Celebrating Our B&F Positive Energizers

Watch the 90/90 Challenge Videos:

The 90/90 Challenge finale: Celebrating the 90/90 Challenge

Our progress at the halfway point: The Journey So Far

Below are highlights of the amazing efforts of our 160 B&F positive energizers in their work to meet the 90/90 Challenge and help create a more positive and inclusive workplace.

Click on the boxes below to check out a week-by-week look at the 90/90 Challenge. *If the boxes aren’t loading for you, please try a different browser (Chrome, Internet Explorer).



Week 1

Finance - Risk Management positive energizers organized a unique activity, “power of words,” in which leadership met with each staff member individually for three minutes to communicate why each employee is valued and appreciated. Staff were presented with a certificate summarizing the meeting in one word, which they will display in their work areas. This was an incredibly impactful exercise for all involved. Team members were encouraged to do this exercise at home with family and with their colleagues at work.  


F&O - Logistics, Transportation & Parking - Parking Customer Service positive energizers planned a wide-variety of activities, including:

  • Undertaking campus fieldtrips to provide parking staff with an overall layout of the campus, not only to learn more about what the university does, but also to better support employees, students and visitors who have questions about where to park on the U-M campus. 
  • Establish both a positive energy wall where quotes, comic strips and other messages that convey positive ideas will be posted, and a compliment box where staff can recognize each other when someone does something special or above and beyond. 
  • Hold quarterly “themed” potlucks for staff (baseball season, Halloween, etc.), so folks can get to know each other better in an informal setting.


Finance - Treasurer’s Office positive energizers kicked off the 90/90 Challenge by putting up positive flyers (see picture) around the office to spark interest and share ideas. They will be meeting with small groups of staff to engage them in the initiative.


F&O - Utilities - Central Power Plant positive energizers scheduled a series of breakfast cookouts to connect with all four crews over the next three months. They are beginning their morning meetings with a positive comment or fun fact to lighten the mood and spark conversation. Additionally, they are working with management to create posters to promote their team’s purpose.


F&O - Logistics, Transportation & Parking - Parking Operations positive energizers partnered with the VA hospital to provide blankets to veterans in need. This effort is building on a community service project from last year that resulted in 75 blankets donated to C.S. Mott Children’s hospital (check out some more pictures here). Participation has been overwhelming and staff at all levels are helping with different aspects of the community service project. This is a great team building experience where staff can rally around a common cause and build meaningful relationships.


UHR - Project Healthy Schools positive energizers implemented the sharing of “celebratory moments” at the start of each meeting, where everyone in the meeting reflects on something they’re either thankful for or celebrating.


Finance - Procurement Services positive energizers and positivity team engaged their staff in a number of activities, including a “candy cane gram” gratitude activity where staff gave each other more than 250 candy canes with a personalized thank you note attached.

Week 2

UHR - Health and Well-Being Services positive energizers boosted high quality connections by creating a “What Sparks your Joy?” board. As you can see, it outgrew its designated space!



F&O - Custodial and Grounds Services positive energizers are hosting seasonally themed team-building events with seasonal food and a number of positive culture building activities, including throwing around the positivity ball (a positive-message themed thumball).


F&O - Logistics, Transportation & Parking - Fleet Services positive energizers promoted positivity using the theme of “one kind word can change someone’s entire day.” They set-up gift bags, labeled with their staff members' names, where anyone can drop a note of positivity. Furthermore, they are planning themed potlucks and ice cream socials (once the weather warms up) and have begun posting positive and uplifting quotes and pictures on the office video monitor.


Finance positive energizers developed posters and table tents to promote the 90/90 Challenge in common areas throughout their offices. The effort gives employees a way to identify and connect with their positive energizers. The promotions include the timeframe, goals of the challenge and the names of the positive energizers in Finance.


