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Internal Communication Plan


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  • 1. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office Situation Analysis Efficient communication is necessary to carry out effective work at State Fair Community College. Good communication promotes a culture that values employees and enables SFCC to achieve its strategic goals. In May 2006 the Campus Quality Survey was taken by 75 employees. The results indicate that the fifth largest performance gap was in response to the statement, “It is easy to get information at this institution.” The report goes on to state, “Communication impacts all operating systems of an organization. It also plays an important role in the overall atmosphere and staff morale. Thus, communication must be considered among the highest priority areas of a campus’ quality improvement process.” Introduction This plan was developed under the auspices of the Office of Institutional Advancement with the assistance of nine faculty and staff representatives from across the institution that participated in five Business Process Analysis sessions. It incorporates communication channels currently in place judged to be functional as well as new channels intended to improve existing ones. While SFCC seeks to foster a culture of inclusion in information sharing, dialogue and decision- making, it should be noted that there may be decisions made by both the president and the Executive Leadership Team that cannot, by their nature, be the subject of institution-wide consensus. Institutional Strategic Goal Bearing testimony to the fact that internal communication is considered a high priority at SFCC, in February 2005 the Board of Trustees approved an institutional strategic plan that includes the following vision statement: State Fair Community College will be an exemplary college dedicated to institutional effectiveness, strengthening communities and partnerships, ensuring student success, valuing people, and practicing continuous quality improvement. Goal 2 of the State Fair Community College Strategic Plan is “Ensure an institutional climate that values employees.” The development of this internal communication plan supports that goal. Objective 1 of this plan addresses the one-way dissemination of information, and Objective 2 addresses institutional opportunities for dialogue and upward communication. The plan is not intended to address the information needs of individual subgroups throughout the institution. It assumes that the subject matter being communicated should be of interest to all SFCC employees. Objective 1. To increase SFCC employee access to sufficient, consistent and timely information regarding internal plans and actions so that they are well informed and able to work effectively. Strategy 1.1. Approved: 12/11/06 1 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan
  • 2. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office Disseminate information utilizing the organizational hierarchy Tactic 1.1.1. Face to Face Communication in Organizational Unit Meetings As appropriate, information and issues discussed in Executive Leadership Team meetings is cascaded though the system starting with weekly staff meetings conducted by ELT members in their respective units. Vice presidents, deans, associate deans, directors and all others who have staff reports have responsibility for sharing/passing along information intended to be disseminated institution-wide in a timely manner. By way of example, the vice president for educational services is a member of the Executive Leadership Team. This individual is responsible for seeing that the appropriate information is disseminated at the Vice President for Educational Services team meeting which is attended by deans, associate deans and the CTC director. The associate deans are responsible for disseminating the appropriate information to department chairs and department chairs are responsible for passing the information to faculty at department meetings. At the end of each meeting the Executive Leadership Team identifies the agenda items/information that should be communicated throughout the system and vice presidents are then responsible for initiating the information cascading process. Tactic 1.1.2. All-College Meetings The president conducts all-college meetings at the start of the fall and spring semesters and as is otherwise deemed necessary. These meetings convey timely information about institutional issues and/or give the president the opportunity to make a “state-of-the- college” address to employees. Strategy 1.2. Disseminate information utilizing internal mass media Tactic 1.2.1. Intranet (mySTAR) a. In the Know tab Mission. The In the Know tab on the SFCC Intranet is the official employee communication of State Fair Community College. The purpose of In the Know is to inform employees of college business, policies, news, and events, and provide information that helps employees fulfill the college vision, mission, core values and strategic directions. Employees are responsible for logging into mySTAR and reviewing the In the Know tab on a regular basis. Oversight. In the Know is published by the Marketing and Communications Office. The director of Marketing and Communications serves as the editor of In the Know. Circulation. The In the Know tab is accessible only by SFCC employees with a valid login. Frequency. Because of its Web-based nature, the Intranet is accessible at any time by employees with a valid login. The In the Know tab is generally updated on Wednesday and Friday, or as deemed appropriate. Approved: 12/11/06 2 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan
