Category Archives: Announcements

Auxiliary Services Monthly Report-Out Update

Auxiliary Services hosts a monthly Lean report-out to provide an avenue for Lean Teach-backs, Kaizen Report-outs, Project Updates, Lean community contact, and a space to ensure accountability.  

The teach-back method, also called the “show-me” method, is a communication confirmation method used, primarily, by healthcare providers to confirm whether a patient (or care takers) understands what is being explained to them. If a patient understands, they are able to “teach-back” the information accurately. Lean Teach-back sessions are used to demonstrate an understanding of Lean methods and tools, as well as an ability to teach others. These sessions could include new ice-breakers, creative or interactive activities to stimulate problem solving, or a Lean method that is seldom used or understood. For example, Ernie Beutler and Daryl Matthews from Dining Services used a creative problem solving activity they had learned from Karyn Ross’ workshop on “How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence” that involved inventing as many products you could try to sell using a piece of string, a bouncy ball, a paper bag, a paper clip, and a straw. It sounds like “McGyver: The Game,” but it showed the participants that if they got out of their comfort zone enough to stop being afraid of seeming a little silly, creativity is contagious and a group can come up with upwards of 20 suggestions in a few minutes with these objects.

Ross' Workshop on Creativity
Ross’ Workshop on Creativity

The Kaizen Report-outs cover all of the Lean improvement events that the divisions of Auxiliary Services participates in. These include any 5S work or process improvement events that have been completed within Auxiliary Services. The last report-outs have been covering the massive 5S MUB Basement Project that took a year of work and involved multiple departments within Auxiliary Services.

The next report-out will take place on Wednesday, July 18 at 2 p.m. at the MUB Superior Room. The report-outs are one hour on the third Wednesday of every month. The venue varies, and the event planners are open to suggestions to improve the functionality and appeal of the report-outs. If you are interested in attending the Aux Report-Out, please contact for more information!

New Policy Announcement—1.15 Accessible Information and Communication Technology

Accessible Information and Communication Technology Policy

The University Policy Office and Institutional Equity announce the issuance of new University Administrative Policy 1.15 Accessible Information and Communication Technology Policy.

This policy extends to the creation, procurement, management or dissemination of information and communication technologies (ICT). The policy states Michigan Technological University is dedicated to providing equal opportunity for all students, employees and members of the public, including those with disabilities, who access our services, programs and activities. This includes providing equal access to University ICT such as University systems, websites, electronic documents and educational and training materials.

The policy can be found on the University Policy website. If you have questions about the policy, contact Institutional Equity  (7-3310). Visit the new Accessible Technology website for more information and resources.

Mentor Program Update

Mentoring IconThe Mentoring program at Michigan Tech provides employees the opportunity to learn from experts to develop and grow in their career and balance work and life challenges. It is a relationship which supports learning and performance improvement through facilitated problem solving and clear guidance. The mentors help assess the mentee’s strengths and suggest ways to grow in their personal and professional lives. This increases the likelihood of retention and career success and fosters an inclusive, diverse, and collaborative environment.

Since receiving a grant from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) in 2015, Michigan Tech began to develop a staff mentoring program. The success of the program in its first year paved way to the second cohort of trained mentors. The second cohort consisted of 20 mentors who graduated from the staff mentoring training program and have since been matched with mentees. After the graduation of the second cohort, WorkLife Connections at Michigan Tech carried out a mentee survey and two mentor focus groups to assess the progress and development of the mentoring program.

The data from the survey suggests that the mentoring program has been successful in helping mentees learn more about Michigan Tech. 80% of respondents stated that they were able to learn more about the university and its various departments and services from their mentors. 50% revealed that the mentoring program helped them develop their network of colleagues and 40% stated that it provided them with knowledge of a career path. 30% of respondents also stated that the program helped them develop their interpersonal and communication skills and helped gain knowledge of a different job function.

According to the survey results and the focus group discussions, the mentoring program provided an avenue for the mentees and the mentors to discuss a range of issues: childcare, resume and LinkedIn building, and improving the mentees relationship with their department and supervisors. The mentoring program is a dynamic partnership built on mutual respect, trust, and the sharing of ideas and experiences. The program proved to be especially useful for those mentees who were new to the region and to Michigan Tech. The mentors were able to give them the proper guidance, tools, and institutional knowledge to help them succeed and become a part of the campus community.

Inclusivity IconWith the help of the Gallup Strengths Finder Test, mentors assessed the individual strengths of their mentees and advised them on areas they could work towards improving. For those mentees that were unsure of their goals and what they wanted to get out of the mentoring program when they first joined, it was revealed that the presence of a mentor to act as a sounding board helped them better streamline their thought process and set benchmarks in their personal and professional lives.

