Celebrate 10 Years at the Broad Art Museum

2022 marks the Broad Art Museum’s 10th anniversary! To celebrate, we sat down with lead museum curator Steven Bridges to discuss what he does for work and what to check out during the festivities!

Question: What does a day in your job look like?

Answer: It can change very drastically day to day. Typically, a day involves quite a lot of meetings, emailing, and a lot of administrative work. My position is to lead the curatorial team in developing, conceptualizing and implementing the exhibition program at the museum. That involves all different kinds of exhibitions from solo exhibitions of individual artists to working with a collection to developing group shows, all different kinds of projects.

Question: What are the current exhibits on display for the anniversary? 

Answer: 

History Told Slant:

We are leading this 2022 anniversary year with a focus on our collection. The collection has been around much longer than the museum itself. Formerly it was a part of the Kresge Art Museum and the collection started even before then. The approach within the exhibition is to confront and address that collections of art along with many other institutions were founded and built in such a way that have privileged white male artists and those perspectives and voices. A lot of the work that we are doing in the museum presently is confronting and trying to change those narratives. 

Recovery:

We have a large commission from the artist Beverly Fishman who is a Michigan native and formerly showed with the museum in 2013. She has two works in the museum collection and we have commissioned two new works that are on view. We are really celebrating her and her work. 

Art Along the River, Grand:

We also have an exhibition that addresses public art both here at the university and also pointing to all the great things that exist within our communities in the Greater Lansing Region. 

Kahlo without Borders:

Finally, we also have an exhibition that looks at Frida Khalo and her relationship with her doctors. It is a very intimate portrait of the artist that offers a lot of new perspective of who she was and her interpersonal relationships and how that influenced her and her work. 

Question: What is the legacy of the Broad that you and your team are highlighting during this celebration?

Answer: These anniversaries are a great time to reflect on the past ten years. There have been many successes and also many challenges. These moments offer the opportunity to look back, to learn, to celebrate the successes, but also think about, what do the next ten years look like? Where do we go from this moment? What are we excited to build on? In terms of the life of museums, ten years is actually pretty young. The legacy has a lot to do with celebrating the history of art and you see that in these collections. 

Question: What do you say to members of the MSU community who have not visited the museum or believe they won’t enjoy it?

Answer: I fully recognize that not everything is for everyone and that is why, with the range of exhibitions we have on view currently, if you don’t like one thing, hopefully there is something else for you to see. There’s options there. At any given time in the museum, there are so many things to take in, to explore, and to push yourself a little bit. If you are unsure, but you are curious about the museum, come inside and explore it for yourself! You might be surprised by what is inside.

Question: Who is the audience for the Broad Art Museum and the 10th anniversary celebration?

Answer: It is very important to me that faculty, researchers, staff and students of the university really know that we are here for them. We are always free and open to the public and whether you come to see the exhibitions or to visit the café and work in the beautiful environment and architecture, we love to have you here. 

The Broad Art Museum turns 10 years old in November, so the exhibitions and celebrations to commemorate the birthday are changing and expanding all year long! Starting in September, the museum will add a new exhibition created to feature the architect of the unique building that catches the attention of so many on campus, designed by Zaha Hadid. Visit the Broad Art Museum’s website for more information on events and exhibitions all through 2022!

Job of the Week: Service Manager III

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is a Service Manager (posting 767419) in the department of Custodial Services through Infrastructure Planning and Facilities. 

This staff member will be responsible for the management of activities of second and third shift custodial operations at MSU. Through this, the chosen candidate will create a culture that values and recognizes initiative and supports diversity and the inclusion of varying beliefs. Other responsibilities include communication with union representatives, oversight of budgeting multiple departmental accounts and delivery of training objectives for all new hires. IPF requests all applicants value people, partners and stewardship and be committed to engaging in high performing, leading edge practices. For a full list of responsibilities, click here

The required qualifications for this position are knowledge normally acquired in the first two or three years in college, technical or vocational school and five to eight years of related experience supervising operational activities. An equivalent combination of education and experience, such as a four year college degree and three to five years of related experience, will also be considered. The desired qualifications include expertise in Microsoft Office 365, knowledge of labor relations best practices, proven customer service skills and experience with workplace management systems such as EBS and FAMIS. The ability to work both independently and in a team and proven communication skills among a diverse population will also be taken into account for hiring. 