F&O - Custodial and Grounds Services positive energizers created a “Don’t Sweep it Under the Rug” board to encourage staff to share messages of gratitude and acknowledgement with one another. The board is already becoming quite popular with the 20-person team that works in the area and is helping to create a culture of appreciation.


The Shared Services Center positive energizers and the Learning & Communications team introduced “Attitude of Gratitude" sections on their lean boards. These weekly calendar boards include interchangeable discussion prompts that help stimulate positive conversations. As part of their lean huddles, which happen every morning in every department at the SSC, the teams use the thought-provoking prompts (such as, “what hidden talent do you have that makes you unique?” and “what food are you grateful for?”) to encourage connections among team members and cultivate feelings of gratitude.

Week 3

F&O - Environment, Health & Safety positive energizers expanded their “Question of the Week” whiteboard so that all staff can participate. They now email each new question, so folks can submit responses virtually, too! The questions vary from task-related, to those that help the group think about how to become a more positive organization, to light-hearted and fun personal questions that help staff get to know each other better. Sample questions include, “What was your childhood dream?” and “What are you most grateful for today?” The board also helps staff members collaborate on work problems—everyone is welcome to submit questions to solicit solutions and feedback from their colleagues. Staff have responded that this is a fun way to share their thoughts and see what their colleagues have to say as well.   


The Shared Services Center positive energizers planned many positive activities for their teams:

  • They created “Bright Spots” pages on each team’s huddle board to highlight things that are going right at work, for the team or individuals. Teams are encouraged to talk about these bright spots at their daily huddles (short, stand-up team meetings that happen every day at the SSC). The positive energizers will track the bright spots that are submitted.
  • “Secret Admirer” notes, such as motivational quotes or expressions of gratitude, are being left on team huddle boards every week by positive energizers. Teams are encouraged to talk about the messages –  they have sparked a lot of great conversations!
  • They kicked off “Relax and Recharge” Mondays and “Reboot” Thursdays (in addition to GratiTuesdays!). Positive energizers lead five-minute stretching, relaxation and breathing sessions, and “dance parties” in the SSC lunchroom to help reduce stress and get people to relax and have fun.
  • Lastly, they planned “You’ve Been Energized” boxes, surprising a few teams each week with 1% pins, snacks, and signs of gratitude. The box will also include a few fun “bright spots” that have been noticed about the team to help them celebrate what they’re already doing well.

Finance positive energizers planned an activity for staff to create valentines for patients at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center. They hosted a drop-in event for staff to fill out the cards and spend time together. During the event, a video clip of Kim Cameron’s presentation on the impact of gratitude (from the December Positive Energizer training) played on a loop in the background, so staff could learn about the research behind the positive energizer efforts.

Learn more by checking out more pictures and an awesome video here!


A positive energizer at the Shared Services Center relayed a story about a colleague who was inspired by the positive energy efforts at the SSC. After she “won” an adorable, handmade penguin (made by another SSC team member) in a contest, she set-up the penguin with a little sign that says, “Positivity Penguin says: ‘Have a Great Day.’” What a great 1% contribution! It seems as though positivity is contagious! Another positive energizer at the SSC posted this fun drawing of a “gratitude prescription” as a reminder that being grateful has plenty of great side effects! They also created copies for staff to put up at their desks. 

Week 4

At the Wolverine Tower, Finance positive energizers hosted the first of three planned “Sweet and Salty” events. The event included a meet and greet, sweet and salty snacks and an exercise where people named one thing they loved about this organization and one thing they would change about this organization on sticky notes. They also had a brainstorming session on giving and receiving appreciation.


Finance positive energizers changed up the annual Finance Valentine’s Day Candy Contest by incorporating “positive” energy bars in the container. Each person is allowed one guess submission and the winner will win the whole jar!


UHR - Staff HR positive energizers held a Chili Cook-off and a great (and delicious) time was had by all. It was a great way to feed the need for social connectedness and build camaraderie at work.

