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Removing the 'surprise factor' from annual reviews

Human Resources workshops encourage employees and managers to engage in an open dialogue about performance throughout the year. 

Shortly after joining Queen’s, Jennifer Bishop realized the potential of the annual review, a process she found underwhelming in the past.

“I came from an environment where employees just received a copy of their review, signed it and it was done,” says Ms. Bishop, a production administrator in Queen’s School of Business. “The Preparing for your Annual Review workshop offered by Queen’s Human Resources helped me see the annual review process as a give-and-take conversation. I also understood the questions I could ask and the responsibilities of both me and my manager.”

[Mary Elms with workshop participants]
Mary Elms (standing), Manager, Organizational Development and Learning, discusses the annual review process with workshop participants Rob Bertschi, Multimedia Support Annalyst, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Sheena Graham, Administrative Assistant, Vice-Principal (Finance), and Tiffany Bambrick, Co-ordinator, Fitness and Wellness Programs, Athletics and Recreation (left to right). The next Preparing for your Annual Review: Employee Session will take place May 12.

HR offers workshops that help employees as well as managers prepare for annual reviews. According to Mary Elms, Manager, Organizational Development and Learning, the annual review is one part of an ongoing dialogue in which employees work with managers to set objectives and receive regular feedback and coaching. Ms. Elms also strongly encourages one-on-one meetings between employees and managers in addition to check-ins at the mid-year and end-of-year points.

“Educating managers and employees on performance management processes facilitates a cohesive approach to talent assessment and development,” Ms. Elms says. “These workshops help to mitigate the surprise factor in evaluation meetings and increase employee engagement, resulting in improved organizational performance and achieving the university’s goals.”

Julia Baran, who also completed the annual review workshop for employees, now sees the annual review as an ongoing process. Ms. Baran, a clinical trials assistant with NCIC Clinical Trials Group, learned the importance of keeping a regular log of her accomplishments, new duties and feedback.

“If you are reflective and take the time to prepare throughout the year, you go into the review meeting relaxed. As a result, it’s a much more positive experience for both you and your manager,” she says.

The Performance Management: Manager’s Session continues to grow in popularity. Three separate sessions this year attracted more than 60 participants in total compared to only 12 participants (all managers) last year. In addition, three departments requested separate sessions for their leadership teams. Ms. Elms intends to offer the manager’s session again next year.

The next Preparing for your Annual Review: Employee Session will occur May 12. Visit the Human Resources learning catalogue to sign up for this session or get more information about the other workshops and sessions offered by HR.

A world of training just a click away

lynda.com, the popular training website for business, software, technology and creative skills, is now available to all students, staff and faculty at Queen’s.

Offering thousands of instructional videos on topics including software programs, presentation skills, social media and photography, lynda.com offers an excellent way for anyone to learn a new skill or brush up on changing technology.

Paul Roman, Associate Professor in Queen’s School of Business and Director of the Executive MBA Americas program, is already using lynda.com to complement his course material. He recommends the website to students in his business decision modelling course, which uses Microsoft Excel extensively.

“We use Excel in class so students can apply the theory they are learning and I direct them to lynda.com as a resource to hone their skills with the program. That allows me to spend more class time focused on the course content,” says Dr. Roman. “I’ve heard from students that they find the lynda.com tutorials very useful.”

Paul Roman, Associate Professor in Queen’s School of Business and Director of the Executive MBA Americas

While currently teaching executive MBA students, Dr. Roman will continue to recommend lynda.com when he offers the course at the undergraduate level in the fall.

“I can’t think of a circumstance when I wouldn’t recommend it, because you’ll always have a broad range of skill levels with the software tools you use in class,” says Dr. Roman. “lynda.com can help bring students with no exposure up to an acceptable level, and for those with some experience it can help them dive deeper into the software’s rich features. That can make students more efficient and more effective in their work.”

lynda.com is also a valuable training tool for Queen’s staff. It can be accessed quickly to watch a single video, for example on how to embed a video into a PowerPoint slide, or to watch an hour-long series on a topic like effective project management.