A number of mentors stated that they were able to impart their knowledge of specific skills to their mentees. For example, one mentor was able to teach a mentee how to do an audit; another mentor helped a mentee in creating budget projections for their supervisor. One of the mentors successfully guided their mentee into their new position and helped the mentee improve their interviewing skills by providing practice interview sessions and feedback.

If an employee is unhappy, it shows in their work, their interactions and in their behavior. One mentor suggested that the university make use of the mentoring program as an institution-wide system of development to improve their staff, faculty, and students experience. The mentoring program is a great support network for those in need of professional guidance on campus. The data from our survey and focus groups suggest that the Michigan Tech mentoring program brings value to various stakeholders at many levels—mentees, mentors, supervisors, colleagues, the university and the campus community. The mentees have an opportunity to gain practical knowledge and insight from an experienced employee who has achieved a level of expertise they aspire to attain. The mentors have an opportunity to expand their repertoire of professional knowledge and skills through their instruction and facilitation of the mentee. Finally, the university has the opportunity to further develop and disseminate the wealth of talent, skill and knowledge of its employees.

Learn more about Michigan Tech’s Mentoring Program at the WorkLife Connections Website.

Parent Ambassador Training in the Keweenaw

Picture of Danielle Davis2018 UPCC Conference

Danielle Davis, Administrative Assistant for Business Operations, attended the 2018 UPCC Conference, Mental Health Matters: Building Our Collective Capacity to Promote Mental Health & Social – Emotional Competence held at Northern Michigan University on May 7th. The conference was hosted by The Upper Peninsula Children‘s Coalition. The Conference sessions included: “What is Mental Health? Beyond the Absence of Illness,” “Changing the Path: Using Best Practices,” “Social & Emotional Competence: A Common Goal,” and “Current Child Advocacy Opportunities” which provided an update on the “2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data.” Kids Count Data gives information on family support programs, family and community, access to healthcare, health, education, etc. The report has data from across Michigan, with individual county profiles being revised and available soon. The local Kids Count Data will be shared at the Copper Country Great Start Collaborative meetings. Finally, the UP Legislative Panel answered questions regarding the well-being of children and families in the Upper Peninsula.

For more information on Kids Count Data visit the Michigan League for Public Policy website.
For future UPCC Conferences or information please visit the Upper Peninsula Children’s Coalition’s website.

Parent Ambassadors

The Copper Country Great Start Collaborative (CCGSC) started training seven new parents as local parent ambassadors on Thursday, April 26th in Baraga County. Five of the parents are from Baraga County and two from Houghton County.  The last group of parent ambassadors trained by the CCGSC connected over 100 families with local resources. They invited Danielle Davis, Administrative Assistant for Business Operations, who is was previously trained in this program to speak to the group in training. Danielle shared her experiences with helping local families find resources and information about the events she has volunteered for in the past. Danielle shared how the Strengthening Families Framework Training, which is a based on engaging families, programs and communities in building the five protective factors, helped her while she was working with families in the community.

There will be another Strengthening Families Framework Training for family service providers, parents and community members on Tuesday, June 12th and Wednesday, June 13th in Bergland, MI. Please call 906-575-3438, ext 103 to register by May 16th.

Customer Service Pilot Project—Phase 2

Initiating the Pilot

Auxiliary Services within Michigan Tech’s Administration has been conducting a Customer Service Pilot Project aimed at aligning our departments with our Mission and Guiding Principles. Specifically, our pillar of Customer Service/Service Excellence which states “Our units strive to create a great Michigan Tech experience for students, employees, and visitors. We seek to continuously enhance our understanding of customer and stakeholder needs that supports institutional values.” The pilot project consisted of creating a universal means of gathering customer service data from a variety of service-oriented locations on campus in order to poll a range of customers and situations. Auxiliaries partnered with the Office of Information Services and Business Operations in order to create location specific QR Codes that are able to be displayed in a tableau dashboard on Administration’s website. This dashboard is able to display both the “big picture,” combined results of the surveys from all of the locations the surveys have been deployed to and it is able to “drill down” to the specific locations where customers interact with Auxiliaries employees.

Locations that were selected for the pilot include: the Campus Store, the Portage Lake Golf Course, University Images, and the Central Ticketing Office.

Customer Service QR Code Ad
Look for our customer service QR Code stations around campus!

The Next Step

Phase two of the Customer Service Pilot Project included improving the design for the original “Rate our Service” ads by creating vanity URLs for each location that is tied to the same survey the QR Code is on that ad. This is a way to expand the response base from those who have used QR Codes before to everyone with a smart phone. Business Operations also created a second version of the ad that has a lower profile, so each location is able to decide what type of ad is appropriate for their space. Lastly, Business Operations created two different “How To” posters, one for the customer, explaining how to download the QR Code reader and use the “Rate our Service” ad and one for the Auxiliaries employees to explain to them how they are able to help their customers give the feedback that we find so important.