The winners of the chili cook-off were:

  • Most Creative Chili-#3 Juliette
  • Hottest Chili-#2 Heather  
  • Best Overall Chili-#1 Sabrina


F&O - Custodial and Grounds Services positive energizers created a "Happy Thoughts" board to encourage staff to offer each other words of encouragement. They also created a fun positive thoughts “tear away” poster, so staff can grab some positive words on their way out!


F&O - Custodial and Grounds Services positive energizers created pop-up Valentine’s stands where staff, faculty, and students could send a message of appreciation and love to their custodians. They also encouraged their team members to send messages to one another. All of the notes were read aloud at an all-staff meeting, so everyone can celebrate kudos and be recognized for their great work!


Positive energizers in Finance - Treasurer’s Office promoted "work/life balance" in a fun message to colleagues: "What is Work-Life Balance? Some people say that they are too busy or have too much work to participate in any of the huddles, webinars, team building events and lunch&learns. The Lead Team as well as any supervisors that we have here have all expressed that they want you to participate in these other things. Why? Because it has been proven that anyone who can step away from their job responsibilities, even for a short bit of time, is a more productive and happier employee. That is what all of us want. So Work-Life Balance is being able to step back, take a breath and participate in something to be a happier, more productive version of yourself."


Team members from Finance volunteered together at the Maize and Blue Cupboard. They helped unload the truck, stock shelves and organize along with some student volunteers. They had a great time and plan to repeat the event with more of the team.


UHR - Strategy and Planning positive energizers set up a daily positive affirmation bulletin board. They change the quote every day to give everyone a little positive lift.


F&O - Operational Support positive energizers kicked off the 90/90 Challenge by placing “Positivity Boards” in their areas. These boards have a question of the week along with some other fun and positive information to share with the group. Not only do these boards create a more positive workplace, but they also spark fun conversations between co-workers.


UHR - Benefits Administration Office positive energizers organized a team breakfast potluck. There was a lot of teamwork and positive energy and were plenty of  smiling faces and full bellies. The positive energizers also send out a weekly email called “Thought for Thursday,” which includes positive videos, positive thoughts and ideas for kind things to do for one another.


F&O - Finance positive energizers invited staff from FOHR, Training & Events and the Real Estate Office to hear from Kevin Hegarty and participate in a fun activity. Each staff member was given a puzzle piece and the team had to work together to figure out how each piece fit into the puzzle – to reiterate the idea that we are all important pieces of the puzzle! When completed, the puzzle spelled out: Be the 1%!

Week 5

One of the Finance - Risk Management positive energizers shared that being a positive energizer requires patience, and even small steps can make an impact and create an opportunity for others to engage positively. Initially, she began sending positive messages out to her unit on Mondays. After a couple of weeks of initiating the practice, two of her coworkers joined the effort and now send similar, positive messages out on Wednesday and Friday. She is definitely starting a movement!


F&O - Maintenance positive energizers formed positive connections through discussions with coworkers, potlucks, a walking club, chili cook-offs, Black History Month educational facts, positivity boards and more! Lots of folks have been joining in to make a commitment to a 1% positive change. Check out a picture of team member Craig Butcher, who joined their 1% club!


UHR - Staff Human Resources positive energizers and team held a heart-healthy salad bar potluck and monthly birthday celebration on Valentine’s Day! They also did a monthly update of their gratitude board,  sharing things for which they are personally grateful (these range from sunny days to how their team supports each other.)


Finance - Internal Controls positive energizers created a fun and informative board with suggestions for "15 Acts of Kindness," a joke of the week, a "Did You Know?" section, DiSC results for their team, upcoming events and much more! The board is open for additions from everyone.


F&O - Environment, Health & Safety positive energizers planned a presentation to share concepts from the positive energizer training with all of EHS, emphasizing the business case and personal health benefits of taking action to build a more positive organization. This presentation includes activities prompting staff to make a 1% change and tips for how staff can incorporate this into their workdays. Participants will receive a 1% button and a gratitude journal.

