The Washington State Community College Board of Trustees approved funding for campus-wide emotional training Tuesday, following the first recommendation from a work group charged with creating a plan to improve campus culture.
The group began meeting after recommendations by an independent consultant in the spring. The consultant had been hired to survey employees about workplace morale and other issues in the wake of complaints about President Charlotte Hatfield's management style.
The consultant determined there was poor communication and an environment of fear and mistrust at the college.
A recommendation that all full-time employees undergo emotional training as well as organizational trust covenant training is "a starting point" for the work group, said member Brenda Kornmiller, dean of business, engineering and industrial technologies.
The emotional training will be scheduled first, with employees providing feedback to trustees before the second group of training sessions begin. The total cost for both sets of training sessions is about $15,000.
The emotional training focuses on being aware of how one's work behavior affects others and taking ownership of one's actions and words.
"I think it will help mend some relationships and create better working communities," said Connie Legraen, administrative assistant to the president and member of the work group. "I think it would be a real plus for the campus."
Trustees voted unanimously to move forward with the training.