Georgia Tech Brings Values to Everyday Life
Last fall, Georgia Tech introduced a new 10-year strategic plan, grounded in a new mission statement and nine strategic values. In his annual Institute Address, President Ángel Cabrera said, “The mission and the values are not just words on paper. They describe who we are and who we aspire to be every day.”
For the new year, Georgia Tech will seek to advance our values with a new campaign called Living Our Values Every Day (L.O.V.E. GT). The objective is to help the entire community bring our values to life in tangible ways that allow us to fulfill the objectives we set forth in the strategic plan. Regardless of a person’s role — student, faculty, staff, alumni, or affiliate — all of us can contribute by serving as examples of our values in our interactions with one another and with the communities we serve.
“When we were creating the strategic plan we held appreciative inquiry sessions and found there is so much pride in being connected with Georgia Tech across all the job spectrums from the administrative support staff to the landscaping staff to faculty,” said Sonia Alvarez-Robinson, executive director of Georgia Tech Strategic Consulting. “Our love for Georgia Tech is what will bring us together. Even where we have ideological differences, we have to find common agreement on how we live our values as an organization every day.”
To accomplish the ambitious goals of the strategic plan, having a campus culture that supports Institute values will be critical.
“We pay attention to the things that are rewarded,” Alvarez-Robinson said. “So, it’s important to establish and accept the standards for behaviors and practices in our community. And in order for the values to really be part of the fabric of the Institute, we have to hardwire them into our jobs.”
Values-Based Goal Setting
As employees prepare to set their goals for this year, Georgia Tech Human Resources (GTHR) and its strategic partners will support employees with incorporating the shared commitment to Georgia Tech’s mission. One example: GTHR has developed a values-based goal setting template that includes Tech’s nine strategic values.
This is a change from how employees previously set their goals. The new template includes details on the difference between expectations and goals, examples of creating values-based S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) goals, and the responsibilities of both employee and supervisor in the process.
A values-based goal states two things: 1) what we will focus on during the coming year and 2) how we will get the work done. Here is an example of this new goal setting: Organize and manage the portfolio of Institute initiatives to advance the Institute Strategic Plan by using a collaborative [We celebrate collaboration], inclusive [We thrive on diversity], and student-centered approach [Students are our top priority] that leverages the use of Smartsheets technology [We champion innovation] to track progress of reliable data points from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021 [We strive for excellence].
For the 2020 review period, employees will use the same performance appraisal template. However, as we continue to work in a pandemic environment, GTHR wants to ensure easy access to our performance management forms for those who may be working remotely. As such, the performance appraisal form is currently available on-line and is in a new Docusign format. The new values-based goal setting template form will also be placed in a Docusign format.
To account for this new standard, GTHR has updated the performance appraisal process for 2020 with new deadlines. For detailed information, visit: hr.gatech.edu/performance-management.