Don’t Let Your Summer Be a Bummer: Take Advantage of These Summer Activities on Campus!

There’s no doubt that this summer’s activities will be a little different than usual, but don’t let that stop you from having fun! While you might be missing being able to walk through campus from meeting to meeting or enjoying the beautiful scenery of West Circle during your lunch break, there are still plenty of activities to do on campus this summer while practicing social distancing. From grabbing a curbside scoop of your favorite ice cream at the Dairy Store to hiking the trails at the Kellogg Biological Station Bird Sanctuary, there are activities for everyone to get involved with on-campus this summer while still being able to remain safe and healthy.

Summer Campus Activities

  1. The MSU Dairy Store is now offering curbside pick up on all your favorite treats. Visit their website to order a pint for you and your family to help beat the summer heat!
  2. The MSU Student Organic Farm has opened an online store where you are now able to place orders for pick up at the farm starting in mid-June.
  3. Hike the trails at the Kellogg Biological Station Bird Sanctuary! Although all buildings currently remain closed, you can still enjoy the beautiful scenery as you make your way through the trails.
  4. The MSU Broad Art Museum is offering in-home, virtual studio classes on Thursday evenings. Check out the calendar on their website to find a class to join and perfect your artistic skills.
  5. The Forest Akers Golf Course is now open! Read more about how to stay safe on the course with the COVID-19 safety procedures on their website.
  6. The MSU Community Music School is now offering online programs available for both adults and kids. Click on the program link to find all kinds of classes from private lessons to individual and group music therapy.
  7. The Wharton Center is continuing their commitment to sharing the power of performing arts with the community during this time by offering their dynamic programming, education and outreach to patrons through their “whARTon at home” programs. Click on the program link to learn more about these programs and how you can stay connected to the Wharton Center virtually.

For those at a greater risk for COVID-19 or for those who wish to remain quarantined in their homes, there are still tons of great virtual events to take part in this summer from the comfort of your own home. The WorkLife Office events calendar is another helpful resource full of even more virtual events happening in the MSU community for you and your families to utilize.

However you plan to spend your summer this year, we hope that you all will remain safe and healthy and continue to practice social distancing until we are able to see each other on campus again. In the meantime, wear a mask, wash your hands often, and have a fantastic summer Spartans!

Upcoming Supervisor Professional Development Courses

As a supervisor or manager, it’s important to keep learning in order to build a successful team and keep your employees engaged. Whether you’re brand new to your leadership role or an experienced supervisor looking for resources to develop your skills, we offer a variety of classes to help you grow in your career. Stay on track with your personal and professional goals by taking one of these upcoming courses.

Fundamentals of Supervision – March 11

Supervisors are a main determinant of overall performance, retention, and morale in an organization. This session will help participants with less than three years of supervisory experience learn fundamental skills to become a successful supervisor.

Communication Strategies for Supervisors – March 12

One of the non-negotiables for successful leadership is being an effective communicator. Many leaders believe they do communicate effectively, but what most leaders do not understand about communicating with their team is that it is not just about what is said. It is about how it is said, when it is said, to whom, did the receiver understand the message in the way it was intended, and on and on. To lead successfully today, leaders must be able to persuade, inspire, listen, articulate the big picture, and create teams of people who buy into and trust the sender.

Manager as Coach – March 12

Successful managers today understand the importance of coaching in the workplace to improve productivity, loyalty, and results. Instead of telling team members what to do, or just expecting them to perform, it is important to guide, discuss and encourage – in other words, coach.  This session is geared to help leaders understand the importance of being a successful coach.

Creating an Inclusive Environment – March 17

While this course is for everyone, it’s especially important for leaders to understand how to create an inclusive working environment. First, you will work to understand and identify categories associated with the various labels we apply to ourselves and others. Second, you’ll consider the ways in which these categories apply to you and how this shapes your interactions with others. Finally, you’ll then be introduced to an exercise designed to enhance self-awareness and bridge connections.

Supervisor Strategies for Performance Planning – March 17

As a supervisor, it is important that you sufficiently prepare and work collaboratively with your employees to make the Performance Planning portion of Performance Excellence successful. In this program, you can expect to learn strategies to link university and departmental priorities to the employee’s role, clarify expectations, write effective SMART goals, identify skill gaps, create a development plan and increase engagement in the process.

Leading Change – March 31

Effective leadership is imperative in times of transition, regardless of the nature or source of the changes you’re experiencing. This session will enable you to understand the phases of change, deal with resistance, build support for change, and communicate more effectively to reduce resistance and build change adeptness in staff members.

New Year, New Professional Development Courses!

Do you have any goals for 2020? Chances are if you do, they are likely centered around self-improvement. One way to enhance your work experience and get the most out of this year professionally is to take professional development courses! Find courses through Organization and Professional Development (OPD) to help you reach your personal and professional development goals.

Upcoming Courses:

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace – Wednesday, February 5

Turnover, stress-related illness, and disengagement are signs of a problematic workplace and according to the most recent Gallup polls, nearly 70% of employees are unhappy or disengaged at work. This course provides humorous insight into the seven habits of negativity, including tips to stop gossip, techniques for getting along with others, and strategies to reap the many benefits of a positive and engaged workforce.

From Distracted to Productive – Wednesday, February 5

Email. Interruptions. Project transitions. Office clutter. Social and other media. Text messages. Even family and friends. These seven “distractors” sometimes make it almost impossible to get anything done. But with some forethought and effective strategies, as well as some personal discipline, it is more than possible to find your focus once again, even in a hyper-distracted world. Learn “game plan” ideas for getting and keeping your distractors under control and finding critical “focused productivity” time each day, leading to improved performance as well as clarity of mind and purpose.

Managing Meetings – Wednesday, February 12

With company resources tighter than ever, and staff and management busier than ever, frivolous meetings are simply not an option. Yet they continue to occur more often than ever. And too many unproductive, wasteful meetings create a major drag on staff morale and motivation, thus affecting productivity, turnover, and the corporate “bottom line”. If you are the organizer or leader of meetings, you simply cannot afford to look unprofessional when you are “on stage” in a competitive or political environment. Use this program to better plan, lead, and follow through on your meetings and enhance team productivity, coordination, and cohesion.

Crucial Conversations – Wednesday, February 12 and Thursday, February 13

By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you’ll begin to surface the best ideas, make the highest-quality decisions, and then act on your decisions with unity and commitment. Learn step by step tools for promoting an open, honest dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics—at all levels of your organization.

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership – Wednesday, February 19

A strong leader ignites motivation and unleashes productivity creating an environment in which individuals want to “follow.” A person with high emotional intelligence has mastered self-management and interpersonal dynamics. Combine the two and the result is an emotionally intelligent leader!

Honing Your Emotional Intelligence – Wednesday, February 19

Isn’t it interesting how some people have a seemingly natural talent for handling themselves and/or others with ease? It is an amazing feat considering our high stress, multi-tasking, spread-too-thin world today. Most likely, these individuals have mastered the principles found within Emotional Intelligence. The essence of Emotional Intelligence is our ability to identify and manage our own emotions and our ability to identify emotions in others and manage interpersonal relationships.

Crucial Accountability – Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20

This two-day course teaches a step-by-step process for enhancing accountability, improving performance and ensuring execution. A combination of role-playing and interactive scenarios allows participants to practice how to talk about violated expectations in a way that solves problems, improves relationships and improves team and organizational effectiveness.

You can find all the current OPD courses on the HR website. Sign-up through the EBS Portal. Questions? Contact HR Solutions Center at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.