Focus on People Updates

Recognition and Staff Engagement in Enrolment Services

Submitted by Coby Thurmeier, Instructional Designer, Learning & Development, Enrolment Services

In early 2014, a cross-functional team in Enrolment Services engaged colleagues in a number of creative and interactive activities to uncover what we collectively value, what motivates us to work in ES, and what our shared values are in an effort to define our Enrolment Services Mission and Vision.
ES Mission Vision

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While we share a common vision and mission, we don’t all occupy the same space, so we’ve found creative ways to ensure that we stay connected and maintain our strong sense of community.

ES Wellness Afternoon

We recognize and value the importance of investing in the health and wellness of our staff.  Promoting and supporting wellness initiatives leads to a happy and productive workplace; staff become more engaged and connected with work, colleagues and the community.

This summer, we’ll hold our 3rd annual ES Wellness Afternoon – the first of which was made possible by the Healthy Workplace Initiative! We all look forward to the afternoon in mid-August when we come together for a few hours of learning, creativity, and fun. Campus partners like the Belkin Art Gallery, CIRS building, Beatty Biodiversity Museum, and UBC Rec have helped provide variety of activity options like bike tours of campus, guided visits, and Pilates instruction. Many ES staff members have shared their talents by teaching others to knit and how to create objects through up-cycling, and leading yoga practice.

learning-to-knit-from-our-colleague Bocce-at-ES-Wellness-afternoon

The annual ES Wellness Afternoon is just one way in which we demonstrate our commitment to building a culture that values the wellbeing of our team members.  Throughout the year, staff have flexibility in their work day to allow them to participate in a variety of wellness activities such as, SRC classes, walking groups and staff organized yoga sessions.

ES Connected

Staff from both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses works together to create our monthly newsletter and blog. It’s a space to welcome new team members, celebrate achievements and milestones, and show off pets.

ES Stand-Up Meetings

Held monthly on both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, the informal gatherings begin with an open invitation from Kate Ross, AVP, Enrolment Services and Registrar, to provide project updates, recognize staff, and share information with colleagues. This is yet another forum that provides the opportunity for all voices from ES to be heard, and is one of the many ways that the ES leadership demonstrate that ‘every team member is valued’.

Drawing inspiration from our mission and vision, we’ve developed a leadership profile. It defines the qualities and attributes we aim to embody in Enrolment Services, creating a leaderful organization.  As we continue the work  to ‘live’ our mission and vision, all ES team members  are committed to doing great work in every area.  Our individual contributions are what makes Enrolment Services a successful, empowered place to work.


About Enrolment Services (ES)

With over 150 staff members across two campuses, Enrolment Services works closely with prospective and current students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our work includes: supporting academic governance, recruiting domestic students, assisting students with their finances, scheduling courses and exams, and providing stewardship of the Student Information System and the academic record.


Do you have a recognition idea or experience to share? Submit it for a chance to win a Starbucks card.

Recognition Thank-You Cards in Human Resources

Submitted by Stephanie Thorpe, PD Funds Coordinator, UBC Human Resources

fop-hr-board-recognitionFriday is National Employee Appreciation Day. A personalized thank-you card is a simple and thoughtful way to let colleagues know you appreciate them and what they do.

In Human Resources, we recently created an interactive display with the recognition poster in the HR Department reception lounge. We attached an envelope stuffed with printed thank-you cards to the poster, and invited people (both HR colleagues and visitors) to help themselves to the cards. It was fantastic to see the cards disappearing from the envelope and being used to communicate gratitude and appreciation in our department and other areas of UBC!

Shortly after the poster was displayed, we had a Central HR all-staff meeting. I was really impressed with the presentations and I wished to congratulate my colleagues who presented. The thank-you cards would be a perfect way to show my appreciation of the meaningful and fun ways in which they updated HR on the meeting topics! I took some thank-you cards from the reception lounge display and filled each with a short, personalized note that described what I appreciated about each of my colleagues’ contributions to the meeting. I found it enjoyable to reflect on what they did really well and then express it in writing. After I dropped the thank-you cards off at their desks, each of my colleagues then told me that they really appreciated the notes. It was a true representation of the “Ripple Effect of Recognition” and reinforced the impact that a thank-you can have in the workplace!


Got a recognition idea or experience to share? Submit it for a chance to win a Starbucks card.

Recognition and Staff Engagement in Student Housing & Hospitality Services

Submitted by Andrew Parr, Managing Director, Student Housing and Hospitality Services

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The SHHS team at the Run for the Cure

Student Housing & Hospitality Services (SHHS) is a large and diverse group that includes Food Services, Student Housing, Conferences & Accommodations, and Childcare Services. With over 1,700 employees at the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, employee interaction and recognition across portfolios and effective internal communication can be extremely challenging. In spring 2015 the Outstanding Workplace Committee (OWC) was created to open up more effective internal communications channels and staff recognition opportunities by taking a holistic approach to health and wellbeing in the workplace and help facilitate a positive workplace culture.

The Committee is primarily focused on employee health and wellbeing, employee engagement, internal communication, sustainability awareness and identifying gaps and providing recommendations for workplace improvement, including the very important need for positive recognition and having fun in the workplace.

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The SHHS Staff Appreciation Party and Long Service Awards

The OWC creates opportunity for greater staff health, wellness and engagement in two ways:

  1.  by creating SHHS specific events and communiqués, and
  2. by communicating related on-campus opportunities to all SHHS employees.

Examples of activities that the OWC have organized and launched to date are the SHHS Staff Appreciation Party and Long Service Awards, a joint ice skating party with our colleagues from Athletics and Recreation, Yoga classes, spin classes, blood donor clinics and a Halloween costume contest. Examples of events that the OWC has linked SHHS staff to or created SHHS teams around are the CIBC Run for the Cure, the Vancouver Sun Run, Fair Trade Awareness Week, and  Beach cleanup day.

My thanks to all members of the OWC; it truly is this group that is bringing to life the value of such a committee and through their good work we are already seeing tangible improvements to our workplace culture within SHHS.

Check out the Meet the OWC Team poster [pdf].


Do you have a recognition idea or experience to share? Submit it for a chance to win a Starbucks card.