Creating Space for Employee & Workplace Wellness: Open Space Discussion

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1 Open Space Discussion ASEBP thanks you for your recent participation in the at the Shaping the Future Conference. The session offered participants an opportunity to meet with others who were passionate about employee and workplace health and talked about issues and ideas that they wanted to focus on. Using the Open Spaces Technology, participants set their own agenda for the session, and connected with others in a group to share powerful and innovative ideas, problem solved and developed solutions to issues that they were passionate about. Key insights from the group discussions were captured and shared in the following document. We hope that you found the discussions meaningful and encourage follow-up collaboration and a shared responsibility for action. If you have any questions regarding the Open Space session or the discussion notes, please contact a members of the Health Services team: We thank you again for your participation and hope to connect with you again in the future.

2 Staff Appreciation and Mindfulness - Discussion regarding a professional development day of these topics - Statistics o What is done over the year (how many times with wellness theme) - Spread out over entire district o Take what you do back to your school and share with staff - Teach mindfulness o In class/ take breaths o Do it with teachers too (staffroom) - Wealth of experiences in school (example: yoga instructor) - You have resources already so start to implement them - Coffee break time- yoga pose, stretching - Parents as resources o Find expertise among parents, a way for parents to get involved and contribute to school wellness

3 Using Individualized Reward Systems to Promote Staff Wellness - Extrinsic rewards are the lowest form - Book- 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Chapman & White (also a children s book for this - Book- 5 Love Language

4 Sharing a Story- Successful Staff Wellness Day - Start Up Day Wild Rose SD - Purpose was to boost energy in Rally Day - Focus on staff wellness - Lots of stressors to impact employees - 15 minutes or less for speeches - Phil Callaway- humorist with go message *highly recommended o Morning session at Rally Day - Afternoon- break-out sessions - 35 sessions o Staff sign-up o Have sessions decided by June o Most organizations came gratis o Staff shared their passions in sessions - Staff evaluation survey sent out o 700 staff, 400 responses, 95% positive response o Energy from start-up day charged everyone at beginning of year o Staff suggestions for next sessions - ASEBP Body Composition Clinics held during school year - Staff understand that focus is on their own wellness - Recognition by admin staff that have stress - Idea from Health & Wellness Committee- Health Champions helped organize - Hired the best food vendor- healthy- money well spent - A list will be provided upon request - Contact:

5 The Role of Healthy School Policy for Both Students and Staff/ Teachers - Disconnect between policy and practice o Teachers may not be aware of policies o Policies are not communicated from provincial/ district level down to teachers - Challenges: o High turn-over of staff, especially Health Champions - Food policies: o Healthy foods cost more; don t sell - Need to get staff buy-in o Admin need to be supportive of policies - Directed so the issue is addressed on every agenda at staff and board meeting

6 Dealing With Day to Day Stress as a Teacher - Yoga meditation with kids - Class activities - Class sharing/ extra prep time - Alone time - Dance break - Buddy sharing

7 Finding Time in the Day for Staff Wellness - Volunteer supervision from parents? - Contracts: o Supervision hours - Educating communities about what a work day looks like - Watching the One More Thing o Avoid adding without trying to take something off the plate - Using prep time for walks - Lunch/ soup club to force you out of the classroom - Personal trainer 2x/ week for all staff who joined - Incentives for wellness initiatives

8 Creating an Active Office - Get people up - Sedentary behaviour is killing us - Raise awareness - Provide options o Vary desk, unstable surfaces, perches - Research includes vital stats on active office - Providing alternatives to regular office is key - No cost active tips o Stand-up meetings o Phone sticky trick - Sedentary behaviour - Get standing status are becoming standard - Create research locally - Look for ways to create individual active space - To find out more about an active office research project at Mount Royal University, contact Researcher Dr. Dwayne Sheehan Contact:

9 Sharing Success Stories (Quick Wins) *please note there were three separate group discussions using this topic - Two times per year staff wellness day for school: o People in school offer sessions o Competition between semesters o Example: casserole cook-off - Soup and salad club: o Sign-up once per week (1 person makes soup, 1 person makes salad) - Staff evening out- prepare meals together (Simple Supper) - Gym open after school: fitness centre, Zumba, yoga o Offered by staff, free of charge - Schedule instructors for students to stay over after school to offer classes for staff - Tuesday/ Thursday lunch hour yoga for staff - Luncheon from parents and they cover supervision - Kids invite staff to run with run club - Birthday recognition (get an umbrella) - Feed the staff at meetings - Monday morning stand-up staff meetings - Student videos, thanking teachers - Student messages to teachers - Messages in chalk to staff (staffroom) - Cookie Fridays (staff & students; foods class - Staff led fitness/ exercise get togethers - Students make coffee for bus drivers - heart attacks on valentine s day - Mints- thanks for your commit-mint - pay it forward messages: o Example: well done and thank you - Start early on PD Day: o Speakers 1 hour in duration o Nutrition/ naturopath, stress - Staff meetings: breakfast/ food celebrations - Admin providing/ making us supper - Staff potlucks: healthy options - Staff smoothie day - Salad club for 4 or 5 people: o Every Monday, $20 per week o Cook at home, share - Survey staff: what do they like to see - Take staff to a movie (surprise your staff) - PD day/ staff meeting: provide fun activities

10 - Gym play: during lunch time, build recess into PD Days - Orientation days: wellness in orientation days - Take supervision before someone knows - Kindness messages: send to others - Postcards for staff - Bulletin board with staff pictures: can write thank you s - Kudos to staff at all staff meetings - Happiness Jar: take a few out - Sticky notes: students write a nice thing, give to staff - Teachers name wordle: all the nice things - Lunch activities: only staff, kids do not know - Staff ½ hour activity breaks - Walks in gym - Tried to bring messages of hope from Hope Foundation o Resistance, emotionally overwhelming - Snap jar: compliments to others, anonymously o Read messages at staff meeting - Little things to feel good: o Soap in staff bathrooms, nice toilet paper, decorations, candles, etc. - Anonymous cards assigned to a staff member; mailed out - Put comments/ compliments on a sheet: o Circulate to collect positives at staff meetings - Provide coffee and a muffin on a cart during day (P/T interviews) - Need someone to coordinate initiatives - Get creative to find funds - ASEBP health programs and initiative ideas - Next Steps: Keep Sharing!

11 Do External Incentives Really Work? - ASEBP presentation to staff: o Body composition o Health Living topics - Wellness: staff luncheons - Concern that staff work all day and then go home and work all night - Memberships at gyms/ fitness facilities - Emotional/ social well-being; focus on relationships - Wellness day in division: o Offer at discretion of staff - What must a district do to show they care - Bring mindful practice into the classroom - Book overworked and overwhelmed by Scott Eblin - Long service awards (5,10,15, 20, 25, 30) - Recognize teachers efforts at school level - Kids to throw out ideas for recognizing teachers - Excellence in Teaching Award: o Encourage this at the school level

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