Going Big: January Spotlight on Residential Programs

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 8.52.15 PMHappy 2016! We’re excited to kick off the new year with our January departmental Bright Spot and recognize Residential Programs/RSSP for their fun and creative efforts in building community that extended to other departments within Student Affairs. Watch this 2.5 minute video to learn how a quickly planned indoor picnic brought a community of over 40+ staff  together!

In the article “Company as Community,” authors Ed Frauenheim & Ann Nadeau from Great Place to Work state that “…a spirit of camaraderie drives great cultures…[people] want a good time together; a ‘fun’ workplace was one of the top drivers of employees’ perception that their culture is great overall.”

Here are 3 tips on building community that you can do starting today. Many thanks to Glenn DeGuzman, Director of Residential Programs, for these awesome tips!

  • Create a social space.  As a community, identify and build a comfortable space in the office for staff to come together. The space allows people to bring snacks from recent vacations, box of donuts, fruit from their garden, etc… Tip: Go Big and add a shared Kuerig machine with coffee, tea, and cocoa selection! Individuals and groups will enjoy this. Space can be tight, so get creative.
  • Leverage online social sites. For those who are on Facebook, it is a great place to learn about co-workers and their lives while humanizing who you all are beyond  job descriptions. Glenn states, “As a supervisor, I think this is also a great place for your office mates to see you outside the work place. Take a risk and share who you are!”
  • Personalize your work space to welcome others.  A bowl of candy. Cool decorations. Artifacts from recent vacations. Pictures of friends, family, pets, and/or recent vacations. Have tea or water to offer guests. These are some examples that you can add to your workplace to allow others to feel comfortable. This is especially important for supervisors, where their space can sometimes be perceived as intimidating.

Thanks to you, Residential Programs, for being a shining example of how a creative, low-cost, and fun event can bring Student Affairs staff together in order to build community and engage staff in a different way!

For other helpful tips, check out these articles and resources on why community and camaraderie is so critical in the workplace:

How to Create Community, Not Just a Workplace

Company as Community

UC Berkeley Staff Organizations Website


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