What Success Looks Like
Collaborating as One University: Expanding horizons
April 13, 2010
Last year, Ohio State President Gee tasked a group to complete an application for the Great Place to Work© Institute’s annual Best Places to Work award. No easy task, this was a job for a team from the Medical Center and the university.
A committee representing the human resources, information technology and internal communications functions from both organizations gathered to answer the question, ‘What makes Ohio State a great place to work?’. They met regularly to figure out what data to pull, how to present it, and how to present information from both organizations. Lisa Miller, manager of Medical Center Human Resources, and Katie Purcell, a Work Life Manager in Organization & Human Resource Consulting, led the group.
“Our systems work very differently, and it took a lot of coordination to gather information and look at it in the same way,” said Purcell.
The application the team pulled together over the months-long process highlights the many reasons it’s great to work at Ohio State.
“The application turned into a book of almost 100 pages of programs, services and stories about why Ohio State is a great place to work,” said Miller. “You can’t read through the application and not feel good about working here.”
But the satisfaction of finishing such a big project was only the beginning of the reward for Purcell and Miller. The two developed a friendship that’s helped them learn about all of the work going on across campus, and improve their work.
The two now talk with each other and other groups across campus to share ideas and what they’re working on currently and in the future. This helps them find new ways to work together, and identify areas that may impact the other organization.
“Anytime we can build those bridges it’s a good thing and it’s one of the ways we can make One University a reality,” said Purcell. “We operate differently, and it’s good to have more insight as to what’s happening in other areas.”
Miller said she now reaches across campus to validate information, ask for help, and get opinions. One way she does is this scheduling a quarterly meeting with OHR Communications to share ideas on how to improve communications in both groups.
Both Purcell and Miller said looking through the research they pulled together was eye opening for them, both in the great work other people are doing, and in the possibilities for them personally.
“We do a lot of great things, but not one person knows it all,” said Miller. “The best part of the collaboration was that we were able to learn from each other about what happens across campus.”
The work isn’t over, and the group is using the data to find ways to make Ohio State an even better place to work. But, said Miller, we’re starting from a great place.
While we all have know this is a great place to work, Ohio State wasn’t named to the list this year. But that’s not stopping the great work. Miller said that the results are helping identify ways to make Ohio State an even better place to work, and we’ll most likely apply in the future.