Many of the videos on lynda.com provide a hands-on approach, allowing users to practice techniques in exercise files as you follow along with the instructor. You can even print a certificate of completion when you finish all the videos in a series.

The availability of lynda.com at Queen’s is made possible by a pilot project sponsored by ITS, Human Resources, Queen’s Library, the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and Queen’s School of Business. Log in to Lynda.com now with your Queen’s NetID at lynda.queensu.ca and begin browsing the wide range of videos available.

Marking 175 moments

To celebrate the university’s 175th anniversary in 2016, a group is collecting historic Queen’s moments – and they welcome your input.

[175 moments curation team]
The 175 moments curation team — Duncan McDowall, Celia Russell, Mike Blair, Paul Banfield, Alison Migneault, Greg McKellar, Andrea Gunn and David Walker (clockwide from top left) — deliberate during a recent meeting. The last call for submissions is April 29. The moments will be highlighted during Queen's 175th anniversary in 2016.

[Queen's 175th logo]

Although the clock is ticking, there’s still time to suggest an historic Queen’s moment you feel should be included in a special Queen’s 175th anniversary project.

“Identifying 175 seminal moments from the past 175 years is a major way we are engaging alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members leading up to and during Queen’s 175th anniversary in 2016,” says Mike Blair, Queen’s 175th anniversary co-ordinator and chair of the 175 moments curation team. “Through the moments, we will reflect on the evolution of Queen’s, celebrate our many successes, and ponder what the future holds beyond this significant anniversary.”

Over the past year, the group has reached out to many stakeholders and distributed submission cards to alumni, faculty, staff, students and community members at various events.

“We are excited to receive such a diverse range of moments involving events, people, ideas and locations, and we are still welcoming further suggestions,” Mr. Blair says. “The thoughtful contributions will certainly lead to some interesting and compelling deliberations around the table.”

Team members including University Historian Duncan McDowall and University Archivist Paul Banfield are currently sifting through the submissions and identifying any gaps. Once the list is finalized, Dr. McDowall will write short entries for each moment over the summer.

Submit your Moment
Do you have a Queen's moment that you think should be recognized during the 175th anniversary celebration in 2016? Send it to Mike Blair at qu175@queensu.ca

The team will then work with the 175th anniversary executive committee to develop a plan for unveiling the moments.

Email your submissions by April 29 to qu175@queensu.ca and visit the Queen’s 175th anniversary website for more information and updates about the celebration plans.

In other 175th anniversary news, the Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees is currently accepting nominations for 2016. All degrees awarded that year will be given to Queen’s alumni to mark the 175th occasion. Visit the University Secretariat website for more information.  

Pick up your edition of the Gazette

The April 21 edition of the Gazette is out and distributed around Queen’s campus, as well as a number of off-campus locations.

[Gazette Cover]
Read the Gazette online

The newspaper is filled with interesting Queen's-focused items including:

  • A feature article on the three new Canada Research Chairs named at Queen's University.
  • A look at the second season at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.
  • "People of Queen's" series, featuring Queen's Digital and Private Record Archivist Jeremy Heil.
  • Briefs on the latest research, awards and achievements of student-athletes.

The Gazette will be published monthly during the summer; the next edition will hit the newsstands on May 12.

Anyone looking to get a story, photo or information in the Gazette can contact the paper's editor Andrew Carroll or Senior Communications Officer Mark Kerr.

Also visit the Gazette Online for more stories and photos and follow us on Twitter at @queensuGazette

Packing up and cleaning up? Here are some tips

Students can drop off unwanted household items at MacGillivray-Brown Hall on April 30, May 1 and May 2.

With exams almost over, students are on the move, cleaning and packing and deciding what’s next.

To make the process easier, the university, student government and the city offer several moving-related resources, including three days of Drop & Shop at MacGillivray-Brown Hall, where students can bring unwanted items, and also purchase things they need.

“This is the first year students have the opportunity to purchase items dropped off by other students,” says Joan Jones, Student Community Relations Coordinator. “This is a wonderful way for students to get household items at low cost and support Queen’s groups with the proceeds.”