The leaders of EHS help to reinforce this by leading by example. Positive quotes will be added to walls in huddle rooms. Positive energizers have also been approaching staff members to identify positive things about other staff on their team to share at the program meeting. 

They also created a “Pass this smile around” initiative. Sticky notes are left in various locations to surprise someone and make them smile. This is passed on to surprise someone else during the day. Staff have also begun making their own 1% change. One example is utilizing the “Be Happy” box which contains quotes and is passed along between staff.


In honor of Valentine’s Day, F&O - Utilities positive energizers organized a fun "destined to be together" potluck, featuring classic food combinations: biscuits and gravy, chocolate and peanut butter, hummus and pita, mac and cheese, and many others! It was a time of gathering over food and sharing personal stories with lots of laughs and great team building!


The Shared Services Center positive energizers completed two “Reboot Thursday’s” with a total of 70 staff and leadership attending. The goal is to get staff to take an active break by moving with their coworkers. People are really excited about this fun and energizing activity, and more participants show up each week!


F&O - Logistics, Transportation & Parking positive energizers created a positive energizer board where employees are encouraged to post their own positive messages. The team supervisor also posts quotes on their display monitor!


UHR hosted visitors from the Swedish University of Karlstad who were on an educational tour to learn best practices from universities in the USA. A practice that UHR positive energizers picked up from them is “FIKA,” which is essentially taking a break with colleagues for coffee and connecting!       


UHR - HR Records & Information Services positive energizers hold regular lunchtime Pictionary sessions, which are always a lot of fun and full of participants. One of their February sessions was Valentine’s themed!


Week 6

F&O - Office of Campus Sustainability positive energizers and team created a new thank you card station sparked by the interest of staff in writing thank you notes as their 1% change! Their very own graphic designer made the cards and the station is in the copy room for anyone to use.


The Investment Office positive energizers started a Slack channel for all team members to recognize each other and share quotes, links, pictures, etc. that relate to creating a positive organization. They have also begun sending out a weekly email to keep people informed and are in the process of creating a monthly newsletter to share recent happenings, recognize employees and share personal photos and news.


To celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, Finance - Internal Controls positive energizers asked staff on their floor to submit pictures of their pets to be posted on the office board. After the board was dismantled, they reused the pictures for a “Guess Whose Pet” game.


During a 90/90 Challenge event, positive energizers from the Finance - Sponsored Programs office invited staff to make origami hearts and tulips. On the tulips, staff wrote what brightens their day, and on the hearts, staff wrote a positive message that they could then give to another coworker. The tulips were gathered together to create a gratitude garden on a wall in the hallway. The activity was engaging and fun for all!


Finance - Risk Management positive energizers organized small lunch groups, based on answers to a pre-survey about favorite foods. Each group had a fun name and an engaging topic to discuss. For example, "The Salad Slayers" had salad for lunch and each shared an item or picture that had a story behind it. The "Mediterranean Mixers" had Mediterranean cuisine and discussed their interesting hobbies, such as crocheting and air gardening. The "Don't Tell Me What To Eaters" discussed interesting places they visited, such as Finland, China, Rome and Germany, and the "Italian Intellects" had Italian cuisine and described careers they wanted as a child, such as an Astronaut and FBI agent. Lastly, the "Pizza People" brought in memorable pictures to share with the group. The exercise was not only fun, but also allowed team members to learn a lot about each other and create connections around commonalities.

Finance - Financial Analysis and Treasurer's Office positive energizers created a privacy area on the tenth floor of Wolverine Tower. Responding to the need to create a private space for staff to make phone calls, business or otherwise, they outfitted a window nook in the hallway with a place to sit and take notes, and added a “barrier” plant to establish it as a “personal space/zone”. They used all refurbished items to create the space, and it's already making a big impact!