  • 3. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office Content. Content is subject to editorial discretion in determining what is of interest to the college community. Political advocacy is prohibited. All items are subject to editing for reasons of clarity and space. • PRESIDENT’S PEN is information from the weekly ELT meeting and other news from the president. • KUDOS AND PERSONAL NEWS is good news about college employees and their successes and achievements, both personally and professionally. o Due to issues of privacy, notices of illness, hospitalizations, births or deaths will not be included unless the information is submitted or approved by a member of the individual’s immediate family. • DEPARTMENT NEWS is information provided by college departments about their news, services, deadlines, etc. o News is routinely provided by the Advancement and Business offices, Educational Technology Services, Human Resources, and the Multipurpose Center. Other departments are encouraged to provide relevant news either on a regular or as-needed basis. • LATEST NEWS is information that does not pertain to a specific department, or has feature-story characteristics that appeal to the broad interests of the campus. Examples include policies or issues under institutional review, campus improvements, or activities taking place. • TECH TIP is content provided by ETS designed to inform and educate the campus on shortcuts, tips or updates related to the campus technology environment. Submission Instructions. News may be submitted via e-mail at any time to the director of Marketing and Communications. Submissions should include the contributor’s name, department, e-mail or phone. Items will be attributed to the contributor unless other attribution is indicated. Publication cannot be guaranteed. Format and Style. In the Know is a notes-style publication. Submissions are edited for brevity and Associated Press (AP) style. b. Personal Announcements Personal Announcements are located in a channel on the Welcome tab on the Intranet, and are messages that can be targeted to employees only. Personal Announcements are more pointed in nature than news found on the In the Know tab and may require action or immediate attention on the part of employees. Requests for Personal Announcements should be made to the director of Marketing and Communications. Employees are responsible for logging into mySTAR and viewing Personal Announcements on a regular basis. Tactic 1.2.2. All-User E-Mail Approved: 12/11/06 3 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan
  • 4. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office The decision to send an all-user e-mail rather than submitting the information for the In the Know tab or a Personal Announcement is based on whether or not the information that needs to be disseminated is time-sensitive or needs focused attention. Employees who have information that is believed to require institution-wide dissemination and meets either criterion should contact their immediate supervisors to obtain approval for as well as facilitate the sending of an all-user e-mail message. Employees are discouraged from utilizing a conglomeration of user groups as a means of sending an e-mail message to all-users. A list of time-sensitive events includes but is not necessarily limited to the following: • Deaths • Crisis communication and emergency closings • IT notices about viruses or imminent problems • Power/service outages or interruptions • Public safety advisories • Parking or construction issues • Presidential messages • Other messages deemed of high importance The following positions have access to all-user e-mail: president and administrative assistant to the president; vice president for educational services; vice president for educational technology services; vice president for finance and administration; administrative assistant to the executive director of the foundation/director of development; vice president for student services; director of physical plant; and director of marketing and communications. Tactic 1.2.3. Broadcast Voice Mail The president has the authority and access to generate a voice mail message to all-users simultaneously. It is at the president’s discretion as to when and under what circumstances this medium is used. Access to this communication venue will expand with the planned development of the college’s crisis communication plan. Tactic 1.2.4 Screen saver messages (TBA) The Marketing and Communications Office will be responsible for managing messaging general and emergency messages on this internal communication tool, and the vice president for Student Services will also have access in order to send emergency messages. Tactic 1.2.5. Directory of Internal Documents Links to internal documents of interest to all SFCC staff are located on the SFCC Intranet at Links to internal documents, and their location on the Intranet, include, but are not limited to the following: • Expense account form for non-ELT staff members Approved: 12/11/06 4 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan
  • 5. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office • Expense account form for ELT members • Vendor request form • Contract for Services • Petty cash form • Incident Report • Job notification form student department paid • Job notification form work study or student employment • New hire checklist faculty • New hire checklist non-instructional • Authorization for payroll deduction • Direct deposit authorization form multiple accounts • Pay authorization form • Retirement system notification • Address change form • Employee outprocessing checklist • Tuition waiver scholarship application • Position requisition form • Medical certification/accommodation request • Student time sheet • I-9 fillable form for new employees • 2007 Missouri W-4 • 2007 Federal W-4 • Employee benefits • Star’s Club and President’s Mission award nomination forms Links to external documents, and their location, include, but are not limited to the following: • Fact Book – Institutional Planning and Effectiveness Web page • Strategic Plan – Institutional Planning and Effectiveness Web page • Policies and Regulations – SFCC Web site • Employee Handbook – Human Resources Office • Campus Security Report – SFCC Web site • Personnel Directory – SFCC Web site • Identity Standards Manual – Marketing and Communications Web page • Fast Facts – SFCC Web site • AQIP Action Projects – Institutional Planning and Effectiveness Web page • Faculty Handbook – Faculty Center Web page • Student Handbook – SFCC Web site / Student Services Office • Master Calendar – Outlook shared calendar • Report List – Institutional Planning and/or Institutional Research (planned) • Systems and Processes-requesting data from STAR – Institutional Planning and Effectiveness Office (planned) • SFCC Board of Trustees monthly meeting agenda-SFCC Web site Tactic 1.2.6. President’s Annual Report The President’s Annual Report is an internal document printed and mailed to the homes of employees in July of each year. The report is designed to report on the state of the institution at the end of each fiscal year. Approved: 12/11/06 5 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan
