Staff members and supervisors encouraged to conduct 'informal conversations' by end of month

Princeton NJ -- As part of an effort to make the University a better place to work, staff members and supervisors are being encouraged to strengthen communication in the workplace. The first step in that endeavor is for all staff members to have an informal conversation about their work with their supervisor by the end of March.

Senior Vice President for Administration Charles Kalmbach outlined the process in a Feb. 10 e-mail message to staff. "Many of you already engage in this kind of informal dialogue," he wrote. "For others, this is not a normal practice. Either way, the conversation is an important opportunity for each of us to improve communication and create a better place to work."

The memo explained that the conversation is not part of the annual performance appraisal. The focus is intended to be on "future growth, not past performance," Kalmbach wrote. "It creates an opportunity to discuss, openly and informally, how to make your experience working at Princeton better, and to help you become more effective in your job."

He proposed several questions that might form the basis for such a conversation:

•How are things going for you in your job?
•Is there something that makes it difficult for you to do your job or gets in your way?
•What can your supervisor do to help you do your best work?

He provided a link to the Department of Human Resources Web site at, where additional information is available. The department also scheduled five information sessions for those who supervise employees to discuss the importance of having the informal conversations.

By the end of February, he said, more than 100 of the 238 unit supervisors who are members of the Admini- strative and Academic Managers Group indicated that they had conducted the conversations with all of their employees. "Our goal is to have 100 percent participation," said Kalmbach, who noted that President Tilghman has set an example and spoken with all of the people who report directly to her. "We are well on the way to accomplishing this important objective."



March 10, 2003
Vol. 92, No. 19
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Page one
Architecture students get concrete lesson in how buildings are made
Study: High-density storage of nuclear waste increases risk

George talks bioethics with Chirac amid U.S.-French tensions
Seniors embark on service projects with funding from ReachOut 56
Visitors section added to home page
Grant supports scientific analysis of security issues

Spotlight, briefs
Staff members and supervisors encouraged to conduct 'informal conversations' by end of month

Calendar of events
Nassau Notes
By the numbers: Early endowment

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