June 19, 2019Print | PDF
Good morning everyone and welcome to our ninth annual Staff Development Day.
I want to begin by thanking and recognizing everyone here for your contributions in making Laurier such an exceptional place to work and learn.
I think that the last two weeks of convocation celebrations demonstrate pretty clearly how our staff go above and beyond to build up Laurier’s thriving community.
I saw many of you volunteering your time in Brantford and Waterloo to ensure a memorable graduation experience for our students and their families and friends. Thank you for your commitment.
It is the quality and engagement of the people at Laurier that makes our university community so strong and collaborative.
Our Staff Development Day aims to recognize this and we hope that you take this time to focus on yourself and your professional and personal development.
As Pam mentioned, this year’s theme for the day is Inspiring Courage.
The sessions today will encourage you to look at new ways of doing things, find the inspiration to take risks, and develop the resilience to navigate challenges.
As you know, this past year we asked staff and faculty to participate in an Employee Engagement Survey.
While we scored remarkably high in the areas of teamwork, communication and collaboration, we also saw there is room for improvement in the area of innovation in the workplace.
We hope that the sessions today inspire you to incorporate more creativity and innovation into your roles and to speak up if you have fresh ideas for how to do things.
With our newly approved Laurier Strategy that features the two interconnected themes of thriving community and future-readiness, there are many opportunities to examine our current processes and structures and improve upon them.
I am looking forward to working with all of you and hearing your ideas as we seek to innovate and evolve our university and implement the Laurier Strategy.
An important part of fostering a culture of innovation is creating a supportive environment where people feel empowered to take risks.
In my own experience, I know that supportive colleagues and mentors have helped me find the courage and resilience I needed to embark on new projects or accomplish seemingly insurmountable tasks.
Last week in my convocation address to graduates, I spoke of my own experience completing my doctoral studies.
In the middle of it all, I hit a wall. The passion that had driven me to that point had vanished.
However, my graduate supervisor did the best thing he could for me – he expressed his confidence in my abilities, and offered mentorship and guidance.
It was this supportive environment that gave me the courage and resilience to continue.
I encourage you as Laurier staff members to build on our exceptional community and support each other in taking risks and finding new ways of doing things.
Be open to ideas and foster an environment where you can respectfully and thoughtfully challenge each other.
This creates the best conditions for personal and professional growth and makes our university a better place.
Thank you once again for all you do for Laurier.
I hope that you have a fantastic day!
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