We listened and responded to the voices of CALCASA members by bringing back the Positions Specific Networking Forum to this year’s CALCASA Statewide Leadership Conference: “Ending Sexual Violence 2.0 – The Future is Connected”.   
The Position Specific Networking Forum is an excellent opportunity for attendees at the conference to network, problem solve and be reenergized by peers that have similar positions or responsibilities at their perspective agencies.
This year I had an opportunity to be a part of the Managers and Diretors Position Specific Networking Forum.  One of the main topics discussed was STAFF STRESS  and ways to REDUCE that stress.   Managers and Directors sounded off on how the current climate of financial uncertainty, staff downsizing, greater expectations to do the same amount of work with less resources and specific community problems have increased the level of stress among their staff.  The question was asked  by a manager, “what do you do at your agency to reduce the level of stress among staff.”    The list below are some of the responses that were generated by Managers and Directors:

  • A Staff Retreat – half  of the day is staff training, other half of day is food and fun activities.
  • Group Activity: Staff is divided into several teams for fun competition (i.e.  brain games, softball)
  • Office Yoga , Tai Chi, Meditation.
  • Once a month staff breakfast or lunch.
  • Staff milestone celebration with cakes, anniversary and birthday cards.
  • Communication sessions regarding staff member stress
  • Groove Thang Breaks: periodically music is played and the entire staff dances.
  • Acknowledgement Meetings:  Stress is identified along with identifying what are reasonable expectations of staff by management and vice versa.
  • Debriefing Sessions – After a stressful event staff  decompresses in a meeting to analyze the situation.
  • Time Off  / Lunch Breaks –  Encourage and require that staff take their vacations , lunches and breaks in a timely manner.
  • Simple Acknowledgement – Public praise and thank you for a task well done from management to staff.
  • Management Respect –  Have management create an environment of mutual respect for the value of the staff.