Self-Improvement Month

September is Self-Improvement Month! Self-improvement can be related to many things, whether it’s learning something new, maximizing a strength or focusing on your physical or emotional wellbeing. Celebrate this month by taking some time for yourself, growing and using these MSU resources to help get you started.

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace

Take advantage of this personal development course in October. The Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace course will help you break the seven habits of negativity and other secrets of getting along. For more information, click here

Take a Walk Around MSU

Utilize our beautiful campus or take a stroll through the East Lansing area. Taking a walk is great exercise, but can also improve your mental and emotional well-being.

TIAA Webinar: Strategies for Staying on Track

The WorkLife Office is hosting a webinar to help you stay on track of your financial goals. This opportunity will give you tips on how to have a solid financial future even after you’ve stopped working. For more information, click here

Identify and Maximize Your Strengths

This course will teach you how to benefit most from your strengths based on your CliftonStrengths Assessment. The assessment identifies your natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, so that you can discover what makes you exceptional and maximize your potential. For more information, click here

Spartan Clothing Swap

Work on your self-improvement by cleaning out your closet, helping the planet and giving back to others in the community. The Surplus Store and Recycling Center are hosting a clothing swap where you can swap your clothes in good condition with others and keep them out of the waste stream. For more information, click here

Wellbeing Wednesdays: Supporting Each Other Through the Next New Normal

The WorkLife Office and Health4U have partnered to bring you Wellbeing Wednesdays. This informal webinar will focus on how we can support each other during continued change and the importance of self-care. For more information, click here

Ready, Set, Change!

This personal development course will demonstrate how organizational change can result in better outcomes. Join this November to improve and take charge of your organizational environment. For more information, click here

Strings Sing: 2022 Music and the Garden Series

Take in the natural beauty of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, relax, and enjoy some chamber music and jazz at the 2022 Music and the Garden Series. For more information, click here

Women’s Networking Association: All Things Women’s Health – Understanding and Taking Care of Your Body

The Women’s Networking Association will host this webinar to teach women how to best take care of and listen to their bodies. For more information, click here

The Power of Habit™

This personal development course will teach you how to replace undesirable habits with productive ones. Join us in October, and kick those bad habits for good! For more information, click here.  

Share your favorite self-improvement tips and comment below!

Spartans’ Top Tips for Successful Hybrid or Remote Work

With the implementation of MSU’s new remote work policies, many of us are officially working a hybrid or remote schedule or are considering doing so in the future. 

We asked Spartans who work all over campus to share their best tips for their hybrid or remote work schedules. The top tips below cover leveraging Teams, establishing a consistent routine, staying connected with colleagues, and more. 

Tips for a Successful Hybrid Schedule

“Having a docking station at home and work makes things very seamless. A daily morning routine to get yourself focused for work is also helpful.” –Elizabeth V.

“Our team takes turns covering the administrative office, so we are always open, and everyone gets to work from home a few days a week. During our weekly Zoom meetings, we talk through shared tasks and have a few laughs. We also have mini-retreats each semester to plan for big events, projects, and challenges. The hybrid schedule helps us to focus and enhance productivity while giving our staff the flexibility to achieve better life balance.” –Mary Beth G.

“Work with your team to determine the best days for in-person and remote work. Put a sign at your desk letting people know when you are remote or in-person and how to reach you. Add reminders to your calendar at the end of your location transition day to bring your work materials with you for the next morning. When switching from remote to in-office, place your bags by the door the night before to help you remember. Use a laptop with a docking station for an easy transition. When remote, reach out to coworkers to ensure everything is running smoothly and see how their day is going.” –Brooke P.

“I highly recommend using the Microsoft Teams apps: Tasks by Planner and To Do and Remind Myself. Tasks by Planner and To-Do allows me to create a digital list of tasks and arrange them by priority, due date, and active or completed. Remind Myself is for tasks unsuited to my calendar but require attention. The application provides the option to list and snooze your reminders. All reminders appear as a chat notification in Teams. Both applications allow me to remain focused and organized in the office and home!” –Bianca P.

