- February, 2015 - OpenMSU Update (Download PDF)
- April 23, 2014 - Letter to faculty and staff
- January 28, 2014 - Letter to faculty and staff
- Download and print the graphic for MSU Service Excellence (PDF)
February 9, 2015
Greetings from the Service Excellence Team! It has now been one year since we began the Service Excellence initiative in response to your desire for a more robust campus service culture. We want to update you on progress to date as well as plans for the future.
- January – MSU Service Philosophy created: “We enrich lives by building a supportive environment that inspires excellence in everything we do.” MSU Service Standards created: Safety – Reliability – Courtesy – Competence
- January – Service Excellence Team assembled
- April – Service Excellence Leader workshops completed for 123 campus leaders
- June – First two employee workshops taught by Teri Yanovitch to 60 employees
- June – 17 MSU employees certified to deliver Service Excellence workshops
- September – Random Acts of Excellencerecognition system launched
- June – Current – over 35 workshops delivered to roughly 900 MSU faculty and staff. Workshops to date
have been by request of the sponsoring department including:
- Campus Planning, Design & Construction
- College of Nursing
- Emergency Management
- Extended University
- Facilities Services
- Financial Aid Services
- Mail Services
- Museum of the Rockies
- Office of Sponsored Programs
- Parking Services
- Safety & Risk Management
- Student Success
- University Business Services
- University Police
- University Services
Service improvements have already been initiated by leaders who attended workshops, and their teams of staff. For example:
- Human Resources launched a pilot program in 2014 to improve the experience of new employees during their first week of work. This service excellence initiative, called “Jumpstart,” redesigned process workflows to reduce the wait time for system access for new hires and also created a new mini-orientation option to deliver “just-in-time” practical information, tools and hands-on support to complete new hire paperwork during the first days of work. By partnering with Central HR to “jumpstart” new employees with general information, processes and tools, academic staff can focus more time on specific departmental orientation needs and on assisting students—especially important at the beginning of the semester.
- “I know that I can make a difference in whether or not a student decides to come to MSU. I pay attention to when MSU Fridays are, and make it a point to ask parents who look lost whether I can help them find the people and resources they need.” David Court, MSU Financial Banner Team Lead
- “As a result of Service Excellence, I can no longer walk by a piece of trash on the grounds or ignore an empty paper towel roll in a bathroom. These are no longer someone else’s issue; it’s my responsibility as an employee and stakeholder of MSU to make sure our campus is inviting to our students, employees and visitors.” Betsy Webb, Human Resources and Service Excellence Leadership Team
- Continued delivery of workshops to MSU’s 4,000 faculty and staff. Currently scheduled are the Office of Human Resources and Renne Library. Schedule your department by contacting Service Excellence
- Open enrollment workshops will be made available to all in the near future
- Future developments will include workshops for new employees starting their careers at MSU
- Watch for the launch of a Service Opportunity System to assist in service improvement across campus
Workshops are just the beginning of the conversation on service excellence. Each unit should then pick one or two things to implement to demonstrate excellence. There are resources available to help:
- Service Excellence website: You will find blank Service Maps, Everything Speaks checklists, a Manager’s Toolkit, and other information
- Random Acts of Excellence postcards: Here you can privately recognize individuals or teams for their excellent service: Random Acts of Excellence
- Service Excellence Team: Feel free to contact any of the members for support in your initiatives: SET Contact Information
April 23, 2014
Dear MSU Community,
I want to give you an update on our Service Excellence Initiative that was launched in January in response to campus needs expressed in the OpenMSU surveys.
Our Service Excellence Initiative aims to align the quality of our services and environment to the excellent education we offer. For our students, we're aspiring to provide a great experience outside the classroom so they and their faculty can focus on being successful inside the classroom. The initiative seeks to eliminate frustrations and time-consuming processes delivered to, and by, all individuals on campus, including faculty, staff, students and visitors.
When we provide excellent service to our students in all our administrative and support areas, then our students have more attention, enthusiasm and energy for learning, discovery and engagement. For our faculty and staff, the benefits can be greater work satisfaction and more time spent focused on those issues that advance the university.
