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While I wear a lot of hats, I think my most important job is managing “The D’Amore-McKim Talent Studio.” Nearly 400 people strong, our faculty/staff community helps shape the next generation of impactful leaders through discovery, learning, and engagement. I truly believe they are the heart and soul of all that we do here at D’Amore-McKim.

Enhancing workforce engagement is one of my critical priorities, as I believe it should be at all organizations. To that end, our school engaged in an initiative around workplace culture last year, which resulted in the formation of Innovation Teams (iTeams). Thirty-six members of our community worked together to create and present a detailed plan that suggested some paths forward. The fact that 36 people volunteered and invested their time to this effort to better ourselves shows our community’s passion and purpose, and I’m deeply humbled by their generosity.

So much has happened since these iTeams presented to our community last year – both at Northeastern and the world around us. Regardless, we have made some real progress in several key areas of improvement suggested by our iTeams colleagues. While there have been more than a few speedbumps along the way, we’ve tried to be diligent about following through on what could be accomplished during this time of disruption and uncertainty.

Today I’d like to share some highlights that showcase what has been accomplished to date in four critical areas:

Improve Strategic Communications & Transparency 

  • Our strategic vision calls for us to invest in programs focused on leading and managing digital convergence, and our external stakeholders are reacting positively to our vision. We have been sharing this progress through all of our channels, including in the “Dean’s Corner,” our internal newsletters, social media, and a community Microsoft Teams channel. We will continue to share news and information as it develops so everyone feels informed.
  • We have scheduled regular meetings and events to bring the college’s leadership team and individual contributors together to enhance the free flow of information, such as more frequent community Town Halls and unique Lunch & Learn sessions that create awareness for processes and expertise.
  • We are building a strategic dashboard that will provide details on key performance indicators of the college. We’ll keep you posted when it goes live.
  • Unit-based organizational charts are updated monthly and are available to view on the Dean’s Office SharePoint site (a link to these charts is in the footer of all internal newsletter emails). 

Building Community & Enhancing Culture 

  • We will continue to host regular events enabling our community to come together for networking, learning, and fun, including the well-attended Second Tuesday events the aforementioned Lunch and Learn events. These events are drawing rave reviews. We have also been offering frequent virtual sessions that showcase opportunities to enhance teaching efficacy through technology, and there have been some important diversity and inclusion events recently that have been well attended.
  • The D’Amore-McKim Faculty/Staff Microsoft Teams channel was created in March 2020 to increase collaboration and share knowledge and resources; this became incredibly useful while we were all forced to work remotely. 
  • We launched the Shining Star Award so that any member of our community to formally recognize a colleague for exemplary performance, and we hosted a fun Employee Appreciation event earlier this summer.
  • Social and interest groups have been formed, including the D’Amore-McKim Social Clubs Microsoft Team. Support is being provided for enhanced college sustainability efforts, and we’re working on building a community service committee.

Workforce & Technology

  • We understand that our community is interested in more flexible options for work, including work from home. We are reviewing remote options that can be utilized now and in the future that can be applied across our units. 
  • To help in this push toward flexibility, we ensured that everyone who needed technology to work from home received what they needed, and cell phones were distributed to frontline employees who are not in the office during the pandemic and subsequent campus density restrictions.  

Professional Development 

  • We will soon be sharing some aggregated Northeastern Professional Development opportunities that will help staff members work with their managers to gain access to key skills for enhancing their careers; knowledge gained during the process can also be leveraged during the annual review process.
  • D’Amore-McKim fully supports all members who want to work toward a degree at Northeastern. The recent Staff Pursuing Degrees at NU Panel event, for instance, was intended to enhance this effort.

I feel extremely positive about the hard work we are collectively doing to make D’Amore-McKim a great place to work, but Rome was not built in a day. They say it takes a village, and in this case, it will take a college full of people committed to a common vision and values. Again, I want to thank the iTeam representatives for their work to ensure that we enhance faculty and staff engagement at D’Amore-McKim. I’m deeply humbled by their generosity and spirit of service.

I continue to be thankful for each and every one of our faculty and staff members, and I look forward to continuing this important work together.

Raj Echambadi
Dunton Family Dean
D’Amore-McKim School of Business

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