“Wake up at the same time, no matter where you work. Keep a notebook of your daily tasks that is easy to carry back and forth. I have a file on a shared drive to access from both locations. Try to maintain a healthy diet at home and in the office. Exercise daily—podcasts make it fun. Take time when you are in the office to connect with others.” –Sue S.

“To ensure I have the information I need in the office and at home, I have a file folder holder I keep important documents in that I take back and forth. The files stay in the folder until I need them.” –Rhonda B.

Tips for a Successful Remote Schedule

“My team has co-working times–Teams meetings where team members join for a set amount of time. We discuss how we’re doing, what we’ve been working on, and what we want to work on during our time together. The meetings keep us connected and allow us to get help if needed.” –Kelly S.

“When working remotely, put on music you like. I listen to my ‘Liked Songs’ playlist for a happy boost. I also like to put on a video I’ve seen multiple times that I can ignore. As a former teacher, I would often grade papers and write lesson plans with the movie, ‘You’ve Got Mail’ playing in the background.” –Corinne L.

“I think it is important for people working remotely or in a hybrid setting to have a designated office space (not a dining room or kitchen table). Remote work comes with its perks. If I don’t have a Zoom meeting all day, I will usually dress a little more comfortably. On days when I have meetings, I will dress as if I were going to the office. Do what makes you comfortable and productive! Be sure to take breaks too! I will sometimes block my calendar for my lunch break so I don’t forget and others will see that I am away on my calendar.” –Marie G.

“Stay in a routine, utilize your calendar and practice good time management. Stay in touch with your team and if you are caught up, ask your supervisor if you can do more to help. Take your designated lunch hour to maintain your routine. Time management skills are key to working remotely. Set yourself weekly and daily goals to accomplish tasks in an effective and timely manner.”

Christine H.

Thank you to everyone who shared their ideas! If you have more tips, share them in the comments!

July Events Round-up

Are you looking to find events for you and your family this summer? There are activities (in-person and virtual) on campus and in the Greater Lansing community that are perfect for the summer. Many events require registration, so be sure to click the links to learn more.

Events on Campus

Starts July 625th Annual Muelder Summer Carillon Concert Series: Enjoy the bells of Beaumont Tower, for free, every Wednesday.

July 10Architecture Tour: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MSU Broad Art Museum by learning more about the building’s unique architecture.

July 14Beal Botanical Garden Tour: Toxic Plants That ‘Fly Under the Radar’: Learn from garden curator, Peter Carrington about what plants may be more dangerous than you think.

July 17Soft and Sharp Jazz: 2022 Music and the Garden Series: Bring the whole family for art and science activities, followed by a concert featuring the MSU College of Music chamber music and jazz. 

July 30Public Making Hours: Join fellow community members in working on creative projects.

Lansing Events

July 8Comedy Murder Mystery Cruise aboard the Michigan Princess: Let the detective in you come to life with a buffet and a trip down the river. 

July 8Live Music with Darin Larner Band: Enjoy a wide range of music from Lansing’s own Darin Langer Band. 

July 9REO Town Marketplace Celebrates Mardi Gras: Enjoy all the festivities of Mardi Gras  right in Lansing. 

July 14 –  Michigan Princess Lunchtime Cruise: Enjoy lunch and music from Dixieland Jazz Band on a cruise down the river. 

July 21Zoo Night: Come see the Potter Park Zoo after hours with drinks and food. For 21+ guests only.

Health and Wellness

July 12Good Form Walking/Good Form Running Clinic: Learn injury avoidance practices and improve efficiency of movement while running or walking. 

July 23Wellness Weekends Series: Meditation Tour: Utilize meditation and mindfulness techniques to deepen your experience of art. 

Family-Friendly Activities

Starts July 1Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions: Come debunk astronomy myths at the Abrams Planetarium every weekend. 

