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Chief Learning Officer awards

Invati's Generation University™ program conducted at University of the Pacific was awarded a gold medal for excellence in content at the 2016 Chief Learning Officer's Learning in Practice Awards in September.

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Pacific News

University of the Pacific’s Generation University Program pilot earns Learning Industry top award

Sixteen Pacific staff members participated in the pilot program to improve productivity and working relationships within a multigenerational workplace.
Nov 21, 2016

University of the Pacific has completed a pilot project with Invati Consulting and the Generation University™ training program to increase awareness of and collaboration between multiple generations in the workplace. The program was awarded a gold medal for excellence in content at the 2016 Chief Learning Officer magazine Learning in Practice Awards in September.

As part of Pacific's continuing commitment to faculty and staff professional development and engagement, the university partnered with Invati Consulting to support an interest among Pacific community members for cross-generational learning. The goal of the project was to address issues such as stereotypical opinions and generational differences that contribute to a negative and exclusive culture in cross-generational workplaces. This is especially important in the university environment where the employee base spans every generation from employees having served upwards of 30 and 40 years to current students in their late teens and early 20s.

In 2015, Invati and Pacific performed needs analyses and honed a clear set of business and performance learning objectives and messaging tracks in preparation for a pilot of the Generation University™ program.

The analysis identified two key business impacts: increased turnover with new and younger staff and a recognition and request for training by longer tenured employees to help navigate generational differences. Millennials often felt shut down when they voiced their ideas and when their talent was underutilized. More tenured employees saw new hires as 'kids' and not necessarily 'real staff.'

"Our staff has gone through some significant leadership changes and our office now has at least three generations represented within it. While we are friendly to each other, we are struggling to work effectively as a team due to various communication breakdowns, road blocks and misunderstandings," one study participant noted during the discovery phase.

Sixteen Pacific staff members participated through eight weeks of online and face-to-face learning experiences in the pilot program. Following the training, all participating staff members reported improvements in productivity, engagement and working relationships. They became more capable at working in teams and managing different generations. The program developed everyone's capabilities for driving measurable business impact and culture change.

"From the course work, I have learned that many of the assumptions our society makes about generations are based on fiction, not facts," one participant stated following the eight-week program. "Instead, people are likely to act the way they do because of environmental factors. For this reason, it is important that we know others on an individual level instead of relying on stereotypes."

The cohort experience was particularly beneficial to participants who overwhelmingly responded that the connections made during the program created a unique opportunity to engage with and build cross-generational and business connections across business units/divisions.

"[Generation University] was really thought provoking and helped relieve generational tensions that I was experiencing in my work," commented another member of the cohort.

Generation Pilot Cohort:

Alohna Dever, Development    
Ana Argueta, Career Resource Center                    
Arlene Brown, DeRosa University Center
Ashley Dunnigan, Financial Reporting                    
Beth Rotticci*, Office of Student Leadership                        
Blake Crary, Public Safety                                                                  
Caitlin Sommers, Recreation                                                          
Jennifer Bathe, Eberhardt School of Business
Kristina Ordanza, Learning and Development
Laura Steed, Religious Life
Leslie Rudbeck, Student Leadership and Involvement 
Marshea Pratt, Alumni Relations
Mary Stowes-Knodt, SUCCESS
Ranai Koch, Health Services
Sandy Miller, Eberhardt School of Business
Taylor Sam*, Learning and Development  

Another outstanding feature of the program design was the inclusion of Pacific subject matter experts as facilitators of the face-to-face learning experiences. Special appreciation is extended to the following facilitators and presenters for their participation and support:
Anthony Young*, Alumni Engagement
Ester Rafanan, School of Engineering and Computer Science, CO-OP
Wes Yourth, Athletics
Vice President Patrick Day, Student Life  

*Not currently a staff member at University of the Pacific

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