facilities Professional (EFP) designation. As noted elsewhere, Facilities and Services has three people attending the APPA Facilities Institute, three going through the Leadership Academy, and one manager in Environmental Health and Safety is attending the Women’s Leadership Institute. Positioning high potential employees for advancement is a significant component of succession planning, and Facilities and Services has been able to motivate many such employees to engage and seek further development.
- Development of these measures will be a goal for the administration department.
- AiM has improved the ability to track this data, although the use for performance measures has room to be improved upon.
- The Facilities and Services HR liaison calculated turnover for all departments to be used for analysis.
- This past year, all evaluations were moved to the electronic process.
All of the NMSU evaluations are now electronic for ease of tracking. Each supervisor sits down annually with each employee, and Facilities and Services encourages everyone to do a progress check at the six month timeframe. NMSU has a six‐month probationary period after which non‐exempt employees may receive a 5% raise. Attendance and time are entered in AiM.
5.9 THE ORGANIZATION UTILIZES BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL ASSESSMENT METHODS AND MEASURES TO DETERMINE EMPLOYEE WELL BEING, EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION, AND MOTIVATION. ASSESSMENT FINDINGS ARE LINKED TO PERFORMANCE RESULTS TO IDENTIFY PRIORITIES FOR IMPROVING THE WORK ENVIRONMENT, EMPLOYEE SUPPORT CLIMATE, AND THE SUPERVISOR’S EFFECTIVENESS (COACHING).
- A formal employee satisfaction survey will be conducted.
- A formal employee survey was scheduled for this year, and was delayed while an “Environmental Scan” was conducted. This survey was completed in the spring of 2013.
- An employee engagement survey was conducted.
- A campus‐wide employee satisfaction survey was also administered.
Facilities and Services conducted an Employee Engagement Survey in 2013 and 2014. This survey is a standardized survey instrument administered by the University of Texas Institute for Organizational Excellence.100 We specifically request results categorized by departments and shops, and by supervisory and non‐supervisory personnel. Being able to view the results in this manner allowed us to be able to identify priorities and address issues by work area, and in some cases, provide coaching for supervisor improvement when it was indicated. Our results were so positive and beneficial that the same survey was repeated again in 2014 for the Administration and Finance Division, and plans are to repeat the cycle every two years.
Facilities and Services participated in 2014 in order to be on the same cycle as the Division, although we did discover that conducting a survey too frequently leads to a feeling that the survey results were not adequately addressed. The entire campus participated in an employee satisfaction survey in 2014. In all cases, the results of the surveys were posted, discussed, and acted upon. The survey results as provided by the Institute for Organizational Excellence came with a recommended timeline for discussion between surveys, and where practical this was used to lead discussions. In keeping with our desire to foster unit decision‐making, we allowed each to area to have their own sessions to review the results. Dale Carnegie coaching has been used in some departments to foster efforts to improve teamwork and the workplace climate.
- A recommendation from CommTech Transformations led to the creation of the Administration and Finance Voice; this committee was tasked with developing an employee recognition program.
- The Strickland Award has been expanded, and a new AVP Award was initiated.
- Facilities and Services initiated a new award in the custodial area at the suggestion of the employees.
Facilities and Services instituted the Strickland Award in 1997 to honor Charles Strickland, who served as NMSU’s Physical Plant director from 1911 through 1956. The Strickland Award was created to recognize individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the organization that is now Facilities and Services and is given out annually to multiple recipients. The AVP’s Award was implemented in 2012, and last year Facilities and Services instituted the Ray Martinez Award for attendance in honor of a custodial supervisor who literally passed away at his desk after 35 years of service. NMSU awards include the We Care Award, the Ralph B. Crouch Award, the Stephen W. and Robert E. Roberts Memorial Staff Award, and the Above and Beyond Award. Facilities and Services actively participates in these recognition programs; Katrina Doolittle, the Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety, was the Crouch recipient in 2013 and David Silva was selected for the Roberts Award in 2013. Ralph Lucero, Sr., Plumbing Supervisor, was the first recipient of the NMSU Above and Beyond Award in 2011.101
- OFS will continually review these programs and processes with Human Resources.
- The FS unit HR liaison calculated turnover to be used for analysis.
- FS usually conducts an informal exit interview for feedback.
Facilities and Services has periodically calculated the turnover of the departments for review and spot checking, and in general we are performing well above the averages that we were able to find.102 To recruit for many positions, we have created unlicensed positions and then provided time to obtain the certification; we have posted and filled Facility Engineer, Steam Fitter, Asbestos Coordinator, and Master Electrician positions in this manner. In all cases, the persons selected obtained the appropriate licensure and/or certification within the required time. In every case but one, the employee remains employed with Facilities and Services. We often repeat the question heard around APPA, “What if we train our employees and they leave?” Of course, the corollary is, “What if we don’t train them and they stay?” We periodically conduct exit interviews in order to better evaluate our work climate, as sometimes employees that are leaving may be more apt to be forthcoming. We use care when we do this.