Leading Change

Goal: Understand and learn the most effective techniques for getting others to want to help with something I think is important

Any organization or workplace always can improve for the better. Many times new perspectives or the act of questioning the status quo initiates change. During my tenure with Dining Services, I have had the opportunity to experience a lot of procedures, work with many co-workers, and meet numerous management officials. Even though I merely serve as a Student Supervisor at Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Dining Hall, I have been able to see differing operations and enact change. One of the first things I noticed when promoted to supervisor, was the complicated and disorganized paperwork documentation procedure for student employees.

With my background in computer programming, I put together a proposal to build a student employee management system. After meeting with, at the time, the assistant director of Dining Services and University Housing Human Resources, it was determined that Dining was not quite ready to implement such a solution. Even though this would have traditionally been labeled a “failure”, I looked at it as a disappointment, but a great experience. Through the numerous meeting and presentations, I was able to first plant a seed of change for the future, but more importantly, learn what techniques were effective for persuasion and what techniques were not.

Since the proposal presentations, I have been able to enact smaller, but significant changes throughout the entire dining operation. Many changes that I pushed through required much persuasion, but were for the betterment of Dining Services. Specifically, I headed the initiatives to create simpler documentation for “checker” staff, created an entire training program for new student supervisors, and create clearer documentation forms. These smaller improvements would not have been possible without my experience of proposing the system concept. During my college career, my time with Dining Services has been essential in my overall success and has taught me much for life.