This past March, York President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton announced the University would be embarking on a journey of organizational redesign. The scope of this work includes the Human Resources (HR) and Finance functions across central units, divisions and Faculties.
As part of the University’s Service Excellence Program (SEP), this work is designed to build on recent process and structural improvements to deliver new benefits to the community. Among these benefits are improved access to high-quality and consistent services, reduced duplication of work to increase staff capacity and clearer career pathways, including new training and development opportunities to support staff growth and progression at York.
“The goal of the Service Excellence Program has always been to improve the York experience for students, faculty, instructors and staff through greater service excellence,” said Sheila Cote-Meek, vice-president equity, people and culture and one of the program’s executive co-sponsors. “These operational improvements in HR and Finance will bring us closer to that goal, while also supporting our institutional priorities.”
The Service Excellence Program’s work builds on previous initiatives at York, including Service Transformation and Project Benchmark. These important legacy projects laid a strong foundation for SEP’s work to progress.
The organizational redesign work underway is intended to further support York’s priorities and enable the University to achieve its strategic goals. It is rolling out across four stages – plan, design, prepare and implement. The program is currently in the design stage, of which comprehensive engagement with the York community is a cornerstone.
In addition to regular engagements with the HR and Finance design working groups, the program is conducting thorough consultations with all (32) central units, divisions and Faculties.
To ensure ample time to collect information, co-create solutions and review options for the future state, each consultation is split into four engagements. The first two engagements are focused on understanding the current state of HR and Finance operations within each unit, while the second two engagements focus on conceptualization and finalization of the future state. The program designed this four-step consultation process to ensure the future state for HR and Finance is tailor-made for York and able to sustain and support its key strategic priorities.
“We know that this work would not be successful without robust engagement with our community,” said Richard Ooi, senior executive officer, Office of the Provost & Vice President Academic. Ooi sits on both the HR and Finance design working groups and has been involved in multiple consultations. “No one understands the inner workings of a unit like those who work within it. The information they provide will help us ensure the future state meets their needs and the evolving needs of York.”
Given the current timelines, the design phase and consultations are projected to continue through to mid-summer.
To underpin these efforts, faculty, instructors and staff who wish to provide feedback or ask questions about the organizational redesign work are encouraged to reach out to the program team. In the coming months, there will be a variety of opportunities for further engagement, including virtual webinars, Q-and-A sessions and a staff network to inform and support change management activities.
Join the Service Excellence Program’s informal advisory group by opting in to the program’s mailing list. Members receive information and provide feedback on the program’s ongoing work, including organizational redesign.