Learn more about MSU IPF at https://ipf.msu.edu/. Find more information and apply with a resume by April 5 here. All the latest job postings can be found at careers.msu.edu

Time Management Blog Series: Pomodoro Technique

Are you juggling multiple, competing priorities? Do you feel like you’re busy all the time but are still not getting things done? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Time management is an area where most of us could use additional practice and skills.

Over a series of posts, we’ll highlight various time management techniques to give you different tools to utilize depending on your needs, preferences and work style. The reality is that the best time management technique is the one you’ll actually use and stick with, so give different approaches a try and see what works best for you.

We’ll focus here on leveling up your time management skills with the Pomodoro Technique.

Pomodoro Technique: What It Is

As bizarre as it may seem to think of time management in units of tomatoes (Pomodoro is Italian for tomato), millions of people swear by the Pomodoro Technique. This popular time management method has you alternate pomodoros — focused, 25-minute work sessions — with frequent, short breaks to promote sustained concentration and reduce fatigue and burnout.

Developed in the late 1980s by overwhelmed Italian university student Francesco Cirillo, Cirillo asked himself to commit to just 10 minutes of focused study time. Encouraged by the challenge, he found a tomato/pomodoro shaped kitchen timer, and the Pomodoro technique was born.

How It Works

1 pomodoro = 25-minute focused work session + 5-minute break

  1. Pick one project or task you want to focus on.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on that single task until the timer goes off.
  3. Mark off one pomodoro and record what you completed. Use whatever medium you prefer — perhaps an Excel spreadsheet, a physical notebook or an online project management tool.
  4. Take a five-minute break.
  5. Go back to Step 1 and repeat the process until you’ve completed 4 pomodoros.
  6. Then, take a longer, more restorative break in the 15–30-minute range.

Who Will It Benefit?

While the Pomodoro Technique can work well for just about anyone, it may be an especially good fit if you meet any of these criteria:

  • Distractions often derail your workday.
  • You tend to work past the point of optimal productivity.
  • You are faced with open-ended work that could take unlimited amounts of time.
  • You enjoy gamified goal setting.
  • You frequently overestimate how much you can get done in a day.

Additional Considerations

The core of the Pomodoro Technique focuses on the alternating “sprints” of productive time and rest periods. Applying the following three rules will help you get the most out of each interval.

  1. Break down complex projects. If you’ll need more than four pomodoros to complete a project, the project needs to be divided into smaller, actionable steps. This will help ensure you make clear progress on your projects.
  2. Group small tasks. Tasks that will take less than one Pomodoro should be combined with other quick tasks within one session.
  3. Do not break up a pomodoro once it begins. Once your pomodoro timer starts, be mindful to not check incoming emails, team chats or text messages. Simply note any ideas, tasks or requests that may come up as something to come back to later. Focus solely on the task set aside for the pomodoro.

What if You’re Interrupted?

Some disruptions just can’t be avoided. If this occurs during your pomodoro, address the urgent matter at hand, then take your five-minute break and start again. Cirillo recommends tracking interruptions as they occur and reflecting on how to avoid them in your next session.

What if Your Task Doesn’t Require a Full Pomodoro?

Planning ahead with Step 2 above — grouping small tasks — will help avoid this, but sometimes you’ll finish your given task before your timer goes off. Use the duration of your pomodoro for related learning, skill improvement or increasing your knowledge around the topic.

Tip

You don’t always need to complete four Pomodoro sessions back to back. Even just one or two Pomodoro sessions a day can set the tone to help you feel more focused and productive.

Below are additional resources that may help you establish a time management approach that works for you. Keep an eye out for additional posts in the Time Management Blog Series that dive into the Eisenhower Matrix, Eat the Frog(!) and more. Do you have other time management tips? Share in the comments section — your ideas may be just the thing another person needs to succeed with time management.