Week 7

Check out our video celebrating reaching the halfway point of the 90/90 Challenge: Business & Finance 90/90 Challenge: The Journey So Far

Below is a summary of what our positive energizers accomplished in the first half of the 90/90 Challenge:

Positive Meetings:

  • formal presentations at all-staff meetings
  • small monthly group meetings
  • one-on-one meetings
  • sharing in huddles
  • adding positive culture agenda items at team meetings

Positive Communication:

  • daily positive message in staff communications
  • Slack channels
  • newsletters
  • weekly emails
  • positivity penguin with weekly messages
  • weekly video updates
  • "getting to know you" posts with photos
  • "Thoughts for Thursday"
  • sharing what’s 'going right'
  • feedback sessions
  • "positive point" time

Positive Displays:

  • positivity boards
  • gratitude boards
  • "happy thoughts"
  • quotes
  • gratitude tree
  • question of the week
  • "Positive Energy Wall"
  • positive tips
  • brain teasers
  • compliments compiled into a paper doll for each employee
  • work resolutions
  • utilizing video boards
  • personal purpose boards
  • commitment cards with 1% change displayed on desk

Positive Activities/Events

  • Puzzles, quizzes, board games
  • Valentines for UHS/CVC
  • ten-minute mindfulness, breathing exercises
  • ten-minute movement breaks
  • team raffles
  • team games
  • community non-profit project
  • March Madness
  • "getting to know" staff activity
  • MHealthy activities/events (meditation/yoga)
  • gratitude exercises, jar, mailboxes
  • ice breakers
  • thank you card station
  • suggestion box
  • volunteer events
  • tours of campus
  • awards show
  • inclusive CPR/AED training

Positive Treats:

  • sweet treats
  • encourage ‘mints’ 
  • potlucks (with and without competitions)
  • kick-off lunches
  • pizza
  • breakfast
  • sweet & salty event
  • pair & share lunches

Pass the Positivity/Recognition:

  • gratitude journals
  • rocks with positive messages
  • incentives (hard hats with stickers)
  • Parker the Positive Monkey (someone does something nice for the current recipient)
  • sticky-note gratitude exercise
  • 1% posters
  • 1% buttons
  • “you’ve been energized” bags with treats and team information/achievements
  • handwritten notes
  • “Bright Spot” peer acknowledgement
  • employee nomination for service award
  • recognizing birthdays, milestones
Week 8

Finance positive energizers gathered staff from Internal Controls, Communication, Tax, and HR to play Diversity Bingo to celebrate their differences. This game sparked a lot of great conversations! The positive energizers also set-up a coloring station with St. Patrick’s Day-related coloring pages and crayons for people to stop by and take a break to color and have fun with their colleagues! 


At the F&O - Utilities all-staff meeting, their positive energizers engaged everyone in a discussion about ways staff can show appreciation to their coworkers and asked staff how they like to be appreciated. After discussing in groups, they wrote their top answers on Maize and Blue puzzle pieces that spelled out “Be the 1%.”


An F&O - Environment, Health & Safety staff member created a fun video to encourage others to make a "1% Positive Change"! You can check out this super creative 1% effort here


UHR - MHealthy positive energizers replaced their “What Sparks Your Joy” wall with a “Pawsitively Purrfect Pets” activity, which has been sparking some fun conversations between coworkers. People can post any animals they like (even spirit animals), not just their own pets!


F&O - Logistics, Transportation & Parking - Parking Maintenance positive energizers started an annual chili cook-off! For their first cook-off, eleven staff members entered secret recipes with creative names. The friendly-bragging and competitive fun made this a great team-building event. They plan to invite other LTP units to join in next year! Their team is also collecting donations for a community service project to donate blankets to the VA hospital and plan on presenting them to the VA on Veteran’s Day.