Starts July 1 A Teenager’s Guide to the Galaxy: Learn about different science topics at the Abrams Planetarium every Sunday. 

Starts July 8Summer Concert Series: Enjoy free live performances on Friday nights in the Ann Street Plaza. 

July 10Brunch on the Lawn: Bring a blanket and enjoy brunch from Whipped and Tin Cup Cafe & Creamery Trailer. 

Starts July 11Eaton County Fair: Enjoy live entertainment, rides, contests and more until July 16. 

July 11MSU Bug House Monday Night Open House: View insects from all over the world at the MSU Bug House. 

Starts July 12Play in the Park: Bring the family for an interactive children’s entertainment series July 12 and July 26. 

July 17Abrams Planetarium Sensory Friendly Shows: Enjoy sensory friendly shows where everyone is welcome. 

July 30Michigan’s Bacon Festival: Celebrate bacon with food, games and live music for all ages.  

July 30Sensory Friendly Hours: Visit the Impression5 Science Center for their sensory friendly hours. 

Learning Opportunities

July 6Building, Accessing, and Using Contemporary Anishinabe Collections of Michigan State University Museum: Join this ZOOM presentation and learn about the traditional arts of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. 

July 12 & 13The Office of Employee Relations (OER) and the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) Presentation: Join this interactive presentation regarding employees with disabilities and the process for requesting workplace disability accommodations. This program will build awareness of disability as part of diversity, inclusive language, and disability accommodation resources.

July 13The Power of Habit: Learn how to replace bad habits with good ones in this course. 

Starts July 14Science Gallery – Youth Symposium “Hot and Bothered”: Learn about climate issues until July 19.

July 282022 MSU Autism Conference: Come listen to panel discussions at The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Pediatrics and Human Development annual event. 

Make More Time for Fun with These Summer Health Tips

Whether you’re planning a road trip, family picnic, or trip to the lake, there is so much to do in Michigan during the summer months. And while these types of events can provide a ton of fun for your family, there are ways to make Summer safer, too.

Tips for a Healthy Summer

Here are some tips to help keep you safe, stay informed and keep the fun times rolling:

  • Sun Protection: Utilize shade when you can, wear a hat, and don’t forget about the sunscreen (at least SPF 15 is recommended for sun protection).
  • Stay Hydrated: Beat the summer heat and drink a lot of water.
  • Insect Protection: The best way to prevent mosquito bites and ticks is to wear insect repellent and to wear long sleeves or pants. Make sure to check your clothing, body and pets when you go inside!
  • Keep Cool: Take breaks from being in direct sunlight and utilize fans or air conditioning when needed. Take note of weather forecasts and plan events accordingly.

In addition to these tips, if you participate in a flexible spending account (FSA) you can use your funds to help pay for common summer necessities and/or camps for your kids.

Tips for Health Care FSA Funds

Save an average of 30% by using your Health Care FSA funds on the following eligible expenses that double as travel necessities:

  • Allergy medications
  • Blister care kits
  • Bug bite treatments
  • Orthotics/insoles
  • Sun reader eyeglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • SPF lip balm
  • Travel first-aid kits
  • Traveling neck pillows
  • UV detection stickers
  • And more!

Worried about buying something that isn’t considered an eligible expense? Consider shopping at the online FSA Store for worry-free purchases since everything on the FSA Store website is a guaranteed eligible expense. Be sure to check out their monthly coupons and promo codes for additional savings.

If you don’t have an FSA and are wondering if you should participate in one, learn more about the two types of FSAs available to benefit-eligible MSU employees on the HR website and consider enrolling in one or both types during the benefits Open Enrollment period in October this year.

Sources:

Spring Event Roundup

There isn’t a better time than Spring to explore, improve, and enjoy everything MSU has to offer as the weather warms up and the sun peeks through the clouds.

Looking for a reason to get outside? MSU Horticulture and Gardens is taking advantage of the April showers and May flowers. You should too!

