CEO and Dean Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, hosted the recent Heersink School of Medicine Grand Rounds with Health and Wellbeing Activation Manager at Delta Air Lines, Anna Threadcraft on June 24.
Threadcraft, a UAB alumnus and the former director of UAB Employee Wellness, presented on workplace wellness.
The presentation, titled “Workplace Wellbeing: Principles for cultivating an environment that thrives,” provided tools that help maintain well-being and encourage behaviors that can build a healthy workplace environment.
Threadcraft’s international work in various countries across continents have fostered her understanding and expertise in workplaces that involve a diverse pool of employees. She believes that well-being is “more than numbers on a scale” and endeavors to build a workplace culture that supports a person’s social, emotional, financial, and physical well-being.
During the virtual presentation, Threadcraft talked about health and wellness from a holistic approach, touched on common well-being themes across Delta Airlines and UAB, and discussed some pillars of well-being.
“A lot of people think about health as the absence of disease,” she said. “But what I have learned is that when you pursue wellness as a lifestyle, it is so much more intentional for people. It also gives people the opportunity to start when are they are ready to take that first step.”
Key takeaways for UAB employees revolve around three principles: choose your perspective, cultivate joy, and pause. Here are some of the tips Threadcraft offered to develop and maintain well-being at workplace:
Have office signs that promote emotional well-being and feelings of joy
Show gratitude to your colleagues and the staff that works for you
Thank people for their contributions; it will encourage them to do better
Notice and appreciate the little things that the office wouldn’t smoothly function without
Small gestures go a long way, such as refilling the coffee pot
Find ways to care about and recharge your battery as much as you care about your phone battery
Take a short break each day to mitigate overstimulation caused by continuous conversations, content consumption, and screen time
Move your body; a ten minute walk is better than none at all
Take time to do something for yourself such as pray, read, and be conscious of the content you consume online
Go to therapy or counseling sessions, if you feel the need to
In the end Vickers thanked the speaker and closed the event by saying, “The ideas around wellness are not lost on us and we’re trying to do as much as possible. We are one of the first to actually have a Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. David Rogers. Dr. Watts has also put together a suicide prevention team. We have counseling sessions available and also have the BWell app to ensure that we are attentive to the struggles and stress of our employees.”
Watch the full presentation here.