UHR - MHealthy positive energizers had an all-staff meeting to energize the team with a positive message! Kevin Hegarty was invited to attend and shared the importance of the work that all the positive energizers are doing. At the meeting, they debuted "Positivity Buckets." This activity encourages staff to regularly "fill up one another's buckets" by writing something positive about that person on a "drop of water" and putting it in their bucket. The word is spreading as staff are talking about some of the fun positive traits that were posted about their colleagues in their individual buckets! #fillupeachothersbuckets

The positive energizers in Finance - Risk Management held a “Movie Time” event, which included a short uplifting movie break to get their team inspired for the rest of the week. The popcorn bar was a plus. You can check out the movie clips they featured - inspiring commencement speeches by Admiral McRaven and Denzel Washington


F&O - Logistics, Transportation & Parking - Parking Operations Sign Shop created a vinyl sign that is hung up outside the breakroom for people to "park their positive energy" by writing positive notes and thanks! The sign promotes a new team mantra -- PARK: "Perform Acts of Random Kindness"!


F&O - Architecture, Engineering & Construction positive energizers created a series of 27 different banners with positive quotes that are placed all throughout the AEC complex, five satellite offices and hospital construction trailer! They also created business-size cards with quotes on them to hand out with the positive energizer logo on the back.

Week 9

Finance - Sponsored Programs positive energizers wrote handwritten thank you cards and delivered them personally along with a Finance gratitude journal to every Sponsored Programs staff member! There were lots of smiling faces and messages of appreciation around the office!

Finance - Procurement Services positive energizers spread positivity with a random act of kindness: sharing oranges, a sweet and healthy snack, along with a postcard listing "Random Acts of "Rindness""-- ideas for anyone to do. Small acts of kindness can result in big positive changes! They also provided an opportunity to staff members to volunteer at Alpha House or Food Gatherers for two hours during their upcoming community days! They are energizing staff by providing them the opportunity to contribute their time to serving others! 

Finance - Risk Management positive energizers shared some ideas of how positive energizers can continue to have "a little virtual fun and provide some positive energy and engagement with our remote colleagues" during a time where many folks will be working from home.

  • Send a daily funny or inspirational GIF to your work groups
  • Send a personal, virtual "hello" via Google Hang-out
  • Send an inspiring or motivational movie clip
  • Have a virtual group lunch chat.
  • Start a virtual book club and use a group application (such as Slack or Tandem) to have a 15-20 minute book chat
  • Send a fun, virtual question or riddle of the day


Week 10

Finance - Risk Management positive energizers set-up a "PAWS for an InFURduction!" Team members working from home took a 25 minute break during lunchtime to video chat via Zoom. They introduced their pets and had great conversations about gratitude. Team members were able to relieve stress and anxiety and support one another!


F&O - Operational Support - Finance positive energizers created "On a Positive Path"- a virtual representation of their physical positive energy board that was created to help build and strengthen team relationships. This online “Google Doc” is updated weekly with new questions, stories, brain teasers, positive facts and useful tools. Continuing their positivity board virtually has helped maintain a sense of normalcy and keep their team connected while folks are working from home.


Finance - Internal Controls positive energizers shared a fun five-minute personality test for staff to participate in virtually. This engaging activity helped team members get to know each other in a new way!


The Shared Services Center positive energizers and their colleagues have been busy transforming many of their positive practices into virtual activities. They have moved their “Mindful Monday” meditation breaks to an online format, which they hold at two times each Monday. They also provided the guided meditations via digital recordings so that staff can do them at any time throughout the day.

The SSC Learning & Communications team also compiled resources to help continue with daily gratitude activities during team huddles:

  • Digital Gratitude Board: They turned their huddle board gratitude activity into a cool digital tool that you can use during virtual huddles or staff meetings! Please be sure to *create a copy* prior to using this tool. Instructions for how to use this tool are located on the first slide of the template.
  • Gratitude Wheel Decide: They created a fun spinning wheel to help randomly choose a daily gratitude question! This is also linked in the Digital Gratitude Board packet (above). Now, more than ever, cultivating an attitude of gratitude is incredibly helpful and important!