  • Check out the 2022 garden displays in the Beal Gardens on the East Lansing campus, and learn from MSU Horticulture expert and garden manager Daedre McGrath about what was planted and why by reading this article.
  • Dive into even more about the flora in the Beal Gardens with an MSU Libraries event in May called Wild Foods and the Salad Bar of Spring. Bring your family and friends to a stroll through the dos and don’ts of growing your own vegetables.
  • If you love what you saw in the gardens, mark your calendar for the annual Horticulture Gardens Plant Sale on May 14 at the Plant and Soil Sciences Building. You can even become a Garden Member to shop the sale early and receive 10% off. 

After a day of Spring cleaning, grab a well deserved break at one of the many offerings this season at Wharton Center:

  • MSU’s Music Department is celebrating 150 years of bands with a grand performance on April 30. Purchase tickets and view the seating map here.
  • The Wharton is hosting two Broadway caliber touring shows in the next few months so make sure to pick up your tickets for Dear Evan Hanson and Ain’t Too Proud before they sell out.

No matter the season, prioritizing your health and wellness is always important, and MSU has the tools to help faculty and staff year round:

  • For the first time in two years, Rest with Music at the Abrams Planetarium is back. Discover the healing properties of music once a month in person or on Health4U’s Facebook Live. 
  • MSU’s IM facilities are great places to start preparing for a summer hike, swim or bike ride and offer discounted rates for staff. Visit their website for rates, capacity trackers, and up to date hours, which change after the conclusion of the Spring Semester. 

As always, if you are looking to improve some of your soft work skills or discover a new passion for work, professional development is for you.

Go out and explore this spring, but don’t forget your allergy pills!

Go Green this Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22, so let’s celebrate because helping the planet is not only recycling but so much more! Here are some ways you can help our Spartan community go green! Whether you are working from home, heading into the office or any combination, use these great tips and resources to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

MSU Recycling Center always leads the charge for reusable materials at MSU. The center is open seven days a week for dropping off materials. These materials can be anything and everything from books, cardboard, glass, plastics and more! Find their hours along with what and how to drop things off at the MSU Recycling Center website

If you do spend some or all of your workday away from home, consider looking into clean commuting options. You can try biking, CATA or even Spin Scooters. MSU Bikes can give 1-on-1 bike commuter assistance, helping you find the safest, lowest-stress route from your home to campus. MSU also offers secure covered bike parking and repair and air stations for your convenience. Information can be found on their website

Capital Area Transportation Authority offers multiple clean commute options with travel modes that fit your work hours and location. CATA also offers a commute cost calculator by examining how much money you spend driving and how much you can save by using the bus and other CATA services. Visit the CATA website to learn how to add CATA to your sustainable daily routine. 

Spin electric scooters are the newest addition to clean, affordable, convenient and fun ways to get around campus. These scooters are dockless, so no need to find a charger to pick them up or drop them off. They operate seven days a week during all daylight hours. To ride these electric scooters that travel up to 14 miles per hour, just download the Spin App and scan the unique QR code on the scooter you want to ride. Get ready to ride on and around campus by going to MSU’s Spin Scooter landing page

Are you looking for some new accessories to improve your work from home space? Do you need something different as you transition back to the office? The MSU Surplus Store is worth checking out! Finding items second hand is a great way to make a pledge to go green, especially when everything is at such great prices. Read MSU HR’s feature on the Surplus Store to learn more about the great services and items they offer!

This Earth Day, it has never been easier to make a pledge and go green! Reduce your carbon footprint with a clean commute, reuse and shop second hand at the MSU Surplus Store, and of course, recycle at the MSU Recycling Center. Putting in the effort this Earth Day and every day after that will make a difference for our planet!

Deals and Discounts for Spring Break 2022

Contrary to the weather in Michigan, Spring Break 2022 is quickly approaching! Prepare for a relaxing beachside week, a week of theme parks or a week at home with family using these exclusive employee discounts from MSU Benefits Plus.

