6 On The Move: Planning And Executing The Big Move

Monday, January 21st 2013, 3:26 pm
By: News On 6

Shawn Wittrock, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- We've probably all moved at least once in our lifetime. It's never quite as easy as you hope.

So you can imagine how much planning went into moving nearly 200 employees into brand new work spaces. It's a daunting task.

Human Resources had to figure out how to move 160 people and all their "stuff" - all while producing the quality product our viewers have come to know and expect.

HR director Livia Bennett turned to the people who know best. The employees.

"How are we going to do this? How are we going to make it happen? And how do we make it easy on employees so they can still get their day to day work done?" Bennett asked.

"We want the employees to be part of it. This is their new building."

So HR formed a transition team - 20 people, representing all areas of our operations. They had a lot to figure out: how to pack, when to move, and who should move first. What should stay, what should go.

And that was just to get started. 

"Just those little things that once you get in here, once your getting ready to get in here, you think - ok, we need these things," Bennett said.

For every solution to one issue - there were even more questions about something else. But after months of strategizing - the team came up with a working plan.

It started with packing. And it started almost immediately. Some things were tossed, others recycled, and even more was tagged for moving.

Our Chief Video Editor Pamela Long and Managing Editor Stephanie Hill went through decades of old tapes - archiving some, donating others to Oklahoma's historical society.

Each employee packed up their own workspace - finding pieces of the past as we looked forward to the future.

Anchor and Crime Reporter Lori Fullbright found a set of pink handcuffs.

"I've kept them because they are cute, and they are pink," she said.

Rick Wells discovered a video of himself skydiving on Six In The Morning. And Terry Hood found the $5 bill one appreciative viewer sent her in 1995!

Just about the time the boxes started stacking up, it was time to get moving. That's when the IT team really got busy.

1/19/2013 Related Story: 6 On The Move: Saying Goodbye To Frankfort Studio

They unhooked hundreds of computers, then bagged and tagged them. A team of movers was hired to do the heavy lifting.

Trip after trip - load after load - the pros filled up a semi truck to haul over the essentials. Once it arrived at the new place - everything had to be unloaded and hooked back up.

"There was a specific plan with seating charts and color coding, all that, so everybody knew where they were going," said Livia Bennett, News On 6 human resources director.

As all that was happening, employees got a crash course on our new home. HR held a series of orientation meetings - aimed at getting everyone up to speed.

"We talked about where fire escapes are, where to go during a tornado, and where the break room is," Bennett said. "Where the restrooms are - and all those important things you need to know when, essentially starting a new job, because we're all in a new building."

And as you might imagine, there were lots of questions about everything from parking to where the restrooms are - to where to go when severe weather strikes.

And to make sure it felt like home too - HR handed out welcome boxes - something of a house-warming gift and a 'thank-you' for everyone's patience and hard-work.