As of the start of 2021, Human Resources and People Development have become two autonomous groups with one shared vision. Two individuals stand at the forefront of this change: Brenna Leising, who has been appointed the role of Associate Vice President of Human Resources, and Associate Vice President Jason Weber, who leads the newly-titled Office of People and Values. While Leising is new to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) team, she and Weber both find this transition to be a natural one, signifying the importance of both areas within this institution.
“While development is traditionally housed under the Human Resources umbrella, moving People Development to its own office signifies the level of importance and commitment by TTUHSC to our team members in this area,” said Leising. “Likewise, it allows for Human Resources to be clearly defined for all our services and partnership in core human resources areas.”
The Office of People and Values, formerly known as the Office of People Development, has undergone a name change to more accurately depict the impact that the department provides. Weber explained that the Office of People and Values will focus on developing new initiatives that benefit team members of all levels across TTUHSC.
“We are wanting to provide opportunities to help develop the skill sets of our team members, ” said Weber. “While our scope is different, we will still maintain our collaborative relationship to ensure we are offering programs that will give the most impact to the organization.”
Making room for growth
On the surface, these two teams might seem quite similar—but each takes on a major role in supporting team members at TTUHSC.
“Our aim is to provide additional opportunity for all team members to operationalize and live our values in all interactions,” Weber said, explaining that now there will be a department exclusively focused on bettering the professional pursuits of each member of the TTUHSC community, at every level.
Leising, on the other hand, clarified the core of Human Resources as focusing on areas such as employee relations, operational support, benefits, compensation and workforce planning.
“What this change means for team members is they now have a whole department they know is dedicated to their development and learning in their careers,” said Leising, emphasizing that the two offices will still harness a collaborative approach, which will make it easy for members of the TTUHSC community to navigate between the two groups.
“If someone isn’t sure where to go, either of our offices will still be more than happy to help and guide them in the right direction,” said Leising. “Human Resources and People & Values still remain very close partners and collaborators in supporting all our TTUHSC team members in any way we can.”
Human Resources: information and support for all team members
Associate Vice President Brenna Leising
Within the coming year, Human Resources has many major aspirations that Leising is excited to take on. In particular, Leising envisions a primary focus on providing efficient, accessible information for all TTUHSC team members.
“Many of my team’s initiatives are centered around ease-of-use, proficiency, accessibility of information for all employees, and additional support to management on specific human resources topics,” said Leising, citing the new PASS system, which will eliminate paper forms and associated lag-time for positions, reclassifications and salary reviews. She also mentioned projects such as employee dashboards with on-demand information, refreshing HR assistance in employee-relations issues, and launching a new method of recruitment support.
“All of these projects are purposeful in demonstrating our commitment to both our TTUHSC family and in being One Team who provides Beyond Service,” said Leising.
People & Values: cultivating professionalism and leadership
Associate Vice President Jason Weber
The new name is not the only change implemented within the Office of People and Values. With it, the department plans to roll out several new initiatives in 2021.
“Our aim for 2021 is to provide new ways to operationalize our core values,” said Weber, who referred to a new training and development podcast as an example. Titled Creating Us, the podcast will focus on each of the 23 behaviors identified within the five core values.
“All team members will see additional collaboration opportunities through our development programs, monthly training sessions, and other growth initiatives,” Weber said.
This year will also bring about three new leader development programs, each with its own unique set of opportunities: the Values-Based Leader Initiative, the Emerging Leaders Program for developing new supervisors, and the Innovative Leader Program, which will launch this summer. In partnership with the Texas Tech University (TTU) Office of Innovation & Research and the TTU Innovation Hub, the Innovative Leader Program will be application-based and open to all team members.
Building on TTUHSC’s culture and vision
Despite the clear difference in aspirations for the coming year, these two teams are united in their dedication to TTUHSC’s vision and values-based culture. While the Office of People and Values has changed its name to reflect the significance of the core values, Weber highlights the importance of those values for the institution as a whole, not just within the department.
“One of the main reasons we engaged in the name change is that we wanted to elevate the position our institutional values play in everything we do,” Weber explained. “While we don’t own the values and are not the only team developing our values-based culture, everything we do is rooted in our values.”
TTUHSC’s vision—to transform health care through innovation and collaboration—is also an enormous part of what drives these offices. Leising attributes the vision to HR’s commitment to communication and support for all team members.
“Human Resources is a large part of communicating, living, promoting, and creating a sustainable environment where a values-based culture can thrive,” said Leising. “That requires being collaborative and innovative in our own processes, practices and interactions.”
Leising added that effective support from HR allows everyone involved to have the necessary materials to focus on collectively reaching TTUHSC’s vision.
“By helping all our team members—staff and faculty alike—everyone will have more information and time to focus on their strategic priorities for the vision.” Leising said.
Supporting a great university
Though they are focused on separate aspects of TTUHSC, both teams are excited about what the future holds. Their constant quest for the betterment of the institution comes from a deep understanding of what makes TTUHSC special. For Leising, a large part of what motivates these offices is the desire to support what TTUHSC already has to offer and make the accomplishments of the university known.
“I wish more people knew about all the programs, research, efforts, and great people that are here at TTUHSC. Our university has purpose, vision, and values, which is a rarity,” said Leising.
“Our university contributes so much to our community and the future, and I wish more people knew that—even outside of Texas. The great thing is that as we work toward our vision and keep working at our values-based culture, TTUHSC will become a name known for our innovation and leadership in education. It is merely a matter of when, not if.”