2021 WorkLife Conference: Well-being at Work

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Virtual Event

well-being at work conference graphic

Well-being at Work

Explore the questions that have surfaced the ranks of employees, supervisors, and leaders, focusing on how to create and maintain healthier, more productive workplaces and teams. Well-being at work is important. It honors each employee as a complete person both inside and outside of work. It provides shared knowledge about workplace culture and practices that attract people to work at an organization and keep them there.

  • Learn new tools
  • Hear from experts in the field
  • Connect with colleagues
  • Set goals to improve well-being at work for both you and the people around you

Keynote: “Well-being at Work—what is it?”


Strong work cultures have 14% turnover rate, while poor work cultures have 48% turnover rate. Join us for a Well-being at Work Q&A session addressing how we can individually and collectively change our message and advocate for a well and strong work culture that is more productive, collaborative, and healthy.

Hear an overview of what well-being at work is, its importance, and how having a well workforce leads to success.

Presented by:

Nancy Costikyan, MSW, LICSW - Director, Office of Work/Life, Harvard University and Teaching Associate in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"Nancy Costikyan"Nancy is the Director of the Office of Work/Life at Harvard University, supporting Harvard’s recruitment and retention of a high performing workforce and the wellbeing of a diverse community of staff and scholars. Trained as a clinical social worker, she has worked for 30 years as a psychotherapist, organizational consultant, department director and clinical supervisor. Nancy and her team contribute to the development of Harvard’s policies and special initiatives and administer several University-wide programs focused on mental health, workplace flexibility, dependent care, faculty diversity, behavioral risk, and mindfulness training. Each of these programs serve in some way as a path to sustainability, manager effectiveness, and a psychologically safe, inclusive workplace. In addition to her work/life role, she is a Teaching Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Nancy is the mother of 26 year old twin sons who regularly note that she is a poster child for work/life balance irony. She’s working on that.

Session 1 – Well-being at Work: The Guide


The Well-being at Work guide began as an idea that arose in 2019 after a number of on-campus presentations. The same questions surfaced across the ranks of faculty and staff, supervisors and leaders, focusing on how to create and maintain healthier, happier, workspaces and teams.

The goal of this guide is to provide evidence-based best practices in order to recruit and retain high-quality candidates and create healthier workplaces and teams, as we take care of our well-being and the well-being of each other. Well-being at work is important. It honors each employee as a complete person both inside and outside of work. It provides shared knowledge about workplace culture and practices that attract people to work at MSU and keep them here. It is a tool to use from any position when thinking about strengthening a team or a unit.

This presentation gives an overview of the Well-being guide and provides some background on its creation.

Presented by:

Jaimie Hutchison, MA, LPC - Deputy Director, MSU WorkLife Office

Jaimie HutchisonJaimie has worked in organizations that have served individuals and families for over 20 years. Jaimie's diverse work experiences have prepared her for focusing on the wide array of needs that faculty, staff, and families have. As a military spouse, Jaimie worked for several educational, government, and non-profit organizations in California, Montana, Colorado, and Michigan. She is an active volunteer in her community, and has volunteered over 10,000 hours in her communities. Jaimie received her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Michigan State University, her Masters degree in Community Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado, and a post-Masters certificate in School Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. Jaimie is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Michigan. Jaimie and her family are proud Spartans and enjoy all of the diverse events and activities that MSU and the Greater Lansing area have to offer.

Jaimie is serving a three-year term for the College and University Work-Life-Family Association (CUFWA) Board of Directors. Jaimie is co-chairing the Membership Engagement Committee with a work-life representative from the University of Arizona. Jaimie’s participation in these leadership roles will allow the MSU WorkLife Office to help guide national conversations about work-life, as well as provide MSU an opportunity to share and learn from other best practices in these areas from around the country and Canada.&

Megan Lee, MHRLR Candidate, May 2023 - Employee Relations & Project Lead, MSU WorkLife Office

"Megan Lee"Megan is currently a graduate student at MSU in the Human Resources & Labor Relations Master’s program, graduating in May 2023. She graduated with a B.A. in Human Capital and Society and a minor in Leadership of Organizations in May 2021. Working in the WorkLife Office has helped Megan realize where her passions lie within human resources: the niche area of work-life and the retention strategies and employee empowerment it brings to an organization. She values her contributions to the Well-being at Work guide, which encompasses mental health and work, why breaks are important, different aspects of the work environment, how to support caregivers in the workplace and more, as her light-bulb moment that has allowed her to learn more about all she wants to bring into her career.

Megan is excited to become a double Spartan and continue working in the WorkLife Office throughout her graduate studies. Personally, Megan enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, family, and dog, as well as reading, working out, and baking and creating recipes.

Session 2 – A Nature Boost: Forest Bathing


For 5 million years, our ancestors lived outdoors, but with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, humans began to live their lives inside. Today, most of the population of the United States spend less than 5% of their day outside. In our society, constant exposure to artificial light, chemical, electromagnetic and air and noise pollution are directly linked to the epidemic of stress and chronic disease. Forest therapy, also known as shinrin yoku, (Japanese for 'forest bathing') improves physical and mental health through awakening the senses by foraging mindfulness in nature. Learn more about forest bathing and how to engage in this therapeutic experience where people encounter and embody the whole of who they are.

Presented by:

Maureen Stine - Certified Heritage Interpreter

"Maureen Stine Photo"Maureen Stine has been a professional park interpreter for 26 years. She holds certifications from the National Association for Interpretation, the National Recreation and Park Association and the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education. Through her small business, Natureology, Maureen specializes in multi-sensory interpretive explorations and professional development opportunities for non-profit organizations and government agencies. In 2021, Maureen completed her coursework to become a certified forest therapy guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs (ANFT). Learn more about Maureen's work by visiting her website: www.natureology.me

Session 3 - Supporting Your Employees As They Manage Their Accountabilities in the Evolving Workplace

Learning Objectives:

This session provides strategies that can be utilized to help employees manage their multiple (and often competing) demands from work and life.


We all live in a web of accountabilities. We have multiple demands that must be prioritized and addressed at work. Added to these, are the accountabilities that stem from our personal lives. The past year and a half has made many employees and employers readjust their priorities. Moreover, our ways of doing work (e.g., remotely or in a hybrid model) have changed in ways that we did not expect, and how we do work continues to evolve. These changes may bring stress. However, they also create an opportunity for employees and their bosses to reinvent how we structure work. This session offers tips that will be useful for both employees and bosses to utilize to (re)structure work, prioritize work, and manage competing demands in a way that is conducive to both the productivity and the long-term wellbeing of employees.

Presented by:

Angela Hall, PhD, JD - Associate Professor, MSU School of Human Resources & Labor Relations

"Angela Hall Photo"Angela is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University (MSU), School of Human Resources and Labor Relations (HRLR). She is also an affiliated faculty at MSU’s College of Law and MSU’s Center for Gender in a Global Context. Angela’s research interests include diversity and inclusion, employee accountability, employee engagement, employee legal claiming, technology at work, international human resource management, and employee personality testing. Angela is the host of a podcast series, “People Talk with Angela Hall”.




Please provide feedback at the end of your breakout session. A link will be provided in the final slide and chat box. That same survey will be emailed. Your thoughts are important as we continue to plan future events and promote information.