University Secretariat receives Dal's Healthy Workplace Award

- January 25, 2017

The Dalhousie Secretariat team with its 2016 Dalhousie Healthy Workplace Award. (Nick Pearce photo)
The Dalhousie Secretariat team with its 2016 Dalhousie Healthy Workplace Award. (Nick Pearce photo)

Congratulations are in order for the University Secretariat office, the 2016 winner of Dalhousie's Healthy Workplace Award.

The award, first presented in 2011, recognizes a faculty, department or program that demonstrates excellence in seven forms of wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, interpersonal/social, spiritual, environmental and workload management. The recipient is chosen by the Healthy Workplace Collaborative, a committee comprised of faculty and staff members from across the university.

The 2016 recipient was announced at the Annual Dalhousie Carol Sing in late December.

“The Healthy Workplace Award shows the many ways that workplaces, large and small, can be environments where people can do their best,” says Janice MacInnis, manager, organizational health and chair of Healthy Workplace Collaborative. “It is a combination of often small things that come together to create an engaged, productive and healthy group.”

Staying active, engaged

The University Secretariat, formed in 2005, is the administrative office responsible for ensuring the effective and efficient operation of the university's bicameral system of governance: the Board of Governors and the University of Senate.

The department has several dimensions of wellness represented and its director, Susan Brousseau, leads by example with her desire to make the office a healthy, active workplace. The group of six individuals can be proud of the fact that each member of the team is physically active and supported in their activity. It boasts runners, walkers, bikers, swimmers and yogis. In addition to their sport of choice, members of the secretariat took part in Dal’s Walktober, fitness classes offered through Dalplex, lunch time walks and charity runs.

“We were thrilled to win the 2016 Healthy Workplace Award,” says Brousseau. “The University Secretariat is a team that really values having balance in our lives.”

A supportive environment

In addition to the office being physically active, it is emotionally supportive, and Brousseau’s door is always open. Intellectually, members are always encouraged to keep learning, particularly through the ACHIEVE program. The department also takes pride in holding baby showers, birthdays and other celebrations for their employees. These events help them to build friendships with other staff members from the department.

“As the director, I believe it is my role to set a tone that encourages people to take time away from their desks for whatever activity appeals to them — whether that’s a yoga class, a noon-time music recital or a campus lecture — but each member of our team contributes great ideas for how we, together, can have fun, learn something new or take part in something within the Dal community,” adds Brousseau. “I value the support I get from the people I work with every day.”

The Faculty of Medicine was also nominated for this year’s Healthy Workplace Award for its Health at Work program. This series strives to increase awareness of the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. It boasts free activities which focus on body, mind and spirit, including meditation, yoga, fitness and nutrition classes.

The Healthy Workplace Award is part of the university’s overall Work Well Strategy introduced last fall. The goal of the strategy is to help employees improve their overall well-being, including physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and financial health.

To learn more about the Healthy Workplace Award, visit the Healthy Workplace section of the HR site on myDal.


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