Do you work with a colleague or team members who are making a real difference at the University of Calgary? Nominate them for a 2017 U Make a Difference Award; nominations accepted until March 10.
Tracy Beauregard, manager of faculty operations, administration and facilities in the Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS) and winner of a 2016 U Make a Difference award, knows that creating a positive work environment and community takes time — but it's worth it.
Beauregard, herself a champion in helping transform the staff culture at EVDS to its current highly collaborative state, outlines the importance of “leaders that walk the talk” to the ongoing positive work environment in the faculty.
“When you have support from the top down, from the dean to the faculty and staff, you get the kind of positive workplace we have at EVDS,” says Beauregard. “We’re a team striving for the same goals.”
Uniting teams through small efforts
Creating a collegial community doesn’t necessarily take large efforts. Beauregard and her co-workers often partake in small team-building initiatives that allow them to learn more about each other as they make an impact on the community around them.
“EVDS does a lot of work in the larger Calgary community,” explains Beauregard. “We also volunteer twice a year as a team in some way; it’s good for people to know how half an hour of our time can change so much for other people.”
In the past, Beauregard and her colleagues have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, raised support for Sonshine Community Services, which helps women and children impacted by family violence, and adopted a family in need at Christmastime.
“When everybody gets to know each other and cares about each other, and we are working as a team, we accomplish so much more and people want to give more and do more,” she says.
A year-round culture of respect
Beauregard identifies how having fun and getting to know your colleagues personally naturally leads to a more inclusive and less judgmental workplace and creates an environment built on trust.
“I believe if you know someone on a more personal level you’re more respectful, you’re more understanding. The more people share about themselves, the less assumptions are made,” she says.
One of the ways faculty and staff at EVDS gets to know one another is the salad club that gets together on Mondays to chop fruits and vegetables for lunches for the week in an effort to motivate healthier eating habits. Beauregard and her colleagues also tackle workplace occupational health and safety activities and learning as a team, using these opportunities to get to know one another better while striving to create a year-round positive work culture.
U Make a Difference award recognizes those who go the extra mile
As a 2016 U Make a Difference winner for creating a positive work environment and community, Beauregard values the time and effort she knows went into her nomination. “What meant most to me was the nomination letter itself and what people had to say,” she says.
“Thank you to everyone who put the time into submitting my nomination for the award. We’re all here to do a job, but when you go the extra mile and it is noticed and appreciated that you are trying to make a difference, it matters a lot.”
About the U Make a Difference awards
The U Make a Difference awards acknowledge members of our university community who go above and beyond to make the university a great place to work and learn, recognizing excellence in one of three key areas: innovation and curiosity, collaboration and communication, and a positive work environment and community. Recipients will be announced on May 25, 2017 at the annual recognition event.