Employee Advisory Group welcomes new members, continues its mission

Fermilab’s 2012 Employee Advisory Group represents the laboratory’s workforce to the directorate. Photo: Reidar Hahn

Three years ago, following a survey that explored issues affecting the working environment of the laboratory, Director Pier Oddone established the Employee Advisory Group. The EAG was created to examine lab-wide workforce initiatives, practices and concerns and to make recommendations to the directorate and senior management to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace.

This year the EAG, which is made up of representatives from Fermilab’s many departments, has seen several of its founding members step down as their three-year terms end. New members are taking their places.

“One thing I heard over and over again from other EAG members was, ‘I love Fermilab, and I want to make this the best place possible,'” said new member Cindy Joe, AD.

Joe applied to join the EAG because she felt strongly about improving her workplace of two years. Keith Coiley, CCD, another new member, has been with the laboratory for decades, since he was 19.

“I’ve always enjoyed having the chance to talk with other employees, to have their ear, to hear different concerns,” Coiley said. “I thought I might be able to bring a little insight to the table.”

Employees take their concerns to EAG members, who then bring their insights to their monthly meetings. There they propose ideas for change to the senior management, including Director Oddone, in a comfortable atmosphere.

“It’s a very informal setting,” Coiley said. “You’re not in fear of speaking what’s on people’s minds.”

Elaine Phillips, a PPD employee and one of the outgoing founding members, agreed. Among the topics she’s seen discussed in the past few years are improved lab-wide communication, an evaluation of alternative work schedules, more ways to reward and recognize employee performance, the need for leadership training and improvements in the performance evaluation process.

“Director Oddone has been very interested in hearing from the members, getting new information and integrating ideas,” she said.

“The EAG has kept its finger on the pulse of the laboratory for three years and we’re grateful to the outgoing members for their work,” Oddone said. “We welcome the new guard, who have so far enthusiastically embraced their new role as the voice of Fermilab’s workforce.”

Visit the EAG website for the full list of members.

—Joseph Piergrossi