Five minutes with Vice President for Human Resources Robyn Fergus

Robyn Fergus
Robyn Fergus

In today’s “Five Minutes with SOURCE,” Vice President for Human Resources Robyn Fergus sat down to discuss her role in the Courageous Strategic Transformation plan and its impact across Colorado State University.

You serve as vice president for human resources at the University, and the Courageous Strategic Transformation plan identifies People & Culture as one of four key strategic imperatives for CSU. What are some projects or initiatives that you are working on in HR that you believe will help us achieve our goal of supporting our employees and creating a collaborative, inclusive culture?

I am delighted to see the importance placed on People & Culture in the Courageous Strategic Transformation, because I absolutely believe that “Our People” are at the core of our continued success as a university. As the pandemic landscape evolves, I am reminded of the continued need to support our workforce with mental health and well-being programs. Right now, the Human Resources team is partnering with our colleagues in the CSU Health Network to launch a new version of You@CSU. This well-being platform currently serves our CSU students, and we are thrilled to be launching a version this Fall tailored for our employees, as well.

Courageous Strategic Transformation specifically identifies several steps in an employee’s journey at the University, and describes it as our mission to “attract, retain and invest in the growth of the best people for our institutional mission.” What does it mean to “invest in” our employees?

Investing in our employees is critical as we embark on the CST journey together, because it means we commit to providing them not just what they need to do their jobs today, but what they’ll need and seek going forward. This includes growth opportunities alongside opportunities to explore new knowledge and skills that will enhance both their professional and personal development.

The Courageous Strategic Transformation blueprint will also help us achieve another goal for our workforce: building a common language and set of skills to support our transformational mission. Coming out of the pandemic, we know our employees will benefit from understanding the principles and best practices of change management, and for establishing a growth mindset and responding to feedback.

“The Courageous Strategic Transformation blueprint will also help us achieve another goal for our workforce: building a common language and set of skills to support our transformational mission.”

These common languages and skills align with and underpin our plans to enhance our performance management practices across the university in support of CST. I’m excited that our Talent Development team offers a robust portfolio of courses, guides, templates, and topic-specific sessions focused on individual and team growth. And I’m even more excited that we’re refreshing offerings to align CST priorities.

As we implement our Courageous Strategic Transformation across CSU, what are some concrete ways that you anticipate employees will experience the impact of your work in HR in their daily lives? And is there something you are particularly excited about implementing?

One exciting effort underway in HR that will have a direct and positive impact on many of our employees is our first-ever CSU Employee Housing Program. The housing market across the nation has continued to place pressure on renters and prospective home buyers, and we see the effects in our ability to recruit and retain our employees here in Northern Colorado. In Fall 2021, we launched a university-wide survey to learn more about the needs of our community and have since convened a housing task force charged with recommending both short and long-term steps we can take to support creating attainable housing options for our employees.

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