Yearning for Civility, “A Matter of Good Health”

in Top 10 2018, industrial organizational psychology

dog and cat civil together3rd of the Top 10 Wellness Stories from 2018

Worldwide, a yearning for civility blossomed in 2018, and workplaces were no exception.

In addition to Christine Porath’s presentation at SHRM, civility surfaced on the agenda of major wellness conferences, and a prominent midwest health care system launched, with some fanfare, an introductory “Choose Civility” e-course. Continue reading »

Food at Work. It’s a Thing.

in Uncategorized

I recently celebrated ten years at my current job.

I started in the thick of the holiday season. My first day, a co-worker came over to my cubicle to offer me a gooey chocolate confection she was serving off a piled-high tray. “Wow, what a classy holiday treat!” I thought.

Another co-worker left a tray of Italian cookies on the long credenza down the aisle. Then a couple of gifts came in from vendors — caramel-dipped popcorn from one, mixed nuts from the other — and they also were put on the credenza to share.

We had a big meeting where I was introduced, and a giant bowl of candy was passed around, for reasons unknown to me. It reminded me of my orientation the day prior, when the facilitator did an ice-breaker by asking us trivia questions about the company, and if you answered correctly he threw you — threw you! — a packet of M&Ms.

After the candy-bowl meeting, I was taken to lunch at the company cafeteria, where I enjoyed a good-sized serving of pork tenderloin with a side of fries. For a beverage, I stuck with water — you know, to keep it all healthy.

Holiday feasting and food-sharing are wonderful and important social traditions. Little did I know back in those days that the feasting had little to do with the holidays, and would ebb and flow — but mostly flow — for the next ten years.

It surprised and saddened me back then that, as I was introduced to co-workers as the new wellness manager, they sometimes felt the need to make an awkward joke about whatever food they had around at the time, assuming I was judging them for the muffin on their desk or the McDonald’s bag they were carrying.

But I wasn’t judging and never have. I’ve observed an abundance of edible goodies pervasive in the workplace — my workplace and others — and I’ve learned that it’s a force employees quietly contend with daily. But, indeed, it’s a force that challenges me — I like food, too — so far be it from me to judge anyone else.

Food at work. It’s a thing…for a lot of us. And that’s the topic of my new post, My Nine Assumptions About Workplace Food-Sharing — And Why They Matter to Employee Wellbeing. Please check it out.

 


 

Health Behavior Change Program Mind Map

in Uncategorized, Employee Wellness Programs

health behavior change mind map I first tried mind mapping three years ago — to plan a family vacation to Oregon. But I’d jumped straight to the software without really understanding mind mapping, and I crashed into the mechanics…and burned. Then, last year, I tried using new mind mapping software to illustrate a project I was working on at work. That attempt may have helped me, but when I showed it to team members, it was greeted with profound silence, bewilderment, and polite smiles. I still hadn’t even tried to educate myself about mind mapping. But intuitively I knew that it’s important.

Now I’ve started to understand the Why and the How of mind mapping, and I see tremendous potential: For problem solving in the workplace, for communicating, and, personally, for learning, memory, and unlocking creativity.

I was fortunate enough to come across the work of Jane Genovese, of Learning Fundamentals in Australia. As part of her mission to make learning more effective and fun, Jane has created beautiful and engaging mind maps on a broad range of topics. She was kind enough to allow me to re-post here her mind map on Behavioral Change Programs. Click on the map [below] to open the full-sized version. Jane’s map is extraordinary in the thoroughness with which it depicts the elements of successful wellness programs, and I would recommend it to any health promotion professional — especially newcomers to the field. I hope you enjoy and learn from Jane’s mind map as much as I have. (And please be sure to visit her site. Lots of great mind maps and other innovative resources.)

health behavior change mind map

Health behavior change mind map for health promotion and wellness professionals.

I’ll be writing more about mind maps, and publishing my own, and hope to explore with you how we can use mind maps and other visual thinking tools to advance employee wellness (and, beyond that, human resources and organizations overall). I think we are just getting started and the possibilities are unlimited.

[A version of this article was originally published on my The Employee Wellness Network blog in October 2011 —  Bob]