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Finance & Operations - New Vision FAQs
Why a new vision?
A vision statement defines what an organization strives to be. Higher education is on a path of continual change and our division is no different. As we work with new budget limitations it is more important than ever that we have clear direction in the work we do. Our new vision statement emphasizes the importance of our customers and the services we provide. It also places emphasis on empowering our employees in the work we do.
How was the vision created?
The process to create a new vision started in October 2015. A cross-section of 22 leaders within the finance and operations division worked together to better understand the services provided by each department, recognized like areas and differences, and shared ideas and aspirations. This information was refined over a number of subsequent collaborative meetings and the end result is the new vision.
Did we have a vision before?
Yes, we did. The vision was last updated nearly ten years ago. Our new vision better aligns goals and expectations for all employees across the division and will be incorporated into our daily work.
How does our vision align with the overall vision of UND?
F&O’s new vision statement aligns with UND’s vision statement in two critical ways. First, both visions recognize the importance of the student and community. Both visions aspire to achieve a higher standard of customer experience with the use of words like exceptional and superior to describe the future state of the institution and the services delivered.
UND's vision statement: An Exceptional UND will be a nationally and internationally recognized state university in which a community of dedicated teacher-scholars promotes the public well-being and educates the next generations of leaders to shape a better future.
F&O's vision statement: We are engaged employees aspiring to deliver a superior experience and environment for our students, colleagues and communities.
Does a new vision mean we aren’t doing a good job?
No! Even with the hard work and consistent service that our employees achieve, there’s always room to do things better. The expectations in higher education for service to students are changing at a rapid pace. Continuous improvement is necessary to maintain efficiency and to make sure we are providing the services our students, colleagues and communities want and need.
How can the vision help with the current budget shortfall?
Adopting this new vision now allows us the opportunity to evaluate the work we do and how we do it. The current budget shortfall requires us to be deliberate in what we do day-to-day and identify the value it provides. This is the time to have conversations with your supervisor on expectations of the new vision and how it directly relates to your work.
How will we know the vision is working?
Quarterly engagement surveys will help us measure employee engagement. You will collaborate with your supervisor in March to set goals for 2016 that directly tie your work to the vision, and we will have ongoing opportunities for you to communicate with your supervisor and leadership team so we know how the new vision is working for all employees.
Why is the vision important?
The vision helps us define what is most important in the work that we do. Providing superior service to support the mission of the university, supporting our students and co-workers by providing efficient services, and ensuring our employees remain engaged and fulfilled by the work they do.
What does “engaged employee” mean?
An engaged employee is one who feels empowered, accountable and passionate. F&O employees should feel valued and have a sense of pride for the work they do. Supervisors, managers, and the leadership team will support our employees in being engaged through training opportunities, seeking feedback and encouraging collaborative work across the division and the university.
What does “superior service” mean?
Superior service, as used in the vision, means that we treat our customers (our students, colleagues and communities) in a caring, safe, professional and effective manner.
What does “superior environment” mean?
Superior environment, as used in the vision, refers to physical spaces. The physical spaces on our campus should be comfortable, state of the art, branded (showing a sense of UND pride) and attractive.
Why did we use the term "aspire to?"
The vision is meant to represent the future state of our division. By using the words aspire to, we recognize that we have not yet achieved our vision, but are actively working to do so.
What will happen next?
Training for more than ninety supervisors and managers within the division took place the week of January 25. Supervisors will work directly with you to discuss how your department’s goals and your own personal work tie to the vision. You will be invited to participate in an all division event to celebrate the launch of the vision February 9.
How will the new vision affect my day-to-day work?
Your day-to-day work must to be evaluated through the lens of the new vision statement. Ask yourself each day:
- Has the work I’ve done today led me to be more engaged?
- Has the work I’ve done today helped me deliver a superior experience and environment for our students, colleagues and communities?
If your answer is no or if you are unsure, discuss this with your supervisor or manager to ensure the tasks you are working on are in alignment with the vision and goals of the division.
What does this mean for us?
As the vice president for finance and operations, it is your responsibility to advocate the importance of the new vision, ensure resources are available to allow for the success of the vision, and ensure each direct report plays a specific and vital role in making the vision a success.
As a direct report to the vice president for finance and operations, it is your responsibility to fully understand the meaning of the vision and what it implies specifically to the future of your unit. It is your responsibility to build a collaborative culture underscoring the founding principles of the vision. Effective and frequent communication from you is imperative so your employees fully understand the significance of the vision. Your responsibility, without any reservation, is to be the number one supporter and advocate of the vision.
As a supervisor/manager, it is your responsibility to fully understand the meaning of the vision and ensure your employees understand how their work ties to the vision. You are responsible for the engagement of each of your employees and your goals should include your employee’s development in support of the vision.
As an employee, it is your responsibility to work with your supervisor/manager to understand how your day-to-day work supports the vision and to take advantage of training and development opportunities. Stay positive about this significant change, ensure you understand the vision and ask questions of your supervisor/manager if you don’t.
Who should I talk to if I have questions about the new vision?
If you have questions, the first person you should talk to is your direct supervisor or manager. If they are unable to answer your question, they will be able to find out the answer for you. We also welcome your feedback. Feel free to talk to us.