Additional Resources

Determining Your Time Management Style (6-minute elevateU video)

Managing Your Time So It Doesn’t Manage You (19-minute elevateU course)

The Power of Habit (HR Organization and Professional Development Instructor-Led Course)

Sources

Collins, Bryan (2020, March 3). The Pomodoro Technique Explained. Retrieved March 20, 2022 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryancollinseurope/2020/03/03/the-pomodoro-technique/?sh=41f602ca3985

Scroggs, Laura. The Pomodoro Technique. Retrieved March 18, 2022 from https://todoist.com/productivity-methods/pomodoro-technique.

Job of the Week: Assistant Director of Corporate Support

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is an Assistant Director of Corporate Support (posting 766902) through University Advancement.

The main role of the assistant director will be to participate as a collaborative member of WKAR radio’s development team. This includes responsibilities such as developing and maintaining relationships with advertising agencies, preparing radio, TV and digital platform content proposals and record keeping. This position also requires frequent underwriting messages and the utilization of industry software for accurate contract entry. For a full list of responsibilities, click here.

The required qualifications for this position include a four-year college degree in communications, marketing, broadcast journalism or a related field and one to three years work experience in fundraising, PR or marketing. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered. Ideally, the chosen candidate will be self-motivated, dynamic, and a strategic thinker with excellent written and verbal communication skills. They would also be experienced in successfully recruiting donors and members, broadcast radio and project management. 

Learn more about MSU University Advancement at https://advancement.msu.edu/. Find more information and apply with a resume, cover letter, writing sample and the contact information for three professional references here. All the latest job postings can be found at careers.msu.edu.

Job of the Week: Manager of Public Programming – Exhibitions Manager

This week, MSU Human Resources is featuring an open position with the MSU Museum. The MSU Museum is seeking a Manager of Public Programming – Exhibitions Manager (job posting 765811). This is a support staff position under Provost and Academic Affairs.

Reporting to the Creative Director, the Manager of Public Programming will develop, implement, and evaluate educational and outreach programming stemming from the Museum’s division for innovation and experimentation. The position requires an ability to effectively and diplomatically work with individuals and groups from all over the community. The projects, programs, and initiatives for such a position will naturally vary in scale from intimate to expansive, with a spectrum of engagement expectations that range from scholarly presentations to large-scale projects that engage the broader campus community and extended public, many of whom may not be routine museum-goers. A lively balance of programs that deepen understanding, build audiences and push the boundaries on what it means to be a 21st-century interdisciplinary museum is expected. A detailed list of duties and responsibilities can be found here.

The candidate selected for this role will have a four-year college degree or equivalent experience in science communications, the arts or humanities, or a related field. They should also have three or more years of experience related to exhibitions in a museum, gallery, or foundation. Additional desired experience includes project planning, budget development, contract negotiation, and supervisory experience.

Learn more about the MSU Museum at https://museum.msu.edu/. To apply for this position, you will need a resume, cover letter, and three professional references. Click here to apply by April 5, 2022. All the latest job postings can be found at careers.msu.edu.

5 Ways to Engage with Your Performance Evaluation Beyond an Annual Review

Part of MSU’s appeal as a residential, land-grant institution is our vast array of programs, specializations and priorities — not just for students, but for staff and faculty. This diversity makes us great, and it also requires a need for case-by-case definitions of success and achievement from unit to unit, and from person to person.

All of us working during the pandemic have experienced disruption in our duties and routines and have been required to redefine our roles, goals and accomplishments. The disruptions have occurred in many forms: unplanned shifts in personal and family needs and routines, workforce changes and university realignments, a radically updated and still unpredictable professional and social landscape. Your resilience, adaptability and growth during these times, and always, is remarkable and worthy of recognition.

One way to ensure you, your supervisor and the university are recognizing and recording your efforts is to tell your story through the Performance Excellence (PE) process. When many of us in non-supervisory, support staff roles discuss PE at MSU, we’re thinking of a supervisor-led annual review. In reality, PE encompasses an ongoing cycle of:

  1. Performance Planning — Goal Setting and Development Planning
  2. Continuous Feedback, Coaching and Development
  3. Annual Review — Collaborative Meeting with Employee and Supervisor Contributions

Below are suggestions for ways to engage as an employee in the PE process and tell your story with confidence.

