Service in Action
The Wheaton College Vision of Service reaffirms the value of our staff and their important role in supporting the college’s educational mission and its pursuit of excellence. We aspire to be a collaborative learning community dedicated to the growth and development of each and every member, in all our diversity. We strive to work together for the continual improvement of our services, respecting students, their families, faculty, staff, alumnae/i and external constituents’ perspective and contributions. It is important to us that after every interaction or transaction, the individuals involved are heard, valued and well- served. We actively seek on-going constructive ways to become more efficient and effective in our daily efforts to better support our distinctive educational mission.
Service standards and expectations
As college employees and members of the Wheaton community we take responsibility for:
Communication and coordination
- Educate ourselves about the goals and priorities of the college and be knowledgeable about our services. Keep tools such as the catalog, campus map, Wheaton Week and student handbook available for reference. Attend campus-wide meetings.
- Establish a regular mechanism for gathering and sharing information within and across departments. Schedule routine staff meetings; arrange for crossdepartmental information exchanges.
- Establish a campus-wide protocol to improve meetings, including arriving and beginning on time, engaging in active listening, enhancing each other’s self-esteem and conducting follow-up. Meetings must have a stated purpose, if not an agenda, indicated by the convener.
- Solicit and provide feedback from and suggestions to each other in a supportive problem-solving way. Ideas for improvement should be welcomed and responded to in a positive fashion.
- Engage in the annual performance review process in order to provide an opportunity for formal communication, feedback and developmental coaching.
- Acknowledge that college policies belong to all of us, and need to be supported by all.
- Educate ourselves about issues involving confidentiality and privacy when answering questions and providing information.
- Maintain and disseminate information that is current and accurate.
Interactions with people
- Follow a consistent protocol/procedure within the department/office so that every staff person is delivering the same message or providing the appropriate referral.
- Adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement campus wide. To initiate and engage in routine evaluation, conversation, exploration and ultimately implementation to streamline processes, identify redundancy, and improve services.
- Offer a helpful explanation if unable to provide the desired response/result sought by the individual. Wheaton’s Commitment to Quality
- Always make the individual feel welcome by acknowledging their presence with a smile, looking directly at them and giving them your undivided attention.
- Listen actively, ask probing questions and seek clarification when necessary to insure that both parties understand the request and the response.
- Make every effort to answer questions. When it’s necessary to refer a question, pave the way by contacting the appropriate person before making the referral.
- Always bring courteous closure to every conversation. For example, “Can I help you with anything else today?” or “Are you clear on the next step?” With complex cases, follow up with the individual or the colleague to whom you made a referral.
Office protocol including voice mail/e-mail, telephone
- Personalize voice mail messages. When away for a day or two, leave information about when you will be available and who could be contacted for help. If away for an extended period, leave a message with return dates and information about who should be contacted for immediate assistance.
- Arrange coverage for e-mail when away for an extended period, either by using an “away” e-mail message or having someone check your e-mail.
- Use discretion and good judgment when copying colleagues, either on paper or with e-mail.
- Publicly post regular office hours, for example, Monday – Friday, 8:30 – 4:30. When necessary add temporary closing information.
- Respond by the next business day, when in the office, to e-mail, voice mail and other requests, even if to explain a delay in response or action.
- Respond in writing as promptly as possible to all written communications.
- Answer the telephone, whenever possible, within four rings using a standard greeting, including your name and the name of the department. For example, “Good morning, Registrar’s Office, this is Mary.”
- Respond to others with your complete attention and in a respectful and professional manner.
- Maintain offices and workspaces that are welcoming, professional, clean, efficient, safe and appropriately secure.