Meeting the challenge of sustained staff engagement was the theme of the sixth annual Voices of the Staff meeting.
Hosted June 4 at Radrick Recreation Area, the event incorporated team building and problem-solving activities using the recreation area’s Challenge Program course. Associate Vice President for Human Resources Laurita Thomas and fellow Voices of the Staff members welcomed two keynote speakers, Lloyd Carr, former football coach, and Tony Denton, senior associate director and chief operating officer for U-M Hospitals and Health Centers.
Carr spoke about the importance of being an active member in an organization and how every member of a team contributes valuable assets and individual skills to enrich a group experience.
“When I listened to Lloyd Carr speak, it was easy to see why so many people wanted to perform well for him, on and off the field,” said Leadership Development team member Eric Bain, business manager for UMHS Environmental Services. “Coach Carr expressed the importance of genuinely investing in people, and whether you are competing for a National Football Championship or to become a better place to work, the message remains the same: everyone needs to work together.”
Denton commended the Voices of the Staff participants for their continuing commitment to staff initiatives and encouraged everyone to keep working toward their goals in individual teams and as the Voices of the Staff community.
Following the keynote, Carr and Thomas recognized the winners of the Voices Champion Awards by presenting trophies to six individuals and teams:
• Provost Teresa Sullivan
• Joel Slemrod, professor of business economics and public policy
• Mary Caldwell, registered nurse at the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers
• Members of the VOICES Diversity Team, for producing a video celebrating the difference that diversity makes at U-M
• Melanie Barnett, senior executive director of executive education at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
• Doug Hovey, business process technology analyst in Financial Operations
The rest of the day focused on Radrick’s Challenge Program, which provided ways for members to interact with one another in an environment that encouraged team building and efficient problem-solving. The VOICES teams participated in various interactive challenges that required cohesive teamwork and clear communication.
The meeting ended with closing remarks from Thomas, who expressed her excitement about the difference that VOICES’ members make in fostering a positive atmosphere at U-M.
Betty Roon, registered nurse, University Hospital, on connecting with terminally ill patients and their families: “Just sitting with them and being an advocate for them — it’s just an honor.”
Seeking a Pleasant Peninsula: A Century of Travel & Vacationing in Michigan photo and brochure exhibit, Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Bentley Historical Library.