1) Set SMART, HARD Goals and Find Ways to Measure Them

On one hand, we know each employee’s experience and accomplishments extend well beyond quantitative data and one review each year. On the other hand, we also know that specific measurements — especially those backed by accurate, numerical data — are a powerful and widely-accepted way to determine success.

One way to ensure the full picture of your story is told during the PE process is to take the lead when it comes to your own goal setting and measurement. Setting SMART, HARD goals is a great place to start. Consider the following:

  • Your personal goals
  • The goals of your department/unit goals
  • Organization-wide goals/university strategic plan

Goals are not something that should be determined solely by a supervisor and then assigned and evaluated once a year during your review discussion or performance planning session. Generating and adapting goals throughout the year is a collaborative process and one way you can contribute toward the narrative of your achievements.

Read related article: When SMART Meets HARD: Setting Goals that Matter

2) Track and Document Your Accomplishments

Setting and measuring goals is a great place to start, but tracking and documenting your progress toward these goals is key. Block off some time on your calendar to regularly check results, generate data and document your progress in a way that makes the most sense for you and your role. You know your work, efforts and accomplishments better than anyone else, which makes you the ideal person to collect and report out this information.

Read related article: What’s Your Plan? Six Steps to Align Your Goals with What’s Important to You

3) Schedule Regular Check-ins

In this environment of rapid change, it’s more important than ever to regularly check in with your supervisor to discuss progress, review and reevaluate goals, and receive feedback. Regular, continuous coaching allows an opportunity for you to reconnect to your unit’s and the university’s mission and ensure your goals continue to be aligned with this larger vision and objectives.

As a university, we are working to shift the perception of PE from one yearly review to a wider focus on ongoing coaching, feedback and goal setting. There’s no need to wait for your supervisor to schedule a meeting for you to touch base on these topics. You have the option of reaching out to your supervisor and setting up check-ins on a schedule that works for both of you. Even a brief 15-minute check-in can go a long way toward staying on track with goals and sharing the story of your work.

Tips
  • Go to these meetings prepared, with the documented progress and accomplishments mentioned above.
  • Bring questions to help guide the conversation and make the time as useful as possible for both you and your supervisor.

4) Contribute Toward Your Review

Did you know that, as support staff, you have the opportunity to contribute toward all your PE discussions and submit documentation to include along with your official review forms?

Review documentation imaged and kept on file with central HR includes your reviews (annual, probationary and interim) and performance improvement plans. You have the option to include a self-review and/or other statements along with your documents on file. In current times, that may be a COVID Impact Statement that outlines how your work has been disrupted during the past year, along with an overview of how you’ve adapted and what you’ve accomplished despite these challenges. On an ongoing basis, this may be a summary that features the data you’ve been tracking throughout the year to share specific achievements and outcomes.

Tips
  • Keep it brief. Unless documenting extraordinary circumstances, a 1–2-page document will be impactful and share the story of your performance. Due to system storage limitations, submitting a large quantity of documents with your review could possibly lead to some documents being excluded from imaging.
  • Reference any additional documents on the official PE forms. Include a statement within the “Employee’s comments” section of the Annual Review to “See attached ______” (e.g., self-review, list of achievements) and indicate the number of additional documents. This helps central HR know an employee wishes for those documents to be imaged alongside their review.

5) Utilize Your Resources

HR’s Organization and Professional Development (OPD) department offers online PE resources and documents geared toward both employees and supervisors that can help guide and support you in all components of the PE process. OPD is in the process of reworking this online content for greater accessibility, inclusivity and usefulness for all support staff, and we look forward to sharing these changes with you later this year.

Additional, recommended resources are listed below. Your MAU’s HR representative, central HR and OPD, and your union representatives are all available to work with you and help you share your story should you need specific guidance or assistance at any point during the PE cycle.