To access all the discounts, visit MSU Benefits Plus and sign up for a free account using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge or on EBS).

Still looking for that perfect rental car or hotel for your trip? Are you headed to Disney World and need a discount on tickets? These are the perfect travel discounts for you:

  • National Car Rental: Use the code XZ20LK4 when booking your car rental for their exclusive Big Ten employee discount.
  • Wyndham Hotel Group: At participating Wyndham locations, book over the phone or online for up to 20% off the “Best Available Rate” with ID number 1000009114.
  • OrlandoVacation.com: Discounted Walt Disney World vacations for MSU staff, faculty, students and family members are available online with the code msusaves.

Staying at home during break has never sounded so enticing! See a new movie for less or bring your family to their first basketball game with these entertainment discounts:

  • Premium Seats USA: It is the height of the NBA season and there is no better time to check out a game with a 10% discount on tickets! Use the code CORESTREAM on the Premium Seats USA website.
  • AMC Theaters: Book movie tickets online for over 40% off at AMC, AMC Loews, AMC Showplace, Cineplex Odeon, Magic Johnson and Star Theaters.

Whether you are leaving town or staying in, you can try a new restaurant, see a show and more with these bonus flexible discounts:

  • Tickets at Work: Before you travel, book tickets for a show, visit an event and more, check your MSU discounts through Tickets at Work. The site is always being updated with new discounts and exclusives for employees.
  • Restaurant.com: As a special exclusive deal for MSU employees, pay $6 for $25 in restaurant certificates online using the code CORE.

Find these savings as well as many other benefits by visiting the MSU Benefits Plus portal. Sign up or log in today and have a great Spring Break!

Adjust Your Work Approach for Success During Challenging Times

Written by Danielle Hook, Learning and Development Manager for HR Organization and Professional Development

This past month has many of us experiencing the feeling of “…this again?” Frequent and unexpected changes to priorities, workspaces and expectations can make productivity and focus feel impossible. Perhaps you find yourself working from home with small children (again), adjusting to staffing changes within your team or experiencing feelings of burnout or languishing.

In addition to requiring greater patience and flexibility, we’re finding ourselves called upon to take an alternative approach to how we normally complete our work. Whether you feel like you’re stuck in a pandemic time loop, where each day blends into the next, or you’re struggling to manage your time and projects while in a state of uncertainty, there are a few simple steps that can help guide your work approach during this time.

Have a Plan

If there is a chance you could find yourself pivoting quickly to accommodate a change in your work plan — your child’s daycare closing, a new colleague, uncertainty about whether you’ll be working in-office or remotely — a loose plan can make the transition a little smoother. The reality is that no amount of planning can fully alleviate the physical, mental and emotional drain many of us feel when faced with this much uncertainty. However, with a bit of intention, a sudden change in circumstances can become an opportunity instead of an obstacle. Having a structure in place that allows for adaptability and accounts for your specific circumstances can provide you a clearer path should things change unexpectedly.

Read related article: What’s Your Plan? Six Steps to Align Your Goals with What’s Important to You

Align Expectations With Attainable Goals

Consider how you would define success during this period of time. Identify what might indicate success and align your expectations accordingly. Set truly attainable goals, both personally and professionally. Think about the types of activities or tasks you could reasonably make progress on under the circumstances in which you’re working. Of those things, is there something you can work on that might even bring joy or satisfaction?

Read related article: Adapting Your Goal-Driven Approach During Times of Change

Choose Work That Fits Your Circumstances

This requires some insight into your strengths and work style. Consider the nature of the various tasks on your to-do list. Where possible, prioritize those which hold the highest likelihood of success within your current context. Your supervisor may be able to help with reprioritization and appreciate being informed of your plans. Here are some examples of this differentiation.

