Faculty of Student Development
Service Excellence Initiative
TRU is committed to providing service excellence by being open, collaborative, and empowering in support of the success, well-being and belonging of all members of the TRU community.
Introduction and Rationale
In 2015, Keeling and Associates conducted an extensive review of academic supports and student life programming. In their final Student Life Programs and Academic Support Services Review 2015, Keeling and Associates gave two foundational recommendations.
TRU should make, communicate, and hold itself accountable to an institutional commitment to improving and enhancing the student experience.
Establish a culture of student-centered work and customer service, including but not limited to the tone of offices, how advising is delivered and discussed, how students are greeted and escorted between services and how students are represented in communications and online.
To address these recommendations, a proposal was submitted to build on the existing service culture. The proposed service excellence initiative was set up to address the above recommendations, align with TRU's Strategic Priorities 2014-2019 and link to the TRU Brand Model.
- To build an Excellence in Service Statement.
- To align service with the TRU Strategic Priorities and the TRU Brand Model.
- To provide professional development and training opportunities that support understanding and implementation of TRU's Excellence in Service Statement.
- To establish a community of practice/ working group framework and ethos.
In the pursuit of implementing a service-based initiative on campus, a couple of key resource documents have been identified to guide the direction of the initiative and to best align with the ideals of the university:
The proposed three-phased process aims at identifying our core service values; offering professional development and training opportunities to further understanding of what excellence in service looks like; and carrying the momentum forward through a working group/communities of practice approach:
- Phase 1: Create a Campus-Wide Excellence in Service Statement
- Phase 2: Offer Training and Professional Development
- Phase 3: Build Communities of Practice/Working Group Framework and Ethos
Training and Professional Development
Training was developed specific to TRU, based on research from other post-secondary institutions and service experts such as Susan Leigh Consulting. The training is aligned to the three themes (Open, Collaborative, Empowering) and aims to provide theoretical knowledge and practical tools and techniques for all individuals providing services at the University. A pilot of the training was delivered to a cross-functional group of employees in the Fall of 2017; feedback was provided on individual sessions and the overall aim of the project. With revisions in place the training became available to all employees in Winter 2018.
You can download the postcard with all the session information. Training is offered through Human Resources Learning & Development and you can sign up for sessions on the HR EventBrite page or contact email@example.com to schedule sessions for your department.
Communities of Practice and Working Group Ethos
The goal to have collaborations continue to grow across campus is an on-going work in progress as cross-departmental connections are being made. These are not a sole result of the Service Initiative, however, are in part of a shift in the ethos. Working Groups are a formed group of departmental or pan-campus partners who work together on a particular question or issue. With goals in mind, members work toward individual and/or collective results. When the goals are met, the working group may disband; therefore, these groups can last anywhere between a few months or years. Through working groups, goals are realized and collaborations achieved.
Some highlighted working groups within the Faculty of Student Development:
- Peer Mentor Coordinators Working Group 2016-Present
- Learning Strategists Working Group 2017-2018
- Strategic Priority Working Groups:
- Health and Wellbeing 2017- Present
- Communications and Visibility 2017-Present
- Experiential Learning 2017-Present
- Sense of Belonging 2017- Present
- Indigenization 2017-2018
- Diversity and Equity 2017-2018
And in Human Resources:
- Engagement Steering Committee 2018- Present
- Emerging Leaders Working Group 2018- Present