On behalf of the Staff Senate, I’d like to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. Here’s hoping you find time to relax, visit with family and friends, and travel safely.
This is also a good time for each of Mason’s 3,200 staff members to reflect on the valuable role we play at a university that continues to grow in size and stature, and to remind ourselves how we can best support each other as colleagues.
The Staff Senate did just that as a group at our December general meeting. We participated in a visioning exercise led by Shernita Parker and Laura Titkemeyer from Mason’s HR & Payroll Organizational Development, Learning, and Coaching office.
Shernita and Laura asked us to fill in this blank as it pertains to our jobs at Mason: “When things work well, it looks like….” Instead of voicing our answers as frustrations, we were encouraged to frame our answers in a positive light. The responses incorporated autonomy, trust, humor, efficiency, personal growth, flexibility, civility and many, many others. (You can read them all by enlarging the accompanying photo, which I like to think of as an organizational thought bubble of sorts).
I know this might look like a list of abstract and aspirational terms destined to be forgotten by lunchtime. But that wasn’t the case. This exercise provided clarity on how each of us can play a role to support each other as colleagues and feel a sense of satisfaction in the workplace.
We recommend reaching out to the Organizational Development office to schedule a group exercise for your unit. Just by taking part in crafting a shared vision, you gain a better understanding of how you can transform your workplace into a great place to work.
Happy Holidays, and enjoy your time off!
Christopher Maier – Chair, Staff Senate