Recommended Resources

Performance Excellence Resources for Employees

PE Tips and Tools for Employees

Navigating Difficult Conversations in Performance Excellence for Employees (30-minute elevateU virtual course)

Adapting Your Goal-Driven Approach During Times of Change (blog post)

Common Work-Related Goals with Resources to Help You Achieve Them (blog post)

Saving Time by Setting Goals (24-minute elevateU virtual course)

Gaining a Positive Perspective on Feedback (30-minute elevateU virtual course)

OPD Courses for Employees

Don’t Forget Your Optional MSU Benefits and Resources

Like many, during the pandemic, your family has probably experienced an increased need for virtual health care options, mental health resources, and opportunities to save money. MSU is committed to offering valuable benefits to support you and your family. As a benefits-eligible employee, you’re probably aware of MSU’s health and dental care benefit options. However, on top of those, there is a range of optional benefits we’d like to remind you about as well.

Beyond meeting your health care needs, these optional benefits can help you save money on needed products and services. We realize keeping track of all these different resources can be overwhelming. To help, we’ve created the following recap to jog your memory with links to more detailed information to learn more.

This graphic provides a quick summary of these optional benefits (click the image for a PDF version):

Optional benefit programs available:

  • Teladoc: virtually speak with a doctor 24/7 via web, phone or mobile app. They can even write you a prescription if necessary. Employees have described Teladoc as “a game changer,” and particularly helpful during the pandemic (read employee experiences here). If you haven’t already, we recommend you sign up for Teladoc now, so you’re prepared when you need it.
  • Livongo: this diabetes management program provides free supplies delivered right to your door whenever you need it and support with optional virtual coaching. Save time and money on needed supplies. Read an employee’s perspective on Livongo and find instructions to sign up.
  • Teladoc Medical Experts (formerly Best Doctors): get medical advice from experts on your specific medical condition and feel empowered to make the best choice possible for your care. Their Mental Health Navigator tool offers expert advice on the diagnosis and treatment options for mental health conditions. Learn more about the services Teladoc Medical Experts offers.
  • Voluntary Benefits and Employee Discounts: these are optional benefits offered through MSU Benefits Plus. Find insurance offerings such as vision, legal, pet, home/auto, and critical illness (some have enrollment periods). Additionally, there are a variety of discounts on everything from electronics, home goods, meal delivery services and much more.
  • On-Campus Services: save time by getting your MRI, x-ray, or CT scan done right on-campus at MSU Radiology or have the MSU Pharmacy deliver your prescriptions directly to your home if you live within 30 miles of campus (on-campus delivery still available for free). MSU Pharmacy also has an on-campus location you can visit and offers a variety of services to help you manage your prescriptions.

You might not always need or think of these resources but keeping them tucked away can make it easier and more cost-effective to manage your family’s health. As always, if you have any questions about these benefits options, please visit the HR website to learn more or contact the HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.

OPD Course Spotlight — Identify & Maximize Your Strengths

“What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?” ― Donald O. Clifton

How do you build better relationships at work? Find the right role to fit your talents? Have powerful, constructive conversations? Living your best life begins when you tap into your unique talents. Learn to Identify & Maximize Your Strengths in an upcoming workshop with HR Organization and Professional Development.

Identify & Maximize Your Strengths is currently open for registration in the EBS Portal for Wednesday, September 21, or Tuesday, December 13, 2022, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Before this workshop, you will complete Gallup’s CliftonStrengths online assessment to determine your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Then, attend the 4-hour Zoom session to receive your customized assessment results and participate in a series of structured discussions and reflection exercises to develop a deeper understanding of yourself and increased appreciation for others.

“Identify and Maximize Your Strengths is an introduction to the CliftonStrengths framework in which participants will take the assessment and review their results to explore what they naturally do best, identify the impacts of those talents on their work and relationships, and determine how to further develop these areas to be most successful,” explains course co-facilitator, David Robinson, Learning and Development Professional for MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities.

Lean Into Your Strengths

Often, when we think about learning and development, we’re working on our “weaknesses” — areas that could use improvement. One unique aspect of this workshop is its focus on your existing strengths. Discovering your strengths is just the beginning. Applying and investing in them sparks real change and growth.

Danielle Hook, course co-facilitator and Learning and Development Manager for MSU HR Organization and Professional Development, shares, “Identify and Maximize Your Strengths guides participants from the initial understanding of their results through the identification and implementation of strengths-based actions. It is through these actionable steps that we see the deeply meaningful impact of a strengths-based approach to the development of individuals and teams. Using the CliftonStrengths framework, we celebrate the unique talents and contributions of individuals as well as the diversity within our teams.”