  • Some individuals will find the most success with independent work that allows them to engage in spurts and intervals. This work can easily be left and returned to without consequence.
    Examples: drafting documents, working with data and metrics, developing strategy, processing forms.
  • Others may find success using this time for engagement. Making calls and participating in discussions can be a great use of time for someone with busy hands who can’t be in front of a computer.
    Examples: an informal project check-in, idea generation discussions, one-on-ones with your team.
  • Is there a way you can use this time to catch up on things not often prioritized but still important?
    Examples: Cleaning up an inbox, managing or reorganizing documents, getting caught up in Teams.
  • Alternatively, sometimes there are things that can be set up now that benefit your future self.
    Examples: Did you know you can use the Quick Parts feature in Outlook to store templates for email content you use repeatedly? Or, that with Microsoft Planner, you can set up multiple tasks lists, assign them to yourself and others, assign due dates and more? Consider drafting and scheduling email communications that need to be distributed at a future date.
  • Professional development is another option to expand your skillset and engage in learning around the topics that mean the most to you.
    Examples: Virtual courses through HR Organization and Professional Development, Health4U, and IT Training, self-paced elevateU learning programs, professional podcasts, audiobooks, and live webinars.

Additional Resources

It is worth recognizing that each individual situation is unique, and solutions are never one size fits all. Some resources to help guide you through this period are included below, and know there are many additional services available to you as an MSU employee if you’d like further assistance, including Organization and Professional Developmentthe WorkLife Office, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and Health4U.

Adapting to Change

Rapid Change: Making Your Way Through (blog post)

Strategies to Thrive Through Change (2-minute video)

Determining Your Work Style and Strengths

Everything DiSC: Behavior Styles at Work (3.5-hour Zoom course)

Identify and Maximize Your Strengths (4-hour Zoom course)

Mental Health

Mental Health Matters: Resources from MSU (blog post)

Recognizing and Managing Stress During Times of Change (blog post)

Motivation and Focus

Are You Procrastinating? Increase Motivation and Take Action with These Simple Steps (blog post)

The Art of Staying Focused (on-demand, 30-minute virtual course)

Working from Home with Children

Best Practices for Working at Home with Children

Things to Do to Keep Kids Active, Engaged and Learning While Home

Employee Discounts to Support your 2022 Resolutions

Another new year means new resolutions, and MSU Benefits Plus wants to make those goals and tasks more achievable than ever. Below, you can learn more about these exclusive health, wellness, and other helpful discounts for MSU employees and start your journey to a happy new year today!

To access all of these discounts and more, login to MSU Benefits Plus today. If you haven’t used MSU Benefits Plus previously, register using your ZPID number (located on your Spartan Card ID badge or in EBS). 

Exercise and Mental Health:

  • Zeamo – On Demand workouts and fitness classes from top fitness brands and instructors – select free workouts and get 50% off your first month of gym and studio access with promo code 50OFF09.
  • Fitbod – Workouts that improve as you do by studying your strength and training ability, all from your phone – 25% off membership with promo code CORE.
  • Calm – 57% off of a one year subscription for the Apple App Store and Google Play Store’s most popular mental wellness application ($29.99 instead of $69.99).

Travel:

  • LMT Club – A free membership to the exclusive Last Minute Travel club (a $50 value), a website created so you can get the best deals on hotels and other travel needs.
  • Tickets at Work – Find deals of up to 60% off hotels in tons of destinations using this exclusive link.

Taxes:

  • Turbo Tax – While it’s no one’s favorite part about the new year, get a little more excited about filing your taxes by saving up to $20 using the link found on the MSU Benefits Plus website.

Education:

  • Spartan Bookstore – If you are looking for books to learn something new or just to enjoy some reading, visit the Spartan Bookstore for 10% off new and used books with your faculty/staff ID.
  • Walden University – The new year is the perfect time to gain some new knowledge that can support you in your career. Receive10% off your tuition for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs at Walden University with this link.

Tech:

  • Apple – Get ready to get the best deals if you choose to spend your holiday gift money on new Apple products because MSU employees get exclusive pricing through the Employee Purchase Program using this link.
  • Dell – Ready to upgrade your workspace in 2022? Get the best prices from Dell’s Work from Home Bundles with Member ID PS113067902.

