Improving Employee Engagement through CLEAR Connections

As we continue our journey to becoming an employer of choice, we find new and creative ways to help employees be engaged and successful at Moraine Park.  We have an exciting opportunity for our employees and supervisors to make clear connections, increase engagement and create and meet career goals through stay conversations.

In the Fall of 2017, the College will launch the CLEAR Connections program.  CLEAR Connections is a structured stay conversation process that helps to improve communication, empower leaders to enhance connections and performance with the team, and provide a tool to specifically address areas of employee engagement.  Our goals with the CLEAR Connections process are to:

  • Enhance relationships from the start of employment
  • Establish mutual commitment
  • Engage and retain talent
  • Encourage personalized discussion
  • Empower leaders to act on results
  • Increase performance and engagement
  • Reinforce positive culture
  • Strengthen talent management

This process will be available to all new and existing employees.  Please watch myMPTC for additional information about the process and how you can participate!

We hope MPTC employees find this process valuable and it assists in building trusting relationships, improving communication and increasing employee engagement and retention.  Kathy Broske, MPTC’s Vice President of Human Resources has some insight to share about her experience with stay conversations.

Name:  Kathy Broske

Title:      VP – Human Resources

Time with the College:  21 years

Number of Employees you supervise:  5

Please tell the readers a little bit about your stay conversation experience: 

As part of my 2016 Talent Watch Action Plan, I conducted stay conversations with my direct reports in Fall 2016. They prepared responses to the following questions ahead of time and we met for an hour to discuss:

  1. What things make you want to come to work?
  2. Why do you stay here?
  3. When was the last time you thought about leaving?  What prompted it?
  4. As your manager, what can I do more of?  Less of?
  5. What talents do you wish you could make more use of at MPTC?

What do you believe are the benefits employees received from participating in the stay conversation?

Stay conversations provided my staff with designated 1:1 time with me to discuss key factors that were influencing their satisfaction with their job and the College and to discuss their future career plans. It was a great opportunity for them to provide feedback and see that I was actively listening. They shared that they enjoyed the conversation and looked forward to doing it again and I encouraged them to keep communication lines open in the meantime.

What benefits did you receive, as a supervisor holding stay conversations?

In our busy work lives, there is never enough time to connect with employees. Having time that was specifically designed to discuss job satisfaction, key stay factors and career plans gave me the opportunity to learn about things that were going well and things that could be improved. The conversations also gave me an invaluable opportunity to show each employee that I cared about them, to commend them for their skills and contributions and to thank them for what they do for the College.

Can you give the readers examples of takeaways or action items that they might see from the stay conversation?

Several conversations resulted in professional development opportunities/performance goals related to areas that the employee(s) wanted to work on or develop. We were also able to work on areas of concern by resolving them or developing strategies to address them. There were a lot of positive common themes amongst all of the individual meetings and I shared those themes with my work team as a group follow-up.

Why do you think employees and supervisors should participate in CLEAR Connections?

CLEAR Connections is all about communication and information sharing. Open communication between employees and supervisors is key to having positive relationships and a healthy and productive work environment. Situations change so it is important to stay connected and clearly understand what are key stay factors for employees. Regular communication also provides an opportunity to problem solve and address issues.

Is there anything else you want to share with our employees about CLEAR Connections?

I know that we are all busy and are sometimes leery about any new activities but I would encourage employees to participate. It is a great opportunity to provide feedback and help your supervisor to understand how you feel about your work and the College, what things are important to you and what your goals are.  The more information that your supervisor has about you, the more that they can do to make your work experience as positive as possible. My direct reports know that I greatly value this information/conversation and will be very disappointed if they do not participate

Thank you for sharing your experience and insight, Kathy!

Written by Beth Mendoza
Director of Talent Management