Working with the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) and the Alma Mater Society, Ms. Jones and staff have set up three days for Drop & Shop: April 30, May 1 and May 2. MacGillivray-Brown Hall will be open 8:30 am-8 pm each day. Proceeds will be shared between Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, Oxfam Queen’s and the Sexual Health Resource Centre. Unsold items will be donated to the Salvation Army.

Items accepted at Drop & Shop include: clothing, linens, books, unopened food and personal hygiene products, and sports equipment. Only students with valid student identification will be able to purchase items.

“We always want this transition to be as smooth as possible for students, and we hope this event makes it a little easier,” says Ms. Jones. “We are also thankful to the SGPS, in particular, for partnering with us on Drop & Shop and staffing the event. They recognize that undergraduates are usually busier this time of year, and have really taken the lead on this.”

The City of Kingston’s student page is also a great moving resource, providing information on waste disposal, and a Facebook group called Queen’s Free & For Sale is a good site for selling and buying items.

On campus, while the Drop & Shop marketplace will not be held in the JDUC, as in past years, students can still head to the JDUC to buy bag tags for extra garbage and moving boxes.

 

Beginnings and endings

  • [Begin Anywhere 2015]
    Francesca Pang and her painting "Apertures of Interest".
  • [Begin Anywhere 2015]
    Emily Gong creates a meditative sand mandala.
  • [Begin Anywhere 2015]
    Jonas Azeredo Lobo, "Eu Tembem Era Grande".
  • [Begin Anywhere 2015]
    Iris Fryer, "Untitled".
  • [Begin Anywhere 2015]
    Lauren Rosentzveig, "Standoff", "Withhold", "Conceal".

The culmination of four years of study, creativity and hard work is on display this week as the graduating class from the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program hosts their annual year-end exhibition.

Begin Anywhere has transformed Ontario Hall into an art gallery featuring the work of 20 fourth-year students. There is an impressive range and depth to the artworks, from delicate fabrics and multi-layered print to paintings that take up an entire wall and a massive male form created out of layer upon layer of wood.

According to Otis Tamasauskas, a professor in the BFA program, the exhibition marks a transition point in the students’ lives and potential careers.

“This is their moment, where they get to participate as professionals,” he says. “This is what the program has been culminating to: to get them to be professionals. That’s the end result.”

He adds that the exhibition also offers an “oasis,” where students, staff and faculty, as well as the public, can step away from the status quo and absorb the creative works.

Paintings, sculpture, prints and mixed-media installations “physically and intellectually illuminate” the halls and rooms of the building.

Reflecting on the graduating class, Professor Tamasauskas says they are a “good group,” adding that a number of students will be moving on to post-graduate studies in Saskatchewan, Calgary, Montreal and New Zealand.

“They sort of live through the credence of creativity. You have to be independent, and individual, you have to think outside of the box. Well, they certainly do,” he says. “They have maintained their individuality after the four years. It shows. They definitely are more sophisticated and mature in their interpretations of aesthetics now.”

For Francesca Pang (BFA’15), the exhibition not only marks the end of her studies at Queen’s but a new beginning as an artist on her own. She says she has learned a lot about herself through the process as well.

“It’s very rewarding I think. It really helps me figure out how I see my art and how people are going to be able to view it. I think setting something up like this it becomes very professional,” she says. “I think for myself, seeing my work up like this in relation to each other, I’m seeing the original intent of my work and then, as a series, how they are coming together.”

Begin Anywhere continues through to Saturday, April 25 at Ontario Hall 9 am-4 pm daily. A closing reception will be held on Saturday from 7-10pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Changes to municipal on-street parking in the Queen's vicinity

Effective May 1, the City of Kingston will add time-of-day parking restrictions to residential streets in the Queen’s and Kingston General Hospital vicinity. The on-street program has two components:

  • The first component involves adding time-of-day restrictions to restrict parking for a period of time in the morning and afternoon (such as no parking between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Monday to Friday) to restrict all-day parkers.
  • The second component of the program involves issuing a limited number of permits, including resident and commuter permits, that exempt parkers from these restrictions.

