I specialize in human factors and work systems engineering – essentially the health and productivity of people at work. And I’m in love with this area. It is my calling.
I love talking with people about their work – what they love about what they do, why they chose their profession. You can learn so much about people by asking them how they *feel* about their work – how they find meaning in it.
Since I have a nerdy background myself, I’m particularly at home talking with professionals in technical fields such as healthcare, scientific research, technology and engineering. Believe it or not, even the most technically-focused folks can express compelling love for their fields. They’ll tell me they find beauty in solving problems and contributing to society. We all want to be appreciated for our contributions.
I was educated to be an occupational stress researcher. But instead of making my contribution by creating new knowledge, I want my contribution to be helping everyone to benefit from what we already know about work’s impact on health. My programs are unique because I am a natural interpreter. I speak the language – research evidence. And I can help translate it for people who want to benefit from it. Live happier, healthier and more productive lives. And that’s what the researchers were meaning to contribute to… but how many people actually read research journals? (Answer: Only other researchers.)
My graduate education in occupational stress research inspired my commitment to support professionals in high-burnout occupations. And while I’ve worked in litigation support (expert witness) to help explain how and why work can lead to injury and illness, I much prefer focusing on prevention and wellbeing.
My career started in higher education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when my dissertation study turned into a faculty development center. (The faculty participants wanted to keep the conversation going so they asked the dean to create a pilot program – and a big dream for me came true: a dissertation that was of use to someone!) After more than a decade within higher ed., I moved to the East Coast and had the fun of taking what I’d learned into corporate America. I’m happy to report that people are people, and the issues we face are universal.
In my consulting projects I’ve designed programs for a wide variety of organizations – from engineering consulting firms, to state medical societies, to health insurers. Although the specific circumstances are unique, what they all have in common is the desire to live healthier, more meaningful and productive lives. Researchers spend their careers exploring these areas. It makes me happy when people can use the research to improve their lives. That’s what it’s all about, right?
If your organization would like to start an in-house conversation about healthy work, I can teach any of the Be Effective Series programs at your site. I can also customize any of them for your organization. Prices start at $10,000 and go up, depending on the level of redesign required (format and content) and travel requirements.
I also custom designs programs for organizations. Creating a program from scratch means I can work with you to align it with your organization’s priorities. We can create momentum to move your initiatives forward.