Through your comments on the three ANR@Work surveys, at the 2023 Statewide Conference, in our Town Halls, in the development of our Strategic Plan, in outreach sessions and other engagements, you shared your ideas, needs and experiences about working at UC ANR. Your feedback was and continues to be informative and powerful. It fuels our commitment to better UC ANR's work environment while we grow, adapt and deepen our impact on California's challenges and opportunities.
On Tuesday, Sept. 26, the fourth ANR@Work survey will be emailed to you. Please, take the time to respond to its questions. As the summary below shows, your voice is valued and critical to the ongoing success of our mission.
What follows is a snapshot, with links if you wish to learn more, of what has been done since the pandemic in three core internal areas: employee and organizational wellness, learning and development, and staffing and retention strategies.
Employee and Organizational Wellness
Employee comments emphasized the need for more knowledge about navigating within the UC ANR community. An urgency to address diversity and equity in the organization's programs and environment was also clear.
o Our first Director of Workplace Inclusion and Belonging was hired. Elizabeth Moon is responsible for developing and implementing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, and programs for our community.
o An agreement with the UC Davis Ombuds Serviceswas established to strengthen employee resources for conflict management and problem solving.
o A partnership with the UC Davis Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Programwas established to ensure objectivity.
o Delayed by pandemic restrictions, the first ANR Statewide Conference in five years was held with over 800 attendees, the highest attendance ever.
o Two new employee resource groups (ERGs) were established. The Latinx & Friends Affinity Group, UC ANR Black and Allied Employees, People of Color ERG, and the LGBTQ+ ERG all foster communication, support and opportunities for employees with shared interests or affiliations. Contact Bethanie Brown if you are interested in starting a new ERG.
o The UC ANR Staff Assembly, of which all staff employees are members, strengthened its education and wellness reimbursements, established an Employee Experience and Engagement Challenge, and expanded its communications through a new e-newsletter, The Current.
o To enhance customer service, all administrative service units took part in related trainings, surveyed customers to learn their needs, and are now creating action plans in response.
Learning and Development
UC ANR is a complex organization, and employees expressed the need to better understand it from the get-go. More seasoned employees look for professional development opportunities to improve specific skills and shape themselves for career advancement.
o We continue to invest in learning and development, which increased 35% in FY22-23 and will double in FY23-24. Additional trainings and professional development presentations were archived to serve as a resource available at any time.
o A nine-month mentorship program was established to enable staff mentees to better understand UC ANR, establish contacts and design their career paths, and for academic mentees to help with program planning, research collaboration, outreach and the merit and promotion process.
o Daniel Obrist was hired as academic vice provost of academic personnel and development to oversee the recruitment, development, mentoring and evaluation of UC ANR academics.
o As part of all UC ANR operations, less-formal opportunities are available to employees, such as serving on committees, employee groups and recruitment panels, and, in coordination with their supervisor, evaluating and improving current responsibilities.
Staff Planning and Retention
Salary competitiveness and equity continues to be very high priority for employees. The constriction and post-pandemic workforce instability impacted the staffing of units across the organization.
o Successful recruitment for vacant staff and academic positions increased 25% over last fiscal year, although much work remains to fill vacancies.
o A centrally funded process for recruitment advertising was created to accelerate recruitments.
o Internal promotions of current employees increased 20% over last year, and reclassifications of current employees were up 35% over last year.
o To recruit and retain quality employees in areas where current pay levels are below competitive levels and to provide a more transparent pay philosophy, a multi-year equity program was implemented for non-represented employees. An academic equity adjustment program is currently under review.
o All non-represented staff and academics received a general pay increase.
o All UC ANR collective bargaining agreements for represented staff are in place, with covered employees receiving guaranteed pay increases for the duration of their agreement.
o Guidance for managing visas and work eligibility of international employees was created.
o Several statewide programs and administrative units have undergone an organizational review and developed customized staffing plans, including career-ladder opportunities for current employees.
o UC ANR increased funding for the annual Staff Appreciation and Recognition awards.
Interim Executive Director of Human Resources