For more information about the parking changes, visit the City of Kingston’s website.

Other options available include Kingston Transit, which offers express service every 15 minutes during peak hours. Explore public transit route options by using the Google Transit trip planner found at: www.kingstontransit.ca/tripplanner.

Employees of Queen’s can get a discounted monthly transit pass for as little as $53 a month.  (A savings of $19 over the regular cost.)For added convenience, these passes can be paid for and renewed monthly through payroll deduction. You can sign up for the discounted pass at the Parking Office in the Rideau Building.

The Queen’s parking department also offers monthly parking options for campus parking lots to employees. For more information see www.queensu.ca/parking.

FIT TIPS: Staying healthy

Here are 10 tips to help you aim for 150 minutes of physical activity in a week, and to help you live a healthy lifestyle. See how many you can do in one week:
 

1. Do bicep curls when you take out your garbage

2. Incorporate dance moves into your housework and chores

3. Update your workout playlist to encourage you to go the ARC

4. Hit the ARC when your favourite TV show is on, and watch it while on the elliptical/treadmill/stationary bike

5. Limit junk food intake to once every two days

6. Look up healthy, appetizing recipes online (Pinterest!)

7. Have a contest with friends to see who can hit the ARC most in a week

8. When watching the Gaels play, do 10 pushups every time Queen's scores, and 20 sit-ups every time the other team scores

9. Explore Kingston on foot or bike

10. When putting on your shoes, hold the stretch for 30 seconds

‘Paying it forward’ with mental health support fund

Richi Tam (Com’13) knows firsthand how it feels to be sinking in the uncharted depths of mental illness, and to resurface on a relatively safe and stable shore.

[Richi Tam]
Richi Tam, right, with Com'13 classmate Justin Burke. Mr. Tam helped create the Commerce Legacy Fund for Student Health and Wellness, which provides support for mental health initiatives to benefit Commerce students.

Thanks to Mr. Tam’s own tenacity – and the support of his Queen’s School of Business classmates, faculty and staff members – he has turned what might have been a life-ending experience into a testament to the strength and healing power of community.

In 2011 Mr. Tam began what he hoped would be a great adventure, after completing a stressful second year in Queen’s Commerce. But his international exchange experience at Singapore Management University soon turned dark, and his earlier struggles with mental illness came to a head in the form of auditory hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

Fortunately Mr. Tam’s academic advisor at Queen’s School of Business was able to arrange for his immediate return to Kingston and “helped me sort things out,” he recalls. “That was a huge boost, when I needed it most.” After taking the rest of the year to get better, Mr. Tam was ready to return to study – but with a different group of students from his Com’12 classmates. His biggest fear was that he would be treated like an outsider and might find it hard to make new friends.

As it turned out, the exact opposite occurred.

“The Class of ’13 made me realize I was surrounded by people who really cared – not just students, but faculty and admin, too – who were all very supportive, wanting to make sure I was okay,” he says.

In May 2013 Mr. Tam graduated in the top 10 per cent of his class and volunteered to be the group’s giving coordinator. He and classmate Kate Moraca created the Commerce Legacy Fund for Student Health and Wellness, which provides support for mental health initiatives to benefit Commerce students.

Through the Dean’s Matching Fund, a new initiative made possible by donations from several anonymous benefactors, gifts from young Queen’s School of Business alumni who graduated in 2004 or later are matched two-to-one. That fund will add $2,000 to Mr. Tam’s initial $1,000 pledge – one of the first such matches since the fund was established. Mr. Tam’s employer, KPMG Kingston, is contributing another $1,000 through its own matching program.

Now a staff accountant at KPMG, Mr. Tam is working toward his CA/CPA designation and is excited about his career opportunities ahead. Reflecting on the rollercoaster of the past several years, he says: “There was a lot of pain, but I think I’ve come a long way and am in a much better place now. It’s true that Commerce is a competitive program, but at the end of the day students are very supportive, too. I’m so grateful for the awesome people in my class.”

Mr. Tam’s journey back to good health has been a team effort, he emphasizes. With the help of his psychiatrist and a strong support system, he is managing his recovery – and will continue to do so.

