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'Organizational Effectiveness' is more than just a name

organizational effectiveness offers employees opportunity for improvement

by Amanda Perry

Org. Effectiveness retreat
Getting into formation: Organizational Effectiveness recently held a retreat where they marched outside Donhowe to form an "OE."

August 4, 2009

It has been a busy summer for Organizational Effectiveness (OE), part of the Office of Human Resources (OHR). With offices spanning from one side of the river to the other on the Twin Cities campus, OE offers a variety of education, training, and consulting services designed to support U employees, with more than 14,000 participants each year.

In its work, OE acts as a gateway to training, development, and consulting resources that help to build a robust University with strong leadership.

Currently, OE is focusing on redesigning some of its course offerings in the areas of the human resource management system and sponsored projects administration. The redesigned courses will provide specialized content to meet the needs of the user community.

Summer development

The Donhowe building has been buzzing this summer with participants in many Career Services courses, from "Career Foundations" to "Social Media and Your Career," and more. Individuals have attended résumé labs and units have engaged OE in consulting in order to deal with reduced staff and/or increased and redistributed work.

In early July, an OE article discussed how to deal with organizational change. With so many recent changes at the U, a number of people have taken advantage of the services, resources, and opportunities OE provides.

"Among the many concepts I learned from my organizational effectiveness training was the importance of balancing leadership and management skills, and the need to foster the professional development of my colleagues. Staff development is crucial to the University," says Dean Tsantir, director of admissions and recruitment at the Graduate School.

Jay Bell, CFANS (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences) associate dean for academic programs and faculty affairs, says that during the past year CFANS has seen considerable improvement in worker productivity and in harmony within the workplace. "The people at OE came in and were able to help us understand the source of some of the friction, help us understand that this wasn't something that we were going to be able to fix within one or two sessions, and also gave us some very effective tools and suggestions about how to work with the particular challenges that we had within our college," he says.

One of OE's marquee programs is the President's Emerging Leaders (PEL) program. Finance manager Twila Jensen says the program made a positive impact on her career. "It was through the PEL program that I really became committed to the U as a place I wanted to work and that was a place that made a difference."

For more information about resources in professional, interpersonal, supervisory, technical, and customer service-oriented services, e-mail OE or see OE opportunity.