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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
A newsletter header image with an image of Dan Bollman behind the title 'The Details with Dan Bollman'

New shoes for everyone!

July 15, 2016

Do you know the old saying about everybody having new shoes except the cobbler’s own children? It’s an example of how easy it is to put all your attention on everyone “out there” while overlooking needs that are right under your nose.

At IPF, we’re all very dedicated to making sure our customers have what they need. It’s in our vision statement—to be the most high-performing, innovative, leading-edge facilities organization in the nation, with a focus on quality, customer satisfaction and value in all we do. And it’s one of our strategic objectivesimprove the customer experience by strengthening key systems.

But another of our strategic objectives is to strengthen employee development by creating a comprehensive pipeline of T-shaped individuals. The truth is, we can’t have one without the other. IPF can’t deliver excellent customer service if you—our employees—don’t have the training, tools, support and leadership you need to be successful.

That’s why on August 1, all regular, full-time IPF employees will get an email asking you to take a survey to find out what your experience as an IPF employee is like. The survey is your opportunity to tell us how you feel about your work environment and the support you get from your supervisor and IPF’s senior leadership. What’s the best way for you to get important information? How do you feel about IPF’s “culture”? Do you have everything you need to do your best work? I could try to guess the answers, but I probably wouldn’t be any more successful than the cobbler who tries to guess his children’s shoe sizes without bothering to measure.

There are some questions I can answer, however. For instance, is the survey anonymous? Yes. IPF isn’t even administering the survey. An independent group called Studer Education is giving the survey and receiving all the responses. How will the survey responses be used? Studer Education will provide reports on the aggregated results so that IPF can identify areas of employee concern and figure out how to respond. Survey results definitely WON’T be used in anyone’s performance evaluation! Will the results be shared? Yes. Through a roll-out process, survey results will be shared with everyone at IPF. Larger departments will receive department-specific results, while small departments will receive results at the advisory team member level (to preserve anonymity).

Here’s the bottom line: the survey really is anonymous, and you should feel very comfortable giving truthful, complete answers to the questions. At the same time, this isn’t a “gotcha’” opportunity. It’s not about trying to get someone in trouble.

I can’t require you to take the survey, but our goal is no less than 100 percent participation. So I’m asking—please take a few minutes to complete the survey when you get the email from Studer. Your input is very important to IPF and to me.

Until next time,


P.S. And as always, if you have something you want to share, suggest or complain about, send it to