Taking Action

Welcome to the Taking Action website
From David J. Gray, Senior Vice President of Finance and Business

Thank you for visiting this page and for your ongoing commitment to this critically important workforce excellence and vitality initiative.

The time has come for us to take tangible, sustainable steps toward furthering our identity as a workplace that is welcoming, respectful and inclusive. The synergy, harmony and efficiency necessary for F&B to perform its duties can only truly exist in a culture of trust, and only in such a culture can we expect all F&B employees to realize their full-potential.

On this website, you’ll find detailed explanations of how Taking Action began, our purpose and goals for the initiative, and useful tools and training that will promote open, two-way communication between those in supervisory roles and employees.

I encourage you to be a frequent visitor to this page, as the site will be updated frequently with training schedules, additions to the FAQs, and more.

Thank you again for your dedication to this important effort, and for your willingness to join all of F&B in taking these next crucial and necessary steps toward a culture of trust.

- David Gray


“We asked. You responded. We’re taking action.”

The 2013 Values and Culture Survey indicated high rates of observed misconduct, intimidation, and a lack of trust and accountability within Finance & Business. We want to continue to address these issues and create a healthy environment in which everyone can do their best work.

We asked you in follow-up surveys and focus groups for your specific concerns, suggestions, and expectations for improving trust and accountability within F&B.

You provided key feedback through focus groups and follow-up surveys:

There is a fear of retaliation, which is a symptom of larger problems.

  • Lack of trust and accountability
  • Fear of reporting misconduct

There is misconduct occurring.

  • Bullying and intimidating behavior
  • Abuse of work time and time off
  • Misuse of university resources

There are culture issues.

  • Lack of accountability
  • Inconsistency in policy implementation
  • Unprofessional workplace behavior
  • Lack of addressing misconduct
  • Not feeling valued or permitted to share ideas

There are performance management issues.

  • Lack of knowledge and skills needed to effectively manage others
  • Not holding all employees to the same standards
  • Lack of skills to manage difficult situations

There are communication issues.

  • Lack of information sharing
  • Lack of opportunities for open communication and discussion
  • Unwillingness to listen to new ideas
  • Need for better conflict management

There are reporting concerns.

  • Not knowing where to report issues
  • Not knowing how the reporting process works
  • Lack of confidentiality of information reported
  • Lack of confidence in the hotline process

Things need to change.

  • Clear expectations and accountability
  • Employee training
  • Supervisor training
  • Management coaching
  • More input from employees          

We heard you.

Here is what we have done so far and what we will be doing over the next several months to build a culture of trust and accountability.

We HAVE conducted Focus Groups. (see F&B Focus Group Summary Report)
We ARE improving workplace management by:
  Developing new training for employees.
  Developing new training for supervisors.
We WILL NOT tolerate bad workplace behavior.
We WILL continue to involve you in driving this change.

How is this related to the recently published Penn State Values?
Our plan is directly aligned with the six Penn State Values.

Integrity — We act with integrity and honesty.
Respect — We treat others respectfully and foster a diverse and inclusive environment.
Responsibility — We act responsibly and are accountable for our actions.
Discovery — We welcome input, creativity, innovation, and understanding.
Excellence — We strive for excellence.
Community — We work together for the betterment of all.

What are AD67 and AD88?

What are some of the ways wrongdoing can be reported?

What are some additional resources for me to report wrongdoing?

Questions on the Taking Action program?