Class giving campaigns are a powerful way to give back collectively to Queen’s. Annual class gifts support much-needed student bursaries and scholarships, library acquisitions, leading-edge technology and other programs and projects that are most meaningful to each graduating class.

 

Current issue of For the Record

For the Record provides postings of appointment, committee, grant, award, PhD examination and other notices set out by collective agreements and university policies and processes. It is the university’s primary vehicle for sharing this information with our community.

The next issue of For the Record will be published Thursday, April 30. The deadline for submitting information is Tuesday, April 28. Submit For the Record information for posting to Communications Officer Wanda Praamsma

Human Resources

Successful Candidates

Job Title: Undergraduate Admission Coordinator (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Undergraduate Admission 
Competition: 2015-029 
Successful Candidate: Breanne Smart (Undergraduate Admission)

Job Title: Undergraduate Admission Coordinator (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Undergraduate Admission 
Competition: 2015-030 
Successful Candidate: Donald Ames

Job Title: Application Advisor (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Queen's School of Business-EMBA 
Competition: 2015-062 
Successful Candidate: Megan Gee (EMBA Admin)

Job Title: Bader Curator of European Art (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Agnes Etherington Art Centre 
Competition: 2014-203 
Successful Candidate: Jacquelyn Coutre

Job Title: Registered Nurse (ONA) 
Department: Queen's Family Health Team, Family Medicine 
Competition: 2015-032 
Successful Candidate: Rhonda Gauthier (Family Medicine)

Job Title: Project Coordinator, Social Innovation 
Department: Queen's School of Business 
Competition: 2015-005 
Successful Candidate: Richard Allen (QEDC General Admin)

Job Title: International Programs Assistant (USW Local 2010) 
Department: International Programs Office 
Competition: 2014-362 
Successful Candidate: Haley McCormick

Job Title: Academic Counsellor and Assistant Degree Coordinator (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Faculty of Arts and Science 
Competition: 2015-037 
Successful Candidate: Heather Carter (School of Nursing)

Job Title: Program Assistant (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Queen's School of Business- Graduate Program 
Competition: 2015-065 
Successful Candidate: Nancy Chase (Queen's Full-Time MBA (FTMBA))

Job Title: Recruitment & Admissions Assistant (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Queen's School of Business- EMBA Office 
Competition: 2015-061 
Successful Candidate: Juanita Smith (Queen's Full-Time MBA (FTMBA))

Job Title: Web Services Specialist (USW Local 2010) 
Department: Housing & Ancillary Services 
Competition: 2015-045 
Successful Candidate: Ryan Warner (Undergraduate Medical Education)

Notices

Nominations invited for grad student supervision award

The School of Graduate Studies invites nominations of faculty members for consideration for the 2015 Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Supervision. 

The purpose of this award is to recognize those outstanding supervisors who demonstrate excellence in advising, monitoring and mentoring their graduate students. Two awards will be presented at the fall 2015 convocation: one in the social sciences and humanities, and one in life sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

Award nomination forms and guidelines are available from the Office of the Dean, School of Graduate Studies (deansgsr@queensu.ca) or at www.queensu.ca/sgs. Nomination packages should be submitted to the Dean, School of Graduate Studies, Queen’s University, Gordon Hall 425, 74 Union Street, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 by 4 pm on Thursday, May 28.

Nominations now accepted for Distinguished Service Award

Queen’s faculty, staff and retirees are invited to nominate candidates for a Queen’s Distinguished Service Award. Inaugurated by the University Council in 1974, this award recognizes individuals who have made the university a better place through their extraordinary contributions. Recipients become honorary life members of the council.

Recent changes to the University Council bylaws now allow Queen’s employees and retirees to nominate recipients, who will be recognized at the University Council annual dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7.   

The guidelines, the nomination form and additional information are available online.

Please submit nominations to the University Council executive committee, care of the University Secretariat, by Thursday, April 30, 2015 at 4 pm

Please contact the University Secretariat at ucouncil@queensu.ca or 613-533-6095 if you have questions about the Distinguished Service Award or the nomination process.

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