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Statement & Models

Statement on Acts of Intolerance

There will be no verbal or written personal attacks on any individual or group of individuals based on age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran’s status. All employees are required to treat each other and all of the University community with respect and courtesy. Examples of unacceptable behavior include but are not limited to such actions as:

  1. Email sent with any degradation of any individual or group of individuals based on race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or other group associations.
  2. Racial or sexual joke told while on the job.
  3. Any communication whether verbal or written meant to deny any University benefit to any individual or group of individuals based on race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or other group associations.
  4. Email that includes a personal attack on any individual.
  5. Verbal communication that discriminates or includes derogatory language against an individual because of race, culture, religion, or sexual orientation.
  6. Joke or verbal comments which degrades an individual because of sexual orientation
  7. Personal verbal attacks against a person that includes any derogatory comment in relation to race or sexual orientation when that individual is not present.
  8. Obvious physical gestures of disapproval behind the back of or in the presence of any individual because of sexual orientation, race, religion, or disability.
  9. Insulting verbal comments or play-acting in relationship to physical characteristics of any individual or group of individuals.
  10. Any kind of verbal or written communications that includes racial slurs, unkind language or other insulting nicknames or names.

It is not acceptable to deny any individual any opportunity or benefit authorized by the University or Physical Plant based on age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran’s status. Examples of unacceptable acts include but are not limited to the following:

  1. To deny an individual a job promotion based on gender.
  2. To deny an individual travel opportunity based on an individual’s sexual orientation.
  3. To exclude an individual from participation in a project because of race.
  4. To exclude an individual from an all-inclusive event such as a holiday lunch, office celebration or other event because of sexual orientation.
  5. To deny an individual a work opportunity because of perceived gender ability differences.
  6. To deny an individual Employee Benefit Association awards based on a person’s sexual    orientation.
  7. To deny an individual consideration for the Spirit of Physical Plant award because of religious beliefs or association.

It is not acceptable to treat work colleagues in a disrespectful manner in order to create a hostile environment. Examples include but are not limited to:

  1. Leaving intimating or derogatory newspaper articles in an anonymous fashion to tease or harass an individual.
  2. Continual teasing of an individual or group of individuals in a mean spirited manner.
  3. Isolating an employee from group work activities.
  4. Sending or leaving anonymous notes that harasses individuals based on sexual orientation.
  5. Making verbal comments of a sexual manner or any physical advances.
  6. Physical contact in any hostile or threatening manner.
  7. Ganging up against an individual or group of individuals because of personality conflicts or past issues.

University employees are prohibited by University policy and by state and federal law from engaging in behaviors, which create an offensive, hostile or intimidating working environment. These behaviors interfere with and undermine the respect and trust that must exist between co-workers in order to maintain a positive and productive work environment. As a University employee and a member of the Physical Plant work unit, each person is responsible for establishing and maintaining a professional relationship with others in full compliance with University policies and applicable laws.

Process to Report Acts of Intolerance

The following is the process to report any situations similar to the above or other forms of harassment, intolerance, or intimidation.

  1. Speak up if you feel harassed or offended unless you feel uncomfortable doing so.
  2. Document any events as much as possible to include time, the individual’s involved or present, date and description.
  3. Employees: Report the incident or environment to your immediate supervisor or Human Resources Staff.

Christina Gatehouse
Office: 101C OPP
Phone: 863-2508

Lori McGovern
Office: 101A OPP
Phone: 865-2336

Nicole Brown
Office:101B OPP    
863-0797                             

Supervisors: Contact Human Resources staff to report incident or to request assistance in addressing a situation reported by an employee.

  1. Any employee who for any reason does not want to discuss situations of intolerance or harassment with someone at Physical Plant is strongly encouraged to report using any one of the reporting options listed below.
  1. Message to all Faculty, Staff and Students about Reporting and Assistance Resources at Penn State.

Model of Personal Accountability

An accountable individual holds himself/herself personally responsible without waiting for someone else to point out problems.  She/he readily admits mistakes and puts every effort into continuous learning so mistakes are not repeated.  An accountable employee accepts responsibility for the effectiveness of each working relationship.  An accountable employee is prompt, truthful, and responsive and acts in the best interests of the University and our customers.

Accountability Expectations

  • Examine personal responsibility in each process and take credit for contribution to success.
  • Acknowledge mistakes and errors in judgment as soon as recognized.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to correct mistakes, fix problems, and processes.
  • Listen openly to suggestions and criticism without being defensive.
  • Handle problems with individual relationships directly with the person involved; seeking resolution while avoiding blame.
  • Arrive at work and meetings on time; effectively use time at work.

Developed by the Leadership QMB. Approved by the Executive Steering Group on 8-24-98. 

Model of Leadership

There may be only a few master painters in the world today, but we can all be taught to paint if the desire to learn exists, the tools are available, and a mentor is nearby for support.  The principles that follow are guidelines and goals established to support the development of leadership practices within the Office of Physical Plant.  Each of us must create the environment to nurture the development of leadership excellence by continually striving to model the values listed.  Great leaders are not born, they are developed through experience, chance, tenacity, character and personal or professional triumph.  Anyone can be a great leader.

Mission and Vision

A leader must understand and be committed to the mission and strategic goals of the Office of Physical Plant, have a clear cognizant vision of the “big picture”, and have a long-term awareness of the department’s role within the University community. Leaders must set and communicate clear goals, principles and individual accountability to create a shared vision of the future.  This vision and direction should be continually emphasized to employees and peers so that we create a common purpose and sense of responsibility.  People with purpose will complete meaningful work and gain satisfaction in accomplishments.