Teri Yanovitch, a quality management and service improvement consultant, has been helping us with this initiative. Ms. Yanovitch has worked with hundreds of organizations in a wide variety of industries, including higher education. You can read more about her accomplishments and philosophies in her book "Unleashing Excellence."
In January, Teri helped a group of 21 deans, directors, faculty and administrators collaboratively define the university's service philosophy as: "We enrich lives by building a supportive environment that inspires excellence in everything we do."
Underpinning our service philosophy are four key service standards that Teri also helped the group identify: safety, courtesy, reliability and competence. Put another way, we want students to feel their lives are enriched at MSU by feeling they are in a supportive environment that inspires excellence. In every interaction, we want students to feel safe, be treated courteously, and know that MSU – in all its functions – is reliable and competent.
The Service Excellence Initiative is also about all of us working together: To succeed in providing service excellence to our students we must also provide service excellence to each other in everything we do.
In late March, more than 120 faculty, staff and administrators attended full-day Service Excellence Leaders Workshops led by Teri. These workshops introduced the tools and processes to help us begin implementing a culture of service excellence at MSU.
We have also created eight committees to help us advance the Service Excellence Initiative. If you would like to participate on one of the committees or have an idea you wish to share, please contact the committee chairs: Communications, Tracy Ellig; Recruitment, Tricia Wimbish; Onboarding and Training, Cathy Hasenpflug and Betsy Webb; Measurement, Ian Godwin; Recognition, Becky McMillan; Service Obstacle System, Justin van Almelo, and Matt Caires; Accountability, Kregg Aytes; Everything Speaks, Jeff Butler.
Our next step comes in early June, when we will provide train-the-trainer workshops for up to 10 selected MSU trainers who will learn how to present two- to three-hour service excellence workshops to all faculty and staff. If you would like to participate, or know of someone who would be well suited to such training, please let us know by contacting initiative co-chairs Laura Humberger and Betsy Webb.
I encourage your full participation as the Service Excellence Initiative continues to unfold. Creating a culture of service excellence on our campus will do great things for our student's success and for our own work lives.
January 28, 2014
Dear MSU Community,
I am happy to inform you that we continue to make progress on OpenMSU – our initiative to remove barriers to success and provide the best working environment and user experience possible for faculty, staff and students. One of the foundational pieces of OpenMSU is to develop a sustained culture of service excellence, a goal based on input and comments we received from the campus community in the OpenMSU surveys conducted in spring 2012 which outlined strengths and weaknesses in our core administrative services.
The emphasis on improving our service will have many benefits for faculty and staff, but chief among them will be our ability to help our students make progress towards their academic plans. We have been working diligently on academic and financial initiatives to help our students succeed. Strengthening our culture of service excellence will complement those efforts.
Teri Yanovitch, a quality management and service improvement consultant, has been selected to help Montana State University improve service in its core administrative areas. Ms. Yanovitch has worked with hundreds of organizations in a wide variety of industries, including higher education. You can read more about her accomplishments and philosophies at www.retainloyalcustomers.com/services/higher-education.
On January 15, Teri spent a day leading 21 deans, directors, faculty and administrators in collaboratively defining our aspiration for excellence in a service culture at MSU. The group defined MSU's service philosophy at a macro level as: "We enrich lives by building a supportive environment that inspires excellence in everything we do."
Teri also led the group in identifying four key service standards to support that aspirational philosophy. Those service standards are: safety, courtesy, reliability and competence. Put another way, we want students to feel their lives are enriched at MSU by feeling they are in a supportive environment that inspires excellence. In every interaction, we want students to feel safe, be treated courteously, and know that MSU – in all its functions – is reliable and competent.
It is important to note this is not solely about students. It is also about us, about how we work together as a team with all our constituents. Substitute faculty, staff, visitor or community member for the word "student" and you'll see what we're aiming to achieve for MSU.
I encourage your full participation in the activities that will help us improve our service to others and each other across campus. A Service Excellence Team has been formed and will soon be creating subcommittees for eight areas important to ensuring our success. Additional information will be forthcoming and there will be ample opportunity for you to engage in the process.
Co-chairs for this phase of OpenMSU are Laura Humberger and Betsy Webb. If you would like to be involved, please contact Laura at email@example.com or Betsy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time today. Go Cats!