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Expanding higher ed leadership competency to increase employee satisfaction, decrease risks and reduce costs

July 29, 2022

Raymond Hess

Director of Human Resources, Colorado School of Mines

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of EAB.

As the Colorado School of Mines prepares for our 150th anniversary in 2024, dynamic and disruptive change is all around us. We must navigate an increasingly competitive higher education landscape, respond to the changing education and innovation needs of industry and society, and refuse to accept complacency regarding past accomplishments. As we future-proof Mines for ongoing success, we set our sights on becoming a top-of-mind and first-choice university for students, public and private partners, and faculty and staff.

Becoming a top-of-mind and first-choice destination employer in today’s competitive talent market meant that Human Resources must shift our advisory services from a reactive model to a proactive model, while offering balanced support for leaders and employees alike. Our newly hired employee/labor relations team will have an instrumental role in this strategic transition.

This team will train our leaders on creating, fostering, and maintaining positive employee relations, and will provide coaching and guidance on how to navigate employee concerns, complaints, and conflicts. Recognizing the significance of partnership and trust, this team will have a visible and accessible presence on campus to advise on all employee matters.

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This training and centralized direction will increase compliance with our union agreement, laws and policies as well as guarantee employee due process protections. Increasing compliance and refining our due process protections will have a positive relational impact on employee satisfaction, engagement and retention while reducing risk and litigation costs.

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Raymond Hess and others participated in EAB’s Rising Higher Education Leaders Fellowship in spring 2022

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