You can only thrive if you are safe!

Physical safety is important and I hope everyone pays attention to safety training and safety rules.  Not just the everyday, common sense safety rules like…don’t use a rolling chair as a makeshift ladder….or don’t daisy-chain extension cords together, but also how to be prepared for an emergency situation. 

And let’s not overlook emotional safety.  Treating each other with civility and respect, avoiding gossip, accepting each other as we are, and exhibiting acts of kindness go a long way!

And in today’s pandemic, following all the health and safety protocols like social distancing, face coverings and frequent hand washing is critical!  To learn more about safety during this pandemic, visit


You can only thrive if you feel like you are a welcomed part of the workplace!

This is the longest section of my blog.  Social belonging is a fundamental human need.  God created us for community.  Belonging is what allows us to feel like we can be our authentic selves. 

A sense of belonging is not the same as feeling similar to everyone else.  Our desire to fit in sometimes compels us to hide who we really are.  Belonging is when you feel safe and valued for embracing what makes you a special, unique individual.  We feel a sense of belonging when we are confident the team didn’t pick our idea because it wasn’t the best choice, not because they don’t like us personally.

We should challenge ourselves every day to help others feel a sense of belonging.  Recognize co-workers for their unique efforts and accomplishmentsKeep in mind that not all employees will respond the same way—for example, while some like to be recognized in public, visible ways, others prefer a more private message or affirmation.

Remember:  Feeling like you belong doesn’t mean work will always be a picnic.  It means the normal ‘ups and downs’ of work won’t cause you so much stress.  Especially during a pandemic when we are “socially distancing’ from each other.  Not exactly a recipe for feeling a sense of ‘belonging’….Hang in there, everyone!


You can only thrive if you’re good at what you do! 

Mediocrity doesn’t help you thrive.  If you play a musical instrument, you may recall those early years when you were just learning.  Lots of scales and repetitive exercises that weren’t much fun, but were very necessary to master the instrument.  Once you learned how to play well, it became fun!

The same is true for any work-related skill.  You’ll enjoy the job task more once you’ve mastered the skill.  Be patient, apply yourself, understand the nature of learning curves, and commit to being a life-long learner.  Even if you are experienced, you will have much to learn as a new employee in any organization. 

The Way We Work by Christian author Cynthia Tobias is a great resource!


You can only thrive if you are given the opportunity to do well what you do well!

Independence enables the most powerful type of motivation: intrinsic.  Intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfaction rather than for some separable consequence.  And if we are motivated from within, we have inner confidence and we can persist through the mountains and the valleys of work – and life.

But wait, here’s the thing:  You have to earn this opportunity.  Without achievement of skill (see # 3 above), independence doesn’t work out so well for most of us.  With independence comes responsibility, accountability, and higher expectations.  And even with independence, know what you don’t know and ask for help when you need it.  In order to thrive, you need mentors and a good supervisor who is available for coaching, guidance and support!

And a final tip:  Don’t expect autonomy right away when you’re new.  After all, when you were learning to drive, you didn’t start out at 70 mph on I-35!


At the end of life’s journey, every person wants to feel that their work was meaningful….that they made a difference in this world…..that they contributed to something greater than themselves.  And that amongst the joys and challenges, the constants and the changes, the ups and downs of daily work life, it was truly all worthwhile.

Work for an organization you believe in!  Work for an organization whose mission and vision will give you passion and purpose and wonderful opportunities to contribute. 

I hope every employee here at UMHB knows how much your particular job contributes to the mission of this university.  Whether you teach in a classroom, balance the books, keep our facilities up and running, or serve as a student worker, you make a difference and you are valued! 

For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 

I Corinthians 3:9