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Vision

MSU supports all of its faculty and staff to connect and navigate multiple roles throughout workplace, career and life transitions.

Mission

The WorkLife Office partners with the community to create an inclusive, responsive work environment where all faculty and staff are respected and supported toward well-being in work and personal lives.

Values 

Reflecting MSU's values of quality, inclusiveness and connectivity, the WorkLife Office strives for excellence, equity and synergy.

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Services & Resources

News

Parent putting a mask on a child
For many, the pandemic has shrunk our circles of support. For others, it has magnified our family and couple time adding lots of togetherness. Our relationships outside of our homes have been stressed due to being isolated from one another. This is a huge shift in how we interact. How are your relationships going?
It’s an unpleasant scenario to imagine, but the reality is that very few of us experience a linear, upward-trending income scale throughout the course of our working lives. For one reason or another, it’s likely that we experience at least one year of a drop in wage or salary (or several years of fluctuation) which requires us to be nimble and adaptive. Especially with today’s uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus, the closing & re-opening of the economy, and other societal influences, it’s important to be prepared and set yourself up for success no matter what ‘curveball’ life has to throw at you.
Many employees are working from home, others are essential and are working in person, and some are preparing to return to campus for research or other allowable ventures. Where does this leave our teams? It can be a challenge to maintain the team morale and connectedness with so many changes and challenges occurring. How can you keep your team connected?
cute girl with painted face
Across the university parents are trying to find solutions to childcare, many of them juggling work and parenting in one consistently running 24 hour loop. It can be exhausting. If you need help there are a couple of options available to you for in-home care providers. 

Upcoming Events

Latest Podcast

Guest host Carly Kabel from the MSU College of Arts and Letters discusses the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium with Ian Reynolds, Executive Director, and Maranda Holtsclaw, Michigan Regional Director. After you listen, visit hercjobs.org

"Name It, Aim It, Claim It"

The WorkLife Office team has the privilege of Melissa Staub from the College of Arts and Letters coaching us on StrengthsFinder. Melissa joins us for the first "virtual" edition of the WorkLife Podcast.

"Feeling more like I was in control of the work I was doing"

Erica Venton, Marketing Manager for the Office of the Provost Communications Team, shares some of the new practices she has inserted into her worklife to help her improve her experience.

Latest Webinars

8/11/20 Tuesday: Understanding K-12: Return to School

Panelists:
Gabrielle Lawrence, President of Lansing School District Board of Education
Shelley Davis Boyd, President of MacDonald Middle School Parent Council in East Lansing
Hillary Henderson, East Lansing Board of Education Trustee
Katie Cavanaugh, Okemos Public Schools Board of Education Trustee
Jaimie Hutchison, Okemos parent and WLO Deputy Director

Join K-12 school board members, parent group members, and the WorkLife Office for a discussion on K-12 kids returning to school and how that affects teachers, administrators, students and parents.

8/6/20 Thursday:  Recycling Right 
Presented by: Katherine Deska, IPF Campus Surplus Store and Recycling

MSU Surplus Store & Recycling Center educator Katie Deska will discuss what stands in the way of “recycling right,” and what you can do to improve your recycling success rate.

Topics include:

-Why recycling is part of the solution, not THE solution to the waste problem.
-What to keep in mind before purchasing anything
-How to recycle right on campus and at our public Drop-Off Center
-How SSRC has adjusted to challenges posed by Covid-19

Presented by: J.M.Monica van de Ridder, PhD, MSc, Assistant Professor College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, Department of Emergency Medicine & Learning and Development Specialist Spectrum Health Office of Research and Education

In general, giving feedback is perceived as difficult. People are afraid relationships will be hurt if they give honest feedback. When feedback is sought, feedback providers feel they are invited to give the feedback and this will change the conversation.  It makes feedback giving easier.

However, seeking feedback is difficult. When feedback is sought the feedback seeker often feels vulnerable. Many don’t dare to do it because it is perceived as admitting weaknesses or ‘faults’. In many organizations feedback seeking is not seen as a strength, leaders don’t role model it and it is not valued.

If people seek feedback in these cultures it often is done in an indirect way. This results in receiving only praise instead of feedback, or in receiving vague suggestions. Therefore, it is hard to apply this feedback in daily practice. This takes away learning opportunities for the individuals in the organization, and it hinders the development of an open ‘feedback culture’.

In this presentation we will focus on the costs and benefits of feedback seeking, and we will discuss five questions that will help to make your feedback seeking very specific, so it can result in applicable feedback.

Presented by: Leslie D. Gonzales, Ed.D., Associate Professor in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Learning unit at Michigan State University in the College of Education

7/28/20 Tuesday: Panel Discussion: Furloughs and Lay Offs
Panelists: Amanda Goll (President's Office), Todd Wilson (formerly IPF), Shannon McGaughey (RHS HR)

Join us as our panelists talk about their experience with layoffs and furloughs at Michigan State and beyond. We will talk about the outcomes of those directly affected and their family members. Learn about their experiences, how they have managed the emotional and financial roller coaster, and come with questions to build community surrounding this topic.

Latest Blog

Barbara Roberts, Ph.D, Director, WLO

An opportunity for profoundly positive culture change has landed in our laps with the onset of COVID-19 restrictions.

By Barbara Roberts
A consistent set of principles, key questions or values goes a long way in clarifying complex decisions. When we get back to primary principles, and away from personal circumstances, we can make better decisions.I like what Fisher and Ury say in "Getting to Yes," at the Harvard Negotiation Project: "Separate the people from the problem. Be soft on the people and hard on the problem.” If we can identify the “problem” or the challenge as the work that must be done on campus, independent of the people initially, we can solve the problem better together and protect the people.

By Barbara Roberts
Working in this medium for hours on end is not good for the health we are trying so hard to preserve! Let’s be intentional about how we pace ourselves, and we will last longer in the end. We are all learning to function in a new medium, which takes energy in terms of attention, concentration, learning in real time while doing, and learning without hands-on, in-person supports.

By Barbara Roberts
A supervisor during my occupational therapy internship in spinal cord rehab taught me, with only a little tongue-in-cheek, that “Position in life is everything...”; that is, the physical position you are in to do any task affects your safety, comfort, endurance and effectiveness for the task. Earlier in life, when learning to use a hammer effectively, instead of whacking the nail at some odd angle, my father taught me to “Get your [backside] behind you.” Good advice when positioning to exert force. Position matters.

By Jaimie Hutchison
Social distancing is the important strategy of physically separating ourselves from one another to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus. Social isolation, on the other hand, is often physically isolating ourselves (which we are doing) AND emotionally isolating ourselves, which we cannot afford to do.

Publications

Cover of the WorkLife Guide, For MSU Facutly and Staff
This WorkLife Guide will help connect you to the breadth of resources available to you on campus and in the community for your work and personal lives. Whether you are a faculty member, support staff, or administrator, your ability to navigate your work and personal lives compatibly will help you be a productive, satisfied, successful, and healthy member of the MSU community.
Things to Do at MSU cover
This activity guide assists all families in exploring their community and helps them become acquainted with this rich environment. Whether you are an MSU faculty, staff or student or a community member, you will find activity information for people of all ages on campus and in the Greater Lansing area.
Screenshot of the new email newsletter format of WorkLife Connections
The MSU WorkLife Office newsletter features articles, events and resources that help keep you in touch with information on campus and beyond.

Outstanding Supervisor Award

Web-Homepage-Graphic550.jpg The Outstanding Supervisor Award honors MSU supervisors who have consistently demonstrated work/life sensitivity and support of the professional/personal needs of the employees in their unit. Read more...