Because of the kind of work we do, at SaintA we really stress wellness and caregiver capacity. Individuals who work with troubled children and families simply cannot give what they don’t have. Self-care is critical.
So, it was really pleasing to me to see a few staff members recently conducting a walking meeting, moving around, getting a bit of exercise, while conducting business. What they were talking about was important. But so what they were doing.
We recently added some beautiful landscaping and picnic tables on the west side of our property. We had a lot of open green area, and we decided to add the picnic tables in addition to plants and shrubs in an effort to encourage staff to get outside more. Summers in Wisconsin can be very short, so we want our employees to enjoy it as much as possible.
I’m proud to say that our agency offers a rich paid time off policy, and our supervisors need to encourage all staff to take those breaks. Take a vacation. Go to the beach for a day. Ride your bike. Whatever staff like to do is critical to maintaining wellness, work/life balance and, ultimately being in their best condition to better serve our clients.
We talk a lot at SaintA about innovation. I think having a meeting at a picnic table or while strolling the grounds or hallways is very innovative – and it keeps the juices rolling and, in fact, can help concentration and productivity.
I would encourage leaders everywhere to stop for a moment and think about this. Those of us of a certain age may find it difficult to embrace such flexibility, particularly because that’s not how it was when we started working. But in the long run, research shows that it pays off.
So, warm weather is finally here. Go out and enjoy it. And bring yourself a better outlook on your work, and on yourself!
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