Promote employee engagement during a long period of financial constraints.
California State University, Northridge marshaled internal faculty and staff support to offer programming that has become known as the “Community of Caring.” Over the past four years the university has offered innovative programs and services that emphasize the well-being of faculty and staff (emotionally, physically, and financially). There is no fee for participation. Professionals within the community provide services for free to support their colleagues during this difficult financial period. Current classes include: a series on diet and nutrition, and programs on procrastination, forgiveness, positive self, resiliency, and surviving the holiday blues. In addition, volunteers lead regular mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, book discussions, and meditation/relaxation programs. Additionally, local non-profit and government agencies provide ongoing services and special events at no cost.
- On-site free classes, seminars, and discussion groups open to all faculty and staff (offered during regular business hours and during scheduled lunch periods.)
- Web-based Resources Directory (community resources and wellness opportunities available on campus).
- Self help library.
A volunteer program of this type requires management support. In our experience, the President, Provost, and Vice Presidents have been very supportive of the program and its philosophy and of the time required for faculty and staff to attend sessions.
To be successful, a campus needs a management champion and a well-connected and energetic coordinator to market the program and to recruit new programs and presenters. Additionally, the campus culture needs to be consistent with this type of program so that it is viewed as a genuine reflection of the campus culture.