Ways to Create a Healthy Work Environment
Share the Big Picture
Help people see how their individual role supports the work of your department, your college/division, and ultimately the goals of the University. Let them know how their contribution makes a difference. Share information about what’s happening on campus that will help them understand why UMBC is such an exciting place to be!
Have a Plan and Communicate
A clear plan with goals and priorities helps people make the right choices when they can’t do it all. Measurable outcomes and a way to monitor progress help people know when they are on track, and when they need to adjust course. Let people know when they are doing well, and hold them accountable for their part of the effort of the team. Celebrate successes!
Create opportunities for conversations about successes and what is working well, and what we can improve. Create opportunities for people to collaboratively work on projects together. Invite people to share their perspective and welcome their ideas about how to do things even better. Be available to your colleagues, invite feedback, and keep communication open.
Use People’s Talents
Tapping into your colleagues’ strengths and the skills they most enjoy using will improve motivation, self-esteem, and interest in learning, satisfaction, and results. It also maximizes the collective potential of a team.
Streamline processes and procedures wherever possible to improve efficiency of time and effort. Ensure people have the tools and information that will support their productivity. Link them to the resources they need to be effective in their position, including where to get information and advice on how to be successful.
Connect people with others who can be a mentor or coach them through taking on a particular project. Connect them to people or resources that can assist them in dealing with professional issues and with personal issues that affect them at work or school. Where it works for the operational needs of the department, employ flexible work schedules to help people fit exercise into their day or other things that promote a healthy work-life balance.
Provide encouragement and support for your colleagues to work on their professional development goals as well as goals for their health and wellbeing. Be creative with various development approaches, as well as creating time to attend online or classroom training. Give support for the learning process and practice, and help people make the connection from what they are learning to actual challenges or problem-solving they face day-to-day. Find ways to make development collaborative, and share with each other what you are learning.
Promote Safety and Health
Provide training and safeguards that address safety and security issues. Encourage exercise, healthy eating, and other beneficial health habits. Remind people of the benefits of taking breaks with healthy practices that help them ‘re-charge’ to improve concentration, focus, mood, and energy. Create opportunities for colleagues to walk or do athletic activities together.
Tend to Relationships
Creating healthy relationships and collaborative partnerships requires attention and positive intention, careful listening, speaking up in appropriate ways, healthy and creative resolution of conflicts, reinforcement for respectful behavior, and mutual support for learning and growth.
Find creative ways to recognize people’s contributions. Take advantage of every opportunity to express your appreciation. It doesn’t take long, and it can have a big impact.
Encourage Ways to Have Fun
We can be productive and have fun at the same time! ‘Holding things lightly’ and having a sense of play relieves stress, promotes a positive outlook, and increases creativity.
Be a Good Role Model
Sometimes our own example is the most powerful means of influence. Be aware of and intentional about how you ‘show up,’ and honor the power that you have to make a difference in the lives of those around you.