EDR: Executive Dean for Research

EDR Annual Retreat 2018

Winsome, Lily, Theresa and Yeimy work together on their winning effort to create the tallest tower out of only spaghetti, marshmallows, and

Winsome, Lily, Theresa and Yeimy work together on their winning effort to create the tallest tower out of only spaghetti, marshmallows, and gummy bears

The Office of the Executive Dean for Research (EDR) staff recently came together for their second annual EDR Retreat. The 2018 event was held on July 25 at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The annual retreat is designed to provide important information on strategic research-related items as well as participate in team building exercises, offer professional development, and find ways to improve our work-life balance.

The agenda for the half-day retreat included presentations from Carl Schulman, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Dean for Research, leadership from the newly refunded Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and several interactive exercises designed around creating a team culture to increase productivity and staff satisfaction. Teams were created to participate in activities to compete with one another and were judged with a focus on creativity and teamwork as well as accomplishing the goal.

A portion of the agenda was dedicated to soliciting input from the staff. This included an open discussion led by Dr. Schulman and a word-cloud exercise led by Charles Lowman. The word-cloud exercise helped inspire the name change to the Office of the Executive Dean for Research. The office was previously known as Research, Research Education and Innovative Medicine or RIM. Some actionable items were created stemming from feedback received during the open discussion. Highlights include increasing opportunities for professional development for EDR staff, renewing old workspaces with standing desks to help with ergonomic needs and expanding on the monthly massage therapy sessions that were implemented from the 2017 retreat.

Staff were excited to hear the announcement launching the opportunity to work from home for some areas of the EDR office. “It was important for the team to see that their input was not only taken into consideration, but that it led to actual results and the implementation of new policies focused on creating a positive work-life balance in the EDR office” said Eric Winter, Director of Business Operations and Finance. Maya Diaz, a Research Analyst, shared “I am very thankful that I came into an office that believes in work-life balance. I couldn’t be more excited and grateful of such an opportunity. I want to say thank you for making this happen and I truly believe this team is prepared for the success of this initiative.” The implementation of telecommuting was based on feedback received during an exercise from the 2017 Retreat. The office has seen positive results with employee satisfaction as well as increased work efficiency and effort since telecommuting was initiated.

“In order to be successful, we must invest in our most precious resource, our people.” said Carl Schulman at the retreat.

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