How to use a QR Code poster
Look for our “How to” posters around campus!

New locations for Phase Two include: the Mont Ripley Ski Area, the Memorial Union Guest Rooms and Office, the North Coast Grill and Deli, the Library Cafe, Coaches Corner, the Campus Cafe, Fusion, Huskies Cafe, and the Par and Grill.

If you have any questions on this or any other customer service project, please contact the Office of Information Services.

Theresa Coleman-Kaiser presented on Leadership Coaching

Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, Senior Associate Vice President for Administration, presented at “The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: On-line Event” on January 31st. Her session was titled “Case Study: My Journey Developing Coaches for Leadership Excellence.” The learning objectives for her session included:

  • Why coaching for Leadership Excellence and developing leaders as coaches is a critical management function
  • How to begin, sustain, and cascade a coaching practice to create an aligned stream of leaders throughout your organization
  • How to make your Learner’s thoughts visible in order to understand mindset, skill, and will
  • The wide range of feelings associated with a coaching practice, and how to find joy in developing others

Picture of Theresa presenting a Lean Topic

You can find “The Toyota Way to Service Excellence On-Line Event” agenda at the Lean Frontier’s website and view any sessions from the on-line event until April 30, 2018 free of charge.

Instructions to enroll:

  1. Navigate to the course Website
  2. Click on “Enroll in Course for $195” (course fee will be waived in next step)
  3. Click “add Coupon Code” and enter: CORPSUBSCRIBE
  4. Click “Apply” to confirm code
  5. Enter email and click “Continue”
  6. Click “Enroll in Course”
  7. Enter name and create password
  8. Click “Create Account”
  9. Click “Continue to Course”

OIS Donates to LeaderShape®

The Office of Information Services (OIS) donated one full scholarship that allowed a student to participate in the LeaderShape® Institute.

The LeaderShape® Institute is an intensive week-long leadership development experience that is designed to help young leaders learn to “lead with integrity.”  This highly interactive program provides the tools for individuals to:

  • Act consistently with core ethical values, personal values, and convictions
  • Develop and enrich relationships
  • Respect the dignity and contribution of all people
  • Believe in a healthy disregard for the impossible
  • Produce extraordinary results

The LeaderShape® Institute uses interactive program methods rather than classroom lectures—everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner. At the LeaderShape® Institute, participants create a LeaderShape® Breakthrough Blueprint they can begin to implement as soon as they leave. The objective of each participant’s blueprint is to produce extraordinary results in their organization and their institution during the next nine to 12 months.

The Michigan Tech LeaderShape® Institute continues to be very popular after almost a 20 years at the university.

OIS is proud to have contributed to an organization that instills leadership abilities into young people. OIS staff members believe in leadership by relationship building and collaboration and are pleased that a long-running institute provides this training on the Michigan Tech campus.

Screen Shot of the LeaderShape Promotional Video
Screen Shot of the LeaderShape Promotional Video

Find a video of participants and more information about by the institute at the LeaderShape® website.

New Initiatives—Policy Biennial Review

—Ann Kitalong-Will, University Policy Office

Michigan Tech’s Policy Office maintains the University Policies and Procedures Manual, ensuring that administrative policies are developed using best practices in policy administration and are in compliance with Board of Trustees’ policy. According to Board Policy 3.2 University Administrative Policies and Procedures, all university administrative policies must be enacted, published and periodically reviewed using uniform standards and formats.

Image of a Policy Memo

To ensure that University policies are up-to-date, we have implemented a biennial (every two years) formal review process. Please note that any office may still update their policies through our office at any time; this formal review is intended to be responsive to any change in regulation or legislation impacting policies, reflect updated practices and position responsibilities, and any other specific revisions that may be deemed necessary.

This process will begin in late November and will proceed through the spring of 2018.

Office of Information Services Website Launch

The Office of Information Services (OIS) announces the launch of its new website!

OIS serves the Vice President for Administration division in an information support role. Our key areas of expertise include Business System Analysis, IT Project Management, and Business Intelligence and Data Visualizations.

Our mission is to engage people, cultivate continuous improvement, and innovate through technology and process to enhance strategic decision making as one administration.

We partner with each business unit within the Vice President for Administration division to assist in improving our business processes through the use of innovative information systems and services. We believe in, and use in our daily work, lean methods and the tools of continuous improvement.

Dashboard Icon

We are dedicated to advancing the mission, vision, and goals of the University through effective and efficient information support services.

Visit our website to view the service catalog, common questions about dashboards and information analytics.

For further information or questions, please contact the Office of Information Services.