The first two position evaluation process focus groups were held via zoom the week of April 5. Our colleagues on the project team report positive conversation, feedback, and perspectives from participants. There has been some reluctance, but overall response thus far has been positive. The need for more details about the process outcome was both broadly shared and will guide the results of these discussions. Other comments from participants highlighted the outlook for reduced workplace stress, and the welcome opportunity to 'focus on what I'm good at.' Others admitted they were looking forward to the collaborative nature of Franklin Works, as well as the benefits to staff of having qualified colleagues available to step in when needed or when staff take annual or sick leave.
A recurring point brought up in the discussions: why is this happening now? Several factors provide context for the Franklin Works Initiative.
- The old UGA Mainframe system did not include support for HR processing, which has grown more complex over time
- OneSource transformed nature of the work, but units themselves didn't change
- Vacancies at mission-critical staff positions following budget reductions and results from the Voluntary Retirement Program
- Related compliance issues put added pressure on understaffed units
- Why not now? New strategic plan for 2025. Franklin is taking the right steps to make improvements to establish a support structure that's sustainable and forward-thinking
This last point is essential. Though Franklin Works in some ways represents a bold initiative, had the college not undertaken this broad effort our departments and units would be at a disadvantage in the future.
The project team will share these and other details about discussions and feedback as they develop. All staff should know that, as a college, we are in this together and the various teams and managers are listening.
A town hall for all staff is planned for later in the month.