Communicate and Listen

Keep employees and peers well informed and current on issues important to the unit’s mission and responsibilities.  Provide continual guidance and feedback related to performance in a positive and proactive manner.  Provide constructive opportunities for employees to learn from mistakes and failures in addition to sharing and acknowledging success.  Be direct and empathetic when communicating, especially when dealing with difficult situations or individuals.

Take time and actively listen to others before making decisions.  Explain and clarify information or decisions.  Encourage communication and allow employees and interested parties to share freely their opinions, information, and feelings in the proper forum.  Have an open mind, heart, and door.

Lead by Example

Actions speak louder than words:  walk the talk, lead by example, and follow the golden rule.  Respect is earned by one’s actions; it is not automatically extended because of position or rank.  Build confidence through a strong work ethic and values.  Perform to meet the highest professional and personal standards.  Demonstrate the Continuous Quality Improvement work style and principles.  Never pass up an opportunity to learn.

Integrity, Consistency and Character

To create an environment that fosters employee confidence and builds self-esteem, leaders must have integrity.  Be honest, fair, hard working, and kind to each other.  Treat all individuals and assess all situations with consistency of purpose and values.  Understand humane treatment and promote constructive criticism and positive reinforcement of employees.  Project a positive attitude and believe that most people are reliable and trustworthy.

Be Accountable

A leader takes responsibility instead of placing blame.  Strive to improve processes and take corrective action through Continuous Quality Improvement techniques.  Help everyone learn from mistakes.  Be prompt, truthful, and responsive.  Operate within established resource boundaries.  Follow through on all obligations.  Be forthright when there is a problem or delay.

Empower Employees

A leader encourages the natural abilities and creative talents within people.  Delegate responsibility with clear expectations and give others latitude to exercise authority.  Focus on important issues and results rather than micromanaging details.  Promote consensus building and teamwork thus motivating employees to achieve and become self-reliant.

Coach and Support

Acknowledge the importance of every individual.  Encourage professional development to improve employee competence.  Be open with information and approachable for guidance to develop team spirit and loyalty.  Listen, be patient, and consider new ways of improving processes through Continuous Quality Improvement techniques.  Praise accomplishment, take responsibility for employees’ actions, and support them during criticism and setbacks.  Take time to develop relationships with employees and colleagues.

Take Risks

Have the courage to do the right thing regardless of the popularity of the decision.  Be proactive for change.  Encourage new and innovative thinking.  Develop teams to tackle challenges for change.  Allow mistakes to create future successes.  Embrace change as an opportunity and not a threat.

Develop Leaders

Encourage others to lead.  Work to build the confidence of others.  Share responsibility and information freely.  Project trust and rely on the expertise of others.  Motivate employees to assume greater responsibilities and challenges.

Developed by the Leadership QMB. Approved by the Executive Steering Group on 3-9-98. rev. 2/6/17                

                                                
Leadership Expectations

Mission and Vision

  • ESG meets on a 2-year cycle to discuss, decide upon, and publish an updated mission/vision statement for OPP.  Discussions and decisions include input of leaders, staff, and technical service personnel.
  • Meet annually with employees to specifically review, discuss and emphasize mission/vision statement.  Communicate related questions or concerns to ESG.
  • Distribute copy of mission/vision statements to all employees.

Communicate and Listen

  • Keep phones and radios turned off during meetings.
  • Hold informal discussions with employees on a regular basis; meet formally with employees at least once a month.
  • Maintain an atmosphere of openness and inclusiveness in meetings to solicit honest opinions.
  • Accept opinions about work related issues without penalizing or reprimanding employees for voicing opinions.
  • Clearly communicate performance expectations and continuously provide informal feedback; adjust expectations as necessary.
  • Attend a communication skill class annually.
  • Discuss problems in private directly with the individuals involved; beginning discussions by asking questions, listening, and clarifying information.
  • Present opinions in a positive, constructive manner.
  • Visit work sites.

Lead by Example

  • Attend meetings on time.
  • Support the organization’s mission/vision statement and adhere to CQI standards and principles.
  • Adhere to established procedures/policies; question procedures and policies that inhibit improvement.
  • Encourage and facilitate one-on-one conflict resolution between employees.
  • Know job; annually participate in a professional development opportunity.

Integrity, Consistency, and Character

  • Treat all employees equitably and fairly.
  • Be consistent, but not inflexible.
  • Be honest.

Accountability

  • Monitor budgets and  be fiscally responsible.
  • Annually set unit goals, plan for goal accomplishment, and review progress.
  • Annually forecast resource requirements to meet unit goals.
  • Hold employees individually accountable for their performance and behavior at work.
  • Take positive action to correct unsatisfactory situations or performance.

Empower Employees

  • Emphasize and facilitate teamwork among employees; provide skill building opportunities.
  • Delegate authority responsibly and clearly.
  • Avoid overruling or second-guessing a delegated task or decision.

Coach and Support

  • Acknowledge job performance in a timely manner.
  • Encourage participation in professional development and provide resources.
  • Praise employee accomplishments through verbal feedback and letters of commendation.
  • Be accessible to employees to provide advice and encouragement.

Take Risks

  • Encourage new and innovative thinking about job processes.
  • Accept failures and set-backs as part of growth.
  • Be willing to take risks for the benefit of the organization.

Develop Leaders

  • Facilitate an atmosphere which encourages leadership among employees: ask for employees opinions before sharing yours; allow employees to volunteer to lead projects.
  • Identify and coach employees interested in developing leadership skills; provide opportunities to lead.