By John Girdwood
Michigan State University (MSU) was the best represented institution at the 2019 College and University Work-Life-Family Association (CUWFA) annual conference, sending four team members to the event. The team presented a poster titled, “Innovation in Worklife Metrics: Work Made Visible!” It was a well-attended and popular presentation that told a story using data about the WorkLife Office utilization, methods of contact, and types of services provided. Attendees saw how the MSU team collects data, analyzes it, and uses data to inform program improvements to better serve the people in our MSU community.
Presenting the information provided an opportunity for the MSU WorkLife Office team to learn more about the future of using data to create better programs that will meet the needs of faculty and staff at the university. We delivered the same presentation three times. By the third presentation, we began to think of new ways to improve our records system and follow up with those we serve, while still retaining the confidentiality of each individual.
Currently, we measure the number of staff and faculty we assist. We count the referrals and categorize the types of services that staff and faculty request. However, we can do more! We are looking at new methods to follow up with staff and faculty who are referred to services outside of our office. We may follow up to see if the service was useful and something they would recommend for others. We want to ensure that our referrals are really helpful.
We will continue to take a data-driven approach to meeting the needs of faculty and staff, while honoring the privacy of individuals who seek our assistance. The CUWFA Conference allowed us to show off our system and identify new opportunities to refine it as we move into the next fiscal year.
Methods of Contact
We know that email is the most frequent method used to contact the WorkLife Office team. We use email to receive inquiries, make referrals, and send invitations to our events.
Family care is the most frequently requested topic. This broad category includes childcare, elder care, divorce, death in the family, and many other major and minor life events.
Who We Serve
The WorkLife Office aims to serve faculty and staff at rates equivalent to the actual campus community. We were able to show CUWFA Conference attendees that we are very close to meeting that goal!
Plans for 2020
Using the Microsoft Office365 suite of programs can provide data visualization and data sharing that improves WorkLife Office operations. Visualizing our work is helpful for decision-making and ensuring our team is meeting organizational goals.
We appreciate all the help and assistance provided to us by IT support. Collaborating with experts on our campus has allowed us to improve our service this year. We are looking forward to building follow up mechanisms to ensure our referrals are effective. We plan to measure outcomes and continue our data-driven approach.
Thank you for being part of the WorkLife Office experience this year. Your engagement with the WorkLife Office team produced many wonderful results throughout the year and we hope that our data and conference presentation best represent MSU staff and faculty needs. We will continue to ask for your input and develop programs that best serve you.