Thinking of work as an interdependent system can help us get clear about what we’re trying to do and how we’re going to try to do it. The Work Systems Model (adapted from Smith & Sainfort, 1989) provides a framework to explore how people’s skills, abilities and needs are either supported or diminished by the systems they work within. Human factors engineers use this model to design jobs, technologies, physical and social environments and organizational structures and policies so that people can do their best work and lead healthier lives.
“[The Program] focused on fundamental evidence-based management techniques, allowed me to think about how to be the most responsible, accountable leader, to help the work and life satisfaction of our workplace team. I dare say, health can surely be improved or worsened by how earnestly we nurture our work culture.”
“…This class will help you discover elements of leadership critical to navigating our constantly changing environment. Readings and discussions are thought provoking and exercises allow you to apply new knowledge to your current job. This class helps prepare current and future healthcare leaders for the days ahead. I found the class to provide personal and professional opportunities to grow. The readings were intellectually stimulating, and the time spent reflecting on leadership skills and sharing with colleagues deepened my understanding of how to lead change and nurture a team.”
“The class was a great experience. It made me think more about how you manage and engage people to build a more effective organization, as well as the importance of making the work meaningful for people. I now recognize that it is important to focus on organization dynamics as a priority versus the day-to-day tasks that can easily consume your work day.”
“My facilitator had the remarkable ability to make academic articles on organizational leadership accessible to people from diverse backgrounds. She artfully guided us from comprehending theory to discussions of how we can implement the concepts, both strategically and tactically, within our own businesses.”
“The course provided me with ideas and approaches I had never considered. My facilitator created a comfortable learning environment, while at the same time challenging participants to push their thinking and consider how to incorporate what they are learning in their own workplaces.”
“These classes are a great way for managers to make time to reflect on their managerial philosophies, and how these philosophies may play out for better or worse. Academics would be likely to find this type of evidence and literature-based managerial training to be both more persuasive and more appealing than most management training. I found myself bringing back concepts and discussing them with my senior management team to help us develop and improve our center. The course values and respects both managers and staff as whole human beings, who want to be productive, useful, and constantly growing professionally and personally. I would add that I also enjoyed getting to discuss these issues with people facing similar challenges and working within a common set of opportunities and constraints.”
You deserve a healthy work life.
When we are responsible for leading, the responsibilities can weigh on us. What seemed like a straightforward plan on paper can turn into a tangled mess of unintended consequences. On top of that, our personal strengths and faults are amplified when we lead.
When we can draw only upon our own experiences and frameworks it’s difficult to imagine another way.
This series provides insight, evidence and a community of professional peers to make it easier.
Let’s put the research to work for you.
Meet Katherine Sanders
Systems engineer Katherine Sanders helps leaders make informed decisions based on organizational research.
She holds a BS, MS and PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from UW-Madison, specializing in human factors and sociotechnical systems.