Elevating Team Communication and Connection


Session 1

“WhatsApp with That? A Closer Look at How Technology Can Assist Us with Our Team and Animal Care Goals” – Scott Trauger (Supervisor, NEI)

Technology has changed the way we communicate. In our field, possibly more than others, we still rely on actual physical communication to facilitate our jobs. What if there is a way to keep that personal connection while still allowing us to achieve animal-based goals with a better antecedent arrangement? At NEI, we have decided to embrace the future and find new ways to help us achieve our goals using current technology. This talk will look at the specific tools and scenarios in which these technological applications have been beneficial for NEI to pursue our communication and animal care goals.

“Growing Beyond a Traditional Staff Evaluation Process” – Chris Jenkins (COO, NEI)

About 5 years ago, NEI embarked on a journey of reevaluating our core priorities and renewing our commitment to the values that the company was founded on. Part of this was a decision to eliminate an inefficient, inconsistent, and sometimes punitive annual evaluation process. This talk dives into the problems the old process caused, as well as the new practices we put into place to replace it in our ongoing journey to create something more supportive, goal-focused, and collaborative.

Session 2

“Curating a Culture of Caring” – Ari Bailey (Show Manager, NEI)

We all want to work with people who value our input, collaborate on ideas to improve practices, invest in professional development, and communicate at a high level. And we want all of that to happen with people we enjoy being around and who seek out interactions that elevate each other to be their best. When we apply the science of behavior change strategies that we use with our animals to our human colleagues, we communicate at a higher level. We also understand each other better and we create a comfortable space for everyone to give and receive feedback and make the mistakes that help us to learn and grow. We are in a huge growth period in our industry that will set new standards for human welfare. There is a lot of work to do, and we are just embarking on this journey. Join me in a conversation about how we can make curating a culture of caring the baseline for all teams and individuals in our field. 

Session 3

NEI TEC in Conversation – Scott Trauger, Chris Jenkins, Ari Bailey, Marty MacPhee and Steve Martin

Join us as NEI TEC faculty members and our guests share and discuss their thoughts on the topics presented in the previous sessions. The panelists answer questions presented to them by the attendees.