A Huskie you should know: Spotlight on operating staff
Featured civil service employee: Ashleen Woods

Woods shares method of doing more with less

Ashleen Woods

Ashleen Woods, Office Support Specialist to the Chair of Nursing, is a master of doing more with less. She tells about techniques in multi-tasking and customer service, and she shares a success story that affects many civil service staff.

“Although primarily I am supposed to support the chair, I do a little of everything (as all secretaries here do). There’s always something new popping up,” Woods said.

Some of her duties include assisting students with paperwork, scheduling appointments, assisting faculty and instructors with various questions and requests and coordinating events.

David Dosier, Acting Director of the School of Nursing and Health Studies said, “We are short-handed in the front office for the school and Ashleen picks up a lot of the walk-in traffic (and issues) that come through the door. She treats everyone with dignity and respect and consistently goes above and beyond to help others solve issues.”

Woods shares multi-tasking techniques she uses to get things done systematically and smoothly.

“Like if there’s a line, and I need to take someone to get a photo, I’ll quickly see what the others need and delegate them to whomever they need to speak to before I leave the office.” Woods said, “Mostly, though, it’s the time investment that helps. I do make a lot of lists, and post it notes to myself.”

Woods tells about some of her customer service techniques.

“Be patient and encourage patience. Try to find a solution if you can, or direct them to the appropriate person/protocol to solve an issue, and be sympathetic to their problems.”

She says that the biggest thing is to not just forward a call or person to a department if you don’t know the answer.

“We’re all super busy, but it makes such a good impression on the students if you make the call and find out for sure before sending them on; it shows you care enough to figure out who they’re supposed to be in contact with.”

When asked to share a success story, Woods told about something that affects many civil service employees. She is involved with helping the clerical and paraprofessionals unionize.

“I have seen so many great people be forced to leave because they don’t make enough money, or they can’t deal with the burden of doing three full time jobs, or they’re worried about their retirement/social security. Something had to be done, and I’m honored to work among dedicated, hard-working people who helped get our voice heard, and the respect we deserve - not just for us, but for future employees.”

Dosier said, “In short, she genuinely cares about others, the School of Nursing and Health Studies and NIU - and it shows in everything she does.”

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