Building a great team

Louisville Water Company’s Procurement department, Louisville MSD’s Procurement and Supplier Diversity departments and the supervisor of Louisville MSD’s Stockroom came together on March 12 at Louisville Water Tower Park for team-building activities and to learn about their roles in the One Water initiative.

One Water is an effort with Louisville Water and MSD where departments share resources and identify cost-savings and revenue opportunities. Currently, the two utilities are sharing resources in Fleet, Information Technology, Engineering, Procurement, Customer Service and Communications.

The event had 14 employees from both utilities getting to know one another through various team-building activities. René Thomas, who directs procurement at Louisville Water and both procurement and supplier diversity at MSD, led this meeting for both companies. Johnnie Rice and Sharon Alexander from Louisville Water as well as  Tony Glore and Kelli Rhodes from MSD facilitated the event.

The top executive from each organization, Spencer Bruce and Tony Parrott, kicked off the meeting, and other members of the executive leadership teams of both companies attended the event, including Kim Reed, who is the project liaison director for the One Water effort. Attendees began with a meet-and-greet and were then given an overview of the initiative.

“Employees were given information on the shared services agreement and updates on the joint efforts in procurement and supplier diversity,” explained Thomas.

Rice, one of the facilitators, asked the Louisville Water and MSD employees what they knew about the One Water effort, what they think about it, and what they still need to know. Employees created individual vision boards that represented what they thought the effort would do for them in the future. They shared those ideas with each other and created a joint vision board as well.

“Johnnie did a fabulous job,” said Thomas. “This was a great opportunity to listen to our employees — it was definitely a worthwhile event.”

Thomas said the employees’ questions and concerns about the effort gave management tangible ideas on what to work on to improve communication. This event proved successful, as employees from both utilities asked for more experiences like this throughout the year.