Check out a preview of what you can expect from the CliftonStrengths assessment and Identify & Maximize Your Strengths:

Ready to Sign Up?

Register for an upcoming Identify & Maximize Your Strengths session in the EBS Portal by selecting the Courses for Employees at MSU tile under My Career and Training. Contact OPD at prodev@hr.msu.edu with questions about this workshop or inquiries regarding hosting this program for a group.

Put Mental Health First on Employee Appreciation Day and Beyond

Employee Appreciation Day (Friday, March 4, 2022) is an opportunity for MSU employees to reflect on how you prioritize your mental health, how you talk about it with your supervisors, and how supervisors can show appreciation by supporting the mental health of their employees. Emphasize rest and recognition, learn about your self-care preferences and learn how to utilize the resources available to you!

Why we prioritize

Mental health should be treated like physical health. It should be discussed as normally as physical illnesses especially because physical and mental health can be connected. We should prioritize mental health because it has spent so long in the background. To break that cycle, put your mental health first and make it part of your everyday conversations.

Other reasons to prioritize mental health include:

  • Having high job demands makes it easy to put work over mental health, but it is not worth it in the long run
  • In a time of mostly online interactions, some of the natural in-person social interactions that are missing can inadvertently lower well-being
  • Therapy is still stigmatized, and prioritizing mental health helps release that

Self-care ideas

Becoming burnt out at work is easier than you might think, and the best way to tackle or prevent burnout is self-care. Engaging in self-care in the simplest terms is making sure that as you prioritize work, you also prioritize sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Other suggestions for self-care include:

  • Unplugging when social media and news get overwhelming
  • Treat yourself with compassion no matter how you respond to burnout
  • Enjoy the little things like an ice cream cone or some alone time with your pet
  • Close your laptop at the end of the workday and do your best not to open it again until the morning
  • Seek out help from an expert rather than relying on yourself or your team for mental health related answers

Start the conversation with your team

You don’t have to be the supervisor on your team to start a discussion around mental health. Use empathy to address situations regarding mental health and give space your coworkers space to speak openly about their experience. If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation, use the MSU resources linked below and ease into it.

If you are a supervisor, here are four ways you can show appreciation for your team in support of their mental wellbeing:

  1. Show sincere interest in the needs, hopes and dreams of other people
  2. Watch for signs of burnout in yourself and others
  3. Demonstrate a willingness to help others and refer to appropriate resources
  4. Lead with compassion to contribute to a welcoming and inclusive workplace culture

Michigan State University recognizes the value of its employees and to show appreciation for the important work we all do, the university’s Worklife Office provides a variety of resources to support our wellbeing: 

Take a moment this Employee Appreciation Day to not only be thanked by those around you but also by your body as you begin to prioritize and destigmatize your own mental health.

Job of the Week: Systems Analyst I

This week’s featured job from MSU Human Resources is an internal support staff posting  for a Systems Analyst (posting 763296) through the Department of Financial Planning and Budget. This posting is available to current employees only.

The Systems Analyst will analyze, design, modify and implement upgrades and modules of the Cognos (IBM) Planning Analytics system. Job responsibilities include but are not limited to training and consulting with system users, leading user groups and teams to improve training materials, and creating system dashboards for analysis. The selected candidate will also participate in special projects to assist University leadership with ongoing planning and analysis. 

The required qualifications for this position include a four year college degree in Computer Science, Programming or Information Systems and one to three years of experience in analysis and design. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered. Preferred skills include fluency with SQL using Oracle or MS-SQL server, knowledge of Cognos and the ability to build financial and cost analysis models. Candidates are also asked to be able to work well in a team environment. 

Learn more about the Department of Financial Planning and Budget at https://opb.msu.edu/functions/budget/. More information about the position and how to apply is available within the EBS portal by selecting the “My Careers and Training” menu at the top and clicking the “Careers @ MSU” tile. All the latest job postings can be found at careers.msu.edu