November 2017

Message from the Chair: Pride Points, Employee Assistance Program, and Problem Solving Opportunities

Christopher Maier, Staff Senate. Photo by Creative Services/George Mason University

Dear Colleagues,

As the representative body for more than 3,200 Mason staff members, the Staff Senate often hears about what is wrong at Mason. We welcome those concerns. But every so often, we each need to ask ourselves: What is right at Mason? And how can those positive attributes translate into improvements in our work satisfaction?

That fundamental question was part of a productive conversation at our Staff Senate meeting on November 1. We invited back Frank Neville, chief of staff and vice president for communications and marketing, to discuss “Points of Pride” that Mason employees have cited in surveys about the institution.

Below is the list compiled by Neville and Shernita Parker, director of organizational development, learning, and coaching, both of whom shared their insights at the meeting. The list below includes a couple of suggestions that came out of our discussion.














Does this list capture the points that make you proud to work at Mason? To check, fill in these blanks with top-of-mind answers:

I like Mason because . . .
I can help Mason transform into . . .
Mason is . . . to me.

This might strike you as a touchy-feely exercise. Maybe it is. But identifying the ways you take pride in where you work is important. We all know that workplace satisfaction cannot—and should not—hinge entirely on compensation, even though salaries continue to be our top priority with university officials and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Please share your thoughts regarding pride points by clicking here. We are soliciting feedback on this topic until the close of business on December 1.

In a related part of this process, please join us on December 6 in Merten Hall, Room 1201, at 10:30 a.m. for our next Staff Senate meeting. Bring your concerns and frustrations regarding work with you. We have invited Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Pat Donini and Shernita Parker to talk about the framework for “When things work well, what does it look like?”  We are going to approach issues from a positive angle to try to turn problems into solutions. Join us!

Help for staff members

Also at our meeting this week, Vice President for Human Resources Linda Harber and Shernita Parker shared information about Employee Assistance options at Mason.

Please be aware of what employee services—financial and otherwise—are available to you. Particularly now. We are easing into the holiday season when finances can become tight, emotions can heighten, and everyone is away from their work support systems with two breaks. The relatively underutilized Employee Assistance Program can be a tremendous resource for you. If you, or a fellow Mason employee, is struggling financially, please seek confidential assistance with Employee Relations and Employee Assistance.

Think of the availability of these services just as you would your medical insurance plan—as a valuable resource that you earn and pay for as a Mason employee.

Thank you!

Very Respectfully,

Christopher Maier
Chair, Staff Senate