PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh State's Civility in the Workplace Steering Committee is taking steps to ensure a positive working environment for the college's employees.
The committee is striving to educate workers on bullying and civility in the workplace, with the help of a roughly $5,000 grant from the New York State/United University Professions Joint Labor-Management Committees and matching funds contributed by the Office of Plattsburgh State President John Ettling and Plattsburgh United University Professions.
As part of the initiative, the group recently conducted an anonymous survey of about 975 Plattsburgh State employees, 288 of whom responded.
Marguerite Adelman, director of graduate admissions at the college and a member of the Workplace Steering Committee, explained in an email that the survey was intended to assess staff perceptions regarding civility and abuse issues among employees.
"The goals of the survey were many, but the overarching goal was to be proactive in helping SUNY Plattsburgh to maintain a healthy and productive work environment for all its employees," Adelman said.
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Of those who responded to the survey, 99 percent said a civil workplace is important or very important.
When asked how Plattsburgh State rated overall for civility, 41 percent said very good, 36 percent said good, 16 percent said average and 7 percent chose fair or poor.
The survey results indicate that the five most common instances of incivility on campus are coworkers showing up late or leaving meetings early; not responding to an email, phone call or letter; not attending faculty or departmental meetings; neglecting to say hello, please or thank you; and not volunteering to help with job-related projects.
Steering Committee member Bethanne Delgaudio told members of the College Council at its recent meeting that the committee hopes to foster an increasingly team-oriented environment among coworkers on campus.
To aid in that goal, the group has planned voluntary workshops for college employees intended to help participants identify specific civility issues, work together to find solutions and learn positive communication techniques.
"We must all work together to continuously reinforce that negative behavior will not be tolerated in the workplace," said Delgaudio, director of teacher certification and graduate advising.
Another task of the committee is to distribute educational materials about workplace civility across campus.
"We're going to do a follow-up survey at the end of the year to see if there's any change," Adelman told the College Council.
In addition, she said, the committee is developing a separate survey on civility among Plattsburgh State students that it hopes to conduct via email within the next month.
"The committee was excited about the possibility of involving students in the research and in the overall initiative," she said.
"It is hoped that future classes will work with the Civility in the Workplace Steering Committee to continue and expand on this campaign."
Email Ashleigh Livingston at: email@example.com