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New Program Coming in 2024 Aimed at Keeping Our Best Employees 

November 28, 2023

CU Denver is launching a new initiative in the spring to help support and retain our valued employees. 

The Human Resources team has several initiatives underway and is now ready to announce the Retention Interview Program. It is a direct result of the listening sessions that generated the university’s 2030 Strategic Plan. During that time, employees shared stories of colleagues who found themselves in challenging situations within their units, grew frustrated, and left the university. 

“This program has been developed to gauge employee sentiment regarding the effectiveness of our supervisory processes and to create a timely assessment of our campus and unit culture so that the university can adapt its practices and professional development,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources teri engelke. 

Working with collaborators across campus during the 2023 spring semester, the team developed the program, which includes interviews with new employees at regular intervals as well as interviews with continuing employees and those who decide to transfer to another CU institution or leave the university altogether. Information collected will be used to address concerns early and provide additional support or training as needed.  

Stay Interviews 

Specific questions have been added to the performance management process and to the tools supervisors and supervisees use. For new employees, supervisors should be talking with them about how their work is going and any challenges at 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, six-month, and one-year increments. 

For continuing employees, the questions are built into a mid-year check-in and the summary evaluation processes. This allows information to be shared for feedback with the supervisor that may be immediately actionable for individuals and teams.   

A questions guide for standalone stay interviews has been created that can be utilized by trained stay interviewers or trained unit leaders or supervisors to conduct stay interview focus groups, or for one-on-one interviews within their unit.  

Understanding that employees need to feel safe to share their experiences, those who are transferring or leaving the institution will now have an opportunity to request a transfer or exit interview. Exit and transfer interviews are confidential. In order to ensure confidentiality, individuals’ personally identified information will be removed. Anonymous information from these interviews will be shared through thematic areas and trends at least twice a year with unit leaders and supervisors, along with possible recommendations for actions.  

Exit Interviews 

Employees who give notice will have an opportunity to answer questions online, which will allow them to request an in-person or virtual interview. The interviews will provide anonymity and will not be conducted by the exiting employee’s home unit. 

Transfer Interviews 

Employees who transfer to another unit can complete an online form, which will allow them to request an in-person or virtual transfer interview. The interviews will provide anonymity and will not be part of the unit the employee is leaving, nor the new unit the person is joining.  

Human Resources will train interviewers over the next few months. Stay tuned for more information. 

“I want employees to know that we’ve heard you and we are working on tools to help improve our work environment,” engelke said. “The process takes time because we are working across campus with multiple stakeholders to ensure the tools are helpful and are not just more paperwork. Employees are the heart of our institution and together we will make this a great place to work.”  

Interested in knowing more about CU Denver’s efforts to become a best place to work? Click here to learn about the 2030 Strategic Plan.