August 28, 2019

Dean's Message: ModernThink, an opportunity for improvement

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First and foremost, I’d like to thank everyone who completed the ModernThink survey sent out earlier this year. The School of Medicine had an impressive participation rate of 46%, and I appreciate so many of you taking the time to thoughtfully respond. I also want to share some information about the results.

I’m pleased to tell you that there is a lot of good news. For one, our topline measurements were very good with all categories falling in the good to excellent range. We also had low variability across our employee categories, which is indicative of a consistent experience across the SOM. Our highest positive score came in relation to the statement “I understand how my job contributes to this institution's mission.” I’m especially proud that the vast majority of our school’s employees know that their everyday efforts are contributing to our overall mission and the greater good.

Additionally, SOM employees largely feel that our institution actively contributes to the community, are proud to work for the UAB School of Medicine, and believe that we have placed adequate emphasis on achieving a diverse working environment. All of our “Top Ten” scores can be viewed here. Please know that while I am glad that we’ve done well in these areas, we will maintain our dedication to them and will work to keep these measurements high as they are vital to our general success.

In relation to our lowest 10 scores, I want to paint an honest picture. While I feel that the SOM is moving in an exciting and positive direction, I want you to know that your critiques have been heard. For one, many of you have some concerns over recognition and award programs. My leadership team understands the importance of recognition and has already begun re-evaluating some of our existing award structures. Furthermore, some of you felt that you’re lacking in the ability to contribute to larger school decisions and don’t feel that changes are always adequately communicated ahead of time. In the coming days, you will see an email from me about my IDEA survey results, in which I will speak more in depth about how I plan to alleviate those particular apprehensions.

You can see the full list of our “Bottom Ten” scores here. Please know that I do not take these issues lightly and that leadership is paying attention. That being said, I want to invite some feedback from all of you. By the end of the year, SOM leadership will create two to three goals to directly address topics named in our bottom ten scores. I’d like all of you to help us determine which to prioritize and also offer up any constructive suggestions. You can send this feedback through the “Ask the Dean” button on our website. I promise that all suggestions and comments will be taken into consideration, and I look forward to sharing an update in the months to come.