L&D Manager Spotlight - Rianne Brashears

Rianne Brashears, 
Senior Associate Athletic Director and Chief Human Resources Officer, Intercollegiate Athletics

1. Describe your role for UT.  

I am blessed to serve as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Intercollegiate Athletics, Human Resources and Deputy Title IX Director. In my role, I oversee all aspects of Human Resources, as well as Title IX related to staff, Camps and Clinics, Policy, Procedure and Payroll. My amazing team and I play a critical role in our organization and consistently strive to be the best Athletics Human Resources team in the nation.

2. What was the most important lesson you learned as a new manager?

I learned so many wonderful lessons from a strong mentor in my first management role. One of the most important was to slow down and take time to build relationships. New managers are quick to jump in and take action, often without taking time to build relationships, understand the needs of the team and really discover what is a priority in the organization. Get out from behind your desk. Go walk around your organization, get to know your team and let them get to know you. Pausing on action and prioritizing building relationships will often have a positive impact and drive results in the long-run.

3. What advice do you have for managers to help develop their team?

First, understand that the developmental needs of each individual on a team are very different. No two individuals are on the exact same path at the exact same time. Take time and observe each individuals’ developmental needs, and ask them what their desired professional goals and aspirations are. Development is a 2-way street. Managers should motivate, prioritize and guide development, and your teams should seek out opportunities and invest their own growth. Push your team by providing new opportunities, rotating job responsibilities and expect your team to participate in professional development programs. Make it part of your culture and expectations that learning never stops.

4. Why is learning in the workplace important?

It’s easy to get comfortable in an organization, especially when that organization is at the top of their game or industry. Continuous learning and growth are what it takes to be great in the long-run. Our world is ever-changing; people are ever-changing. Learning opportunities will provide an organization and individuals the ability to adapt to these changes and constantly improve employee performance, satisfaction and productivity. Everyone has strengths and opportunities. Learning provides an avenue to develop these areas in a positive way and employees are more likely to succeed when given the opportunity to do so. Learning directly impacts your organizational outcomes and results.

5. What have you recently learned, what are you currently learning about, or how are you developing yourself as a professional?

As an HR professional with almost 20 years of experience, I aim to consistently focus on enhancing my technical skills. So much has changed in technology from when I first began my career. I prioritize staying current with technology to ensure we provide state-of-the-art tools to our organization. I seek out new platforms and software that can give us an edge in our industry and profession and find innovative ways to plug it into our day-to-day operations. Most recently, I have been developing my knowledge and skills to leverage Smartsheets and recently launched Sharepoint updates to provide a more user-friendly experience for employees and leaders across our organization.