The HR website also offers other deals you can find on-campus through the MSU Tech Store, MSU Bakers, and the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center, among others. You can check out some of those deals through the MSU HR Website.

For more information on discounts from MSU Benefits Plus, visit the HR website. If you have any questions about the discounts, please call MSU Benefits Plus at 888-758-7575.

Leadership Blog Series: Happiness, Well-Being and Psychological Wealth

Written by Sharri Margraves, Director for Organization and Professional Development

Am I happy?

How do I know if someone is happy?

What can I do to influence the happiness of others?

Happiness is subjective — each of us has our own vision of what happiness means to us. The many definitions of happiness and the different topics connected to it can lead us to more questions than answers. As such, is it worth your time as a leader to consider whether your employees are happy and take action to increase happiness within your team?

Happiness and Well-Being

Let’s consider the relationship between happiness and well-being. Happiness is a component of well-being; it can exist without well-being, but well-being can’t exist without happiness.

Happiness contributes toward health and longevity, which can be measured with a number of physiological tests including immune system strength, plaque build-up, and healthier behaviors such as a propensity toward physical activity or wearing a seatbelt.

As a supervisor, this is worth noting as happy employees can lead to lower healthcare costs, fewer sick days, lower turnover, and greater productivity and creativity.

Happiness and Psychological Wealth

Dr. Ed Diener, recognized as an expert on Subjective Well-Being (SWB), posits that being happy provides psychological wealth, stating, “Psychological wealth is your true total net worth, and includes your attitudes toward life, social support, spiritual development, material resources, health, and the activities in which you engage.”

SWB is good for work, families and society as a whole, but it’s important to note SWB doesn’t replace workplace basics: flexibility, respect, having the right tools, knowing the goals…these are all still contributors toward one’s psychological wealth.

Happiness in the Workplace

What brings someone happiness may change over time. Fulfillment in your early 20s often looks different than in your retirement years. What was most critical such as family and employment may eventually transition to health and leisure.

Regardless of where your employees are in their professional and personal journeys, there are key ways you can create an environment that supports their happiness and well-being.

  1. Empower employees to craft their jobs. Provide training and build relationships that are connected to a purpose. Do your employees know how what they do serves the greater good? Can you honor flexibility in working conditions? Research has shown flexibility can contribute to reduced turnover and physical and mental health improvements.
  2. Honor core organizational values and encourage employees to define their own personal core values. While we each have our own core values, organizational values that are practiced, observed, and honored foster happier employees.
  3. Ask employees for help in problem solving workplace issues — then actually implement the improvements to reduce stress and help retain employees.
  4. Foster social belonging. Each work environment has its own microcultures but recognizing each other should be a regular feature. Leading with kudos — both internal and external — can foster happiness and well-being by building positive relationships.
  5. Think positive. Self-sabotaging a positive mindset affects you personally, but as a leader, it also has the added impact of influencing others. You are worthy of success and adequate. You can do hard things. When you feel the need to lament on something — and let’s face it, we all have our moments — be sure you are reaching out to a neutral party to vent or process.
  6. Build healthy habits. From stretch breaks to healthy snack choices, lean into fostering a healthy environment by engaging with Health4U and other resources for MSU staff and faculty. Below are a few ideas to help you get started.

Recommended Resources

Mental Health Matters: Resources from MSU

Compassionate Leadership: Awareness of Mental Health Needs as the Pandemic Continues

Recognizing and Managing Stress During Times of Change

References

Diener, E., Diener-Biswas, R., Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth (Blackwell, 2008). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdxbmVbr3NY

Kelly, L., Berkman, L., Kubzanksky, L., Lovejoy, M. (2021). 7 Strategies to improve your employees’ health and well-being. https://hbr.org/2021/10/7-strategies-to-improve-your-employees-health-and-well-being