Students, staff help inform new proposals on student service experience enhancements

An event held earlier this year gave students and staff at York University an opportunity to review proposals for service experience enhancements within the Division of Students and Faculty Advising offices.

Participants in the Service Excellence Drop-In Prototyping Event

The all-day Service Excellence Drop-In Prototyping Event was hosted by the Division of Students Service Excellence Working group, and was held prior to the COVID-19-related campus closure on March 12.

Students and staff dropped in to learn about the human-centred design mindset behind the project

During the event, students and staff dropped in to learn about the human-centred design mindset behind the project, and walk through a “gallery” of the proposals. This set-up encouraged conversations and led to valuable feedback on the practices, technology and workplace culture elements that aim to strengthen student service experiences within the Division of Students and Faculty Advising offices.

The proposals at the event were built from two earlier design thinking phases that respond to the question, “What conditions do we need to act on our service experience principles?” The service experience principles were developed by more than 350 staff and students, and include:

  1. Respect one another
  2. Value each other’s time
  3. Always do you best
  4. Help each other succeed

Each of these principles were broken down into behaviours and competencies to respond to unmet needs in service experiences.

See the Service Excellence PowerPoint presentation here.

Denise Favreau, student financial advisor, Student Financial Services and member of the Service Excellence Working Group, said the event “buzzed with energetic passion as staff eagerly and excitedly shared their thoughts and desires regarding bringing the working concepts to life.

“Student and staff engagement is essential,” she said. “It is the pinnacle factor in achieving the goals of working concepts, as the working concepts are tools designed for staff and students to better support each other and other community members. For a tool to be successful, users must want to utilize the tool. Student and staff engagement will continuously power and accelerate the working concepts forward.”

Some of the feedback from participants at the event

David Ip Yam, project director, Student Service Excellence, appreciates how student and staff communities have embraced the initiative and how events like these have been successful in spreading the word across the university.

“One of the things that we’re proud of is that we’ve been able to create a real buzz around the student service excellence initiative,” he said. “Even during the pandemic, over 200 staff have engaged with our learning sessions to reflect on virtual service delivery to students and others. We’ve also moved forward with some of the proposals from the working concept. Excellence is a journey, not an end, so continued commitment and engagement from all is imperative.”

The Working Group has been busy reviewing and analyzing the feedback to implement the proposals, and will kick off with the creation of a staff-facing online toolkit for service excellence and a student service excellence learning and development series from July 20 to 24.

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