  • 6. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office Tactic 1.2.7 SFCC Magapaper This is a short publication mailed to the home of employees in March and November of each year featuring articles of interest to SFCC employees. Objective 2. To increase SFCC employee opportunities for dialogue and upward communication so that each individual may impact the college’s efforts to achieve its strategic goals. Strategy 2.1. Formalize institutional opportunities for dialogue and upward communication Tactic 2.1.1. Review, Recommendation, Feedback/Consensus Process While there are decisions that must be made unilaterally by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), the college values decision-making at all levels and places an importance on involving affected employees in the decision-making process when possible and appropriate. The review, recommendation, feedback, consensus process for seeking institutional input is as follows: a. Policies, regulations, processes or issues that may have an institution-wide impact are discussed as an agenda item at a regular meeting of the ELT. An item is placed on the agenda by the president or by the president at the request of another ELT member. b. If the agenda item is determined to have an institution-wide impact and broad- based institutional input is appropriate, the ELT assigns it for review and recommendation to an institutional unit. A unit is defined as a group that is a constituent of the whole. The group may be an ad hoc committee, an AQIP hot team, an administrative unit, an advisory committee, etc. The unit as well as the unit members may be assigned by ELT. Policies are always subject to the institutional review, recommendation, feedback, consensus cycle process. c. Policies, regulations, processes or issues assigned to a unit for review will be published in In the Know. Unit members will also be identified in In the Know in order that employees may have the opportunity to provide input early in the process. d. After the policy, regulation, process or issue is reviewed by the institutional unit, a document is generated by the unit. e. The document is then circulated by the unit for institutional comment. This circulation must include In the Know and may or may not include forums or other communication venues. Although documents are circulated for institutional comment, this should not be interpreted to mean that all comments or suggestions will be integrated into the document or recommendation. f. After the institutional comments are integrated as deemed appropriate by the unit, the document is forwarded to the ELT for review. g. After the ELT reviews the document or recommendation, either consensus is reached and the document or recommendation is approved or the document is returned to the unit for further consideration. h. The cycle begins again until consensus is reached. Approved: 12/11/06 6 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan
  • 7. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office Employees may request that an item be placed on the ELT meeting agenda. This request should be made to and carried forward by the immediate supervisor. Should a determination be made by the president that the issue will not be placed on the ELT agenda, the supervisor will apprise the employee as to the rationale. Tactic 2.1.2. Communication Liaison In an effort to ensure that every employee at State Fair Community College has the opportunity to bring ideas and issues of concern to the attention of the SFCC administration, the presidents of the Faculty, Professional and Classified associations will serve as communication liaisons between staff and the president of the college during their terms of office. The communication liaison’s primary responsibility is to bring ideas, issues and concerns to the president on behalf of individual employees and/or the separate associations they represent who choose to utilize this venue and to follow-up with the employee/association on a timely basis. While members of the Executive Leadership Team maintain an open door policy and the communication liaison provides employee access to the president, employees with issues and concerns are encouraged first to pursue standard administrative channels. Tactic 2.1.3. College Forums When there is detailed information about an issue that needs to be presented college- wide and requires the opportunity for questions and input, a forum format may be utilized. Tactic 2.1.4. College Focus Groups From time to time SFCC will seek input from employees about various aspects of the college. Focus groups consisting of 10 to 15 employees are facilitated by college employees or an outside facilitator. Tactic 2.1.5. Kitchen Cabinet Once each month, except during summer, the president invites interested employees to lunch to discuss specific college issues. Topics are announced prior to the event on mySTAR (Intranet) or by e-mail. This provides an excellent opportunity for two-way communication about specific issues. Key Performance Indicators The key performance indicator for the effectiveness of this plan will be a reduction in the performance gap from the 2006 to 2007 Campus Quality Survey for the statement, “It is easy to get information at this institution.” Conclusion Key ingredients in developing effective communications for any organization include each individual taking responsibility for accessing information utilizing the channels through which it is being disseminated. In addition to direct means of communication (person-to-person and telephone), the college provides and expects all employees to use and to be aware of the information distributed via the primary means of campus communication: Approved: 12/11/06 7 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan
  • 8. State Fair Community College Internal Communication Plan Developed by Institutional Advancement/Marketing and Communications Office • Campus mail • Electronic mail and calendar • Voice mail • mySTAR Intranet • SFCC Web site Official campus communication may be sent by any and/or all of these above means. All employees are expected, on a regular basis, to accept their mail communication (campus, electronic, voice and portal) within a reasonable time period from the date of receipt. Employees should also make it known when a communication is not understood; and suggest when and how information could have been communicated more effectively. In an effort to ensure continuous quality improvement in the college’s communication efforts, an AQIP hot team will periodically be assigned by ELT to review and make recommendations regarding the Internal Communication Plan in light of the Campus Quality Survey and other input received by the director of Marketing and Communications throughout the year. Approved: 12/11/06 8 Updated: 6/18/2007 Internal Communication Plan