Called the Great Places to Work Intiative, the group originally was formed with external “great places to work” surveys in mind. Before the first meeting, however, it turned into an ongoing effort not only to promote what already makes UofL a “great place to work” but also to find ways to make it an even better workplace, said Kim Maffet, interim vice president for human resources.

A steering committee and five work groups will act as a “think tank” to generate and vet ideas, she said.

Representatives from all segments of the university are involved with the initiative. Work groups will focus on health and wellness, family friendly policies, campus climate, professional development and rewards.

“The initiative is important because it addresses long-running concerns that many staff have,” said Staff Senate Chair Brent Fryrear, “It is especially timely now given the state budget situation and the cuts UofL has faced. I expect the five subcommittees to bring some excellent recommendations forward.

“Many staff are not aware of the entire benefits package we receive and how it compares with other businesses,” he said. “I believe this will be an area of improved human resources communication.”

Work groups have begun to meet and have received a charge to generate at least one idea each to send to the steering committee by its December meeting. The steering committee is charged with forwarding ideas to the provost.

“I am very pleased to see this effort get underway because it reflects a strategic commitment by the university administration not only to recruitment of new talent, but to retaining the excellent faculty and staff who are already here,” said Melissa Laning, Faculty Senate chair. “Investment in quality-of-work-life issues will produce benefits for everyone at the university.”