Monday, November 30, 2009

Recognizing Years of Service

Throughout the fall, we've been implementing a new and different, Employee Recognition Design Team endorsed, Years of Service recognition process. Communitas has been doing a great job of chronicling this effort each week, and some of you may have seen our balloon festooned entourage hiking through the campuses on occasion. Participating in this new program, I have been inspired by the number of faculty and staff committed to the important mission of MVCC over many years. The opportunity to connect with these recipients in a variety of campus locations has deepened my appreciation for the history of this great organization and the dedication of so many who make this place work in so many special ways.

Recognizing hundreds of years of service (literally!) this fall also reminds me of my dissertation study - "Factors that influence the perception of organizational change." Back then I surveyed over 500 faculty and staff from 12 community colleges in Colorado on their perceptions of institutional change and determined several factors that influence how that change was perceived. Interestingly enough, I found that the more people could put change into a larger context, the more positively they viewed it. Another factor determined to influence the perception of change in that study was actually years of service! And that notion rings true with me today as I make these Years of Service visits throughout the organization. I've truly enjoyed talking with each and every one of the folks we've honored for Years of Service this fall, having listened to them, their supervisors, and their colleagues. I've truly learned something valuable from each one.

I've been thinking back to other change efforts I've led and pictured so many of the senior faculty and staff who provided tremendous leadership in periods of great change. Most have held multiple positions and served in numerous committee and college-wide assignments that have provided them with an appreciation for the overall operation and context of the college. Nearly a decade later, I remain struck by the value and perspective that senior faculty and staff bring to an ever unfolding organizational narrative. Together, as we continue to roll out the new Years of Service recognition program, the Employee Recognition Committee and I are committed to refining this process to make it as good as it can be for all those who put so much into this College. If you have any reactions to, or thoughts about, the new program, please contact me at presblog@mvcc.edu.