Planners’ Picks — June 22, 2021

Planners’ Picks:

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

The first day of summer brings us to a solstice—the longest daylight, shortest night, and the maximum axial tilt toward the Sun of 23.44° from the equator. We are going full tilt this week with Planners’ Picks on the return to the office idea and offering more flexible work options, sharing multiple resources with varying perspectives on the topic. Enjoy your summer!


The Back to the Office Maximum

This article has some interesting perspectives on remote and hybrid working—different than the usual discussions we have seen recently.

“People have all sorts of reasons for wanting to work remotely. It might make them better workers. It might allow them to maintain their physical and emotional well-being in a way that’s incompatible with full time office work. It might provide relief from micro-aggressions, or actual aggressions in the form of yelling and abuse. It might just allow them to live better lives. But those decisions, at least currently, are poised to have long-term negative consequences.”

5 Myths About Flexible Work

When it comes to flexibility, executives are often worried that they’ll open Pandora’s box and set a dangerous precedent if they allow some employees to work flexibly. They worry that if they let a few employees work from home, then the office will always be empty and no one will be working. But this sort of attitude will be harder for organizations to justify after we’ve all collectively experienced such a critical test case during the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizations that correctly design and implement their flexibility policy will not “lose” anything. On the contrary, they have much to gain. Perhaps a silver lining of the pandemic will be that corporate leaders have overcome their fears of offering flexibility to their workforce, and will now understand how flexibility can benefit their recruitment and retention efforts — not to mention productivity and profitability.

“The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is” – Jim Carrey.

Natalie Kessler discussing Remote Work on Lunch Conversations with Randy & Teddy

Randy Wooden and Teddy Burriss talk with Natalie Kessler, the Global Director of HR for Percona, a global services company specializing in open source database management. She has over 16 years of professional experience with international organizations and has spent over 8 years managing a remote workforce. Remote team leadership is more prevalent now than ever in 2021, and Natalie is happy to share her experiences.

Why You Need Liminal Space for Seamless Change

Liminal space is the “in between” as you go from one state to another. Think about how many rituals we have to mark transitions: professional ones, like orientation. Personal ones for graduations, weddings, funerals, and informal “purges” to mark moves or breakups. We mark the passage of time with anniversaries and birthdays and New Year celebrations.

“Liminal” comes from the Latin word meaning “threshold,” and it’s an unavoidable part of change. Unfortunately, many organizations view change as something to go through as fast as possible. But as I shared recently in my livestream, a more effective and disruptive way to change is to slow down and actually create the liminal space of in between. This also creates space mentally and emotionally to expand on possibilities and opportunities.

Icebreaker activities for virtual (or in-person) team meetings

Here’s a cool tool for starting any meeting with an exercise to pull everybody in, to be present in the moment and remove other distractions.

The tool is called Virtual Playground and is part of the Training Wheels website.  “A safe place for teams, students and families to connect in the virtual space. Need a quick icebreaker to fill that first five minutes of your virtual meeting?” These are free, creative ways to involve your team members and simple to use.

So, take 5 min to bring some caring leadership into your meetings today.

What Your Future Employees Want Most

The last year has forever changed the way employees view and approach work, but one thing holds true: Businesses that want to attract and retain the talent they need to move forward must understand the top priorities of their future workforce. They must embrace new, flexible work models and cultivate a workforce that can design their own careers. Employees want to determine when and where they work. They want to work with a diverse team. They want to be measured on the value they deliver, not the volume they deliver. And they expect to be given the space and trust they need to do their very best work, wherever they happen to be. Companies that understand and embrace these wants and needs will not only boost the motivation and engagement of their existing workers, but will gain the attention of the brightest new recruits and take their business to new heights.

Reflections on returning to work in the midst of a Pandemic

Living things seem to naturally desire movement and growth.  My indoor and outdoor plants move toward the light with what seems like a strong desire to produce, to perform, to do.  We are in the throes of a worldwide event compelling us to consider how we “do” our work, why we do so, and in what manner we will reopen our physical places of employment.  We reflect on these important questions in the midst of the Pandemic from a position of incomplete information about the future and not a small degree of current chaos, adding significantly to the complexities of the problem.  Given this, and the need to plan, produce, and do, the following guidelines are offered with humility and as a place to start.

“Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

CSN Resources around Managing Through the Muck: Handling Change and Transition

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” Deepak Chopra

This quote sums up the last 15 months well for most of us! CSN held a session earlier this month discussing best practices on how to manage and cope with “muck” such as change, transition, stress, burnout, and how to help those around you, including the teams with whom you interact.

Change and transition could be something that excites people who love opportunities for growth, learning about new things, or who like to shift the status quo. However, in the last year, we have had to adapt, grow and learn in an ever-changing environment without much certainty or choice.

In this session, Campus Supervisors Network facilitators reflected on the challenges and lessons learned from the changes of 2020 and focus on upcoming change such as returning to the office or workplace/space for some of us, and how to best navigate through it.

We offered breakouts on two different aspects of change:

  • Return to work on campus
  • Handling the stress of change outside of your control

Access our presentations, articles and other resources around these concepts at the link below.

Reuniting Campus – LTD’s new courses and resources

Just a reminder that Learning and Talent Development has put together new and existing content to support employees. This content includes thematic courses, toolkits, and links to additional resources. There are offerings for all employees, as well as some specific to supervisors.


Upcoming Events

Natural Wellbeing – with Satish Kumar

Join Action For Happiness for a special event with renowned activist and author Satish Kumar to discover how living more simply can boost our wellbeing.

Thursday, June 24 – 1:00pm CDT

Online via Zoom

How can living more simply help us take care of ourselves, our planet and each other?

Satish Kumar is a long-term peace activist and campaigner for wellbeing and environmental issues. He wants to see a shift in priorities away from economic growth, towards growth in our overall wellbeing. By living in a simpler and more sustainable way, he believes we can be happier and resolve many of the issues in our society.

Satish will explore how a focus on simplicity and kindness can boost our wellbeing help us and live in a way that celebrates the wonder of nature and embraces the diversity of human culture, with much less stress. He’ll remind us that we are all part of the same ecosystem and share inspiring actions we can take to care better for ourselves, our planet and each other. Register at the link below.