Resolutions That Work
Jan. 16, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
Personal objectives like saving money or eating healthier often come to mind this time of year. While setting personal goals is valuable, there are also other areas where we can consider improvements. Why not resolutions in the workplace as well?
There are many ways to implement new workplace resolutions on a personal level (within the context of work), at a team level, or department-wide. As we roll out a new year and a new semester in 2020, here are a few top suggestions to consider.
Research linking long-term sitting with numerous health concerns is good reason to increase daily movement. Recognizing the valuable benefits of physical activity, the university recently enhanced the SHSU Employee Wellness Program policy, offering a maximum 2.5 hours of release time per week for approved wellness activities. See policy details. Additional wellness programs for faculty, staff and students will be announced later this spring through Elevate.
For Donna Artho, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management, walking work meetings have become an enjoyable solution for her and her team in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness who are typically seated at computers the majority of the day.
“Learning more about SHSU on our walking meetings around campus is important to us, so we made a list of destinations to investigate over time. We have enjoyed visiting numerous sculptures on campus, art galleries, new construction, dining halls and various events in Bearkat Plaza and the LSC. From time to time, the group discusses department projects or issues, where additional input helps frame the challenges. Other times, we visit about personal events and catch up on life away from work. We always return with our heads a little clearer and a smile,” Artho said.
Ready to get moving around campus?
Blocking Calendar Time
Time flies – even at work. Being conscious of how we use it can lead to positive results in the workplace. One-step in the right direction is blocking specific times on your calendar to prioritize objectives. Not only can this ensure goals are met, setting time constraints for specific goals will help you focus and work more efficiently.
Vinessa Mundorff, associate director of Career Services, uses this approach for her own work calendar, and also when helping students prepare for the workforce.
“Blocked time devoted to specific tasks makes for a work routine that is easy to stay on top of and get things accomplished for me. When I am talking with students about employment searching, I suggest they set a block of time on their calendar each day to look for employment opportunities. It is often true that looking for employment is a full time job, so being intentional with objectives each day will often help the student fill more focused,” Mundorff said.
Ready to enhance you time management skills and earn professional development time? SHSU Talent Management offers the online class: Planning and Prioritizing Your Time
While puzzles may seem puzzling in the workplace, research shows that taking a few minutes out of each day to rest from your daily tasks and challenge your mind in unique ways can increase attention to detail, productivity, collaboration and team morale.
Megan Richardson, associate director of the Office of Health Promotion, leads many initiatives to improve the health and wellness of the campus community. One recurring event throughout the semester is “Zen Den,” a promotion that encourages people to participate in puzzles, board games, coloring books and more.
“It is easy to be wrapped up in the busyness of the workday and all of the tasks we want to check off our to-do lists. Taking mental health breaks throughout your day, however, are shown to produce meaningful and significant improvements in attention, energy, and stress levels,” Richardson said. “Allowing yourself a few minutes to meditate or relax and unwind with a brain game can not only boost your overall morale, but also make your workday more productive.”
Find more on upcoming Office of Health Promotion events.
Although it may seem counterproductive, taking a moment to breath, relax and refocus can help productivity. The workplace can fall into a routine and research shows carving out time in that routine for meditation is important.
“Mindfulness and Meditation” is a workshop offered in the Helping Kats C.O.P.E. series run by the SHSU Counseling Center. Dr. Michelle Castanon, licensed staff psychologist and workshop presenter explained why scheduled time to relax is actually helpful in being more efficient.
“Creating a daily mindfulness practice such as deep breathing, meditating, mindful walking, or mindful eating can help reduce stress, anxiety and depression,” Castanon said. “Your practice could be between 5-10 minutes long and the impact can improve your daily work life balance.”
Learn more online about the Helping Kats C.O.P.E. Workshop Series and other Counseling Center services.
As a culture, it is often assumed that “all work and no play” is the best way to maximize productivity, however research has shown that incorporating a healthy balance of humor into the workplace facilitates high-performance, heightened creativity, and overall employee engagement. When used properly, humor is vital to workplace culture.
Emily Peacock, assistant professor of Photography, finds that injecting humor into her workday has a variety of benefits.
“I try to incorporate humor whenever possible; life is hard and we need to laugh. When I use humor in the classroom, such as making a joke at my own expense or telling a funny story, I find that it encourages inclusivity. Students speak up and participate more in discussions. An art class can be stressful for students when receiving criticism about their work, and I find a little humor can release the tension in the room, giving the students space to become more relaxed and receptive to other’s comments,” Peacock said. “This past semester I did a game show-style review session where I called two students down at a time to answer questions in fashion of Family Feud. I used a microphone, did my best impression of a cheesy host and even gave out some prizes. The students really enjoyed it, plus they got excellent results on their midterms.”
Learn more on using humor in the workplace (and earn professional development time) through SHSU Talent Management’s online class: Using Humor with Diplomacy and Tact. In this course, you'll review how to employ humor during everyday situations, in conversations and during meetings, and to defuse conflict.
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