The SSC Learning & Communications team shared some additional ways that teams can virtually connect and have fun:

  • Themed Team meetings: who said spirit week ended in high school?! Try hosting a team meeting where everyone is encouraged to dress up according to a theme. Some ideas include: 80's day, Tye-Dye Party, Team Spirit, Harry Potter, Dress like a Pirate (you can even stay in character the entire meeting… first one to lose has to walk the plank! ARRRGH!)
  • Take your pet to work day: for a paws-atively adorable meeting, let each member of the team introduce their pets if they have one. After all, these guys are our coworkers now, too, so they might as well meet the rest of the team! For an extra fun time, start a "Coworker of the Week" program where you can nominate your pet to be crowned MVP (most valuable pet) of the week!

You can learn more about how the SSC positive energizers and Learning & Communications team are helping to support building a positive culture here!


UHR - MHealthy positive energizers started a Google slide deck, asking their team members to share how they stay energized from home. The picture shows an example of one slide folks have submitted. #stayenergized


Finance - Procurement Services positive energizers are leveraging BlueJeans and Google Community to keep in touch. Managers are joining in by increasing their frequency of touchpoints with BlueJeans check-in calls to discuss how things are going (working from home, how life is going, keeping people informed, etc.) Last week, the positive energizers created a Google Community group called PS Positive Organization where people can post pictures, post MHealthy tips, ask questions to spark conversations, etc. For example, the team working from home was asked to refer to their kids and pets as coworkers and share why they need to be reported to HR – you can check out the hilarious answers in the pic below!

They also have some great ideas they’re hoping to implement in the near future:

  • Coffee/Tea Talk - Weekly BlueJeans meeting for people to voluntarily join (talk about anything from the weather to what their current life is like)
  • Virtual Book Club - Vote on a book and report back on takeaways
  • Monday Movie Talk – Opportunity for everyone to talk about a movie they watched over the weekend- virtual meeting for discussion and/or a Google Doc with people putting their favorite clip from the movie in the doc
  • Friday Flick Pick - Everyone picks a movie of their choice that they recommend watching over the weekend and states their case as to why it is a good flick to watch. At the beginning of each meeting, people can share what movies they did watch that people recommended and discuss what they liked about it
Week 11

F&O - Custodial & Grounds Services positive energizers started their own “On a Positive Path” google document, inspired by F&O’s Operational Support’s idea (see "Week 10"). They’re hoping that by spreading the positivity, their team will stay connected to each other and their higher purpose. Additionally, the CGS supervisors and leadership have been going out to visit their teams to offer encouragement and motivation.


Finance - Procurement Services positive energizers developed a creative way to virtually connect! Last week they held a crazy sock contest; though there were many excellent submissions, the winner was the Dumpster Fire socks!



F&O - Maintenance Health Science Regions positive energizers played “The Colleague Newlywed Game” at their last staff meeting on March 11 (prior to the increased COVID-19 protocols). They had staff team up with colleagues they frequently worked with to test their knowledge. The team even coordinated a special visit from one of the supervisors’ fiancée so she could participate as his teammate during the game!


Finance - Sponsored Programs positive energizers sent out a newsletter to their staff that included many relevant resources related to coping with the pandemic, a couple of fun conversation starters and some great 1% change ideas (see below)! They are also planning to use Workplace to engage staff in remote culture-building activities.


F&O - Maintenance positive energizers are focusing on staying connected with their colleagues to help maintain morale. Positive energizers are sending notes of encouragement and positivity to their teammates! They also sent out a newsletter with a variety of helpful U-M resources including a link to the latest Action for Happiness calendar, which is also displayed on their message boards and in key physical locations.


The Shared Services Center - HR Coordinator positive energizers reported that their team starts their day with a positive gratitude status-- bringing lots of laughter and joy to their team during their daily huddle. Their daily huddle is completed using Google Hangouts Meet in place of physical interactions. This is helping the team develop stronger relationships and maintain their positivity while working remotely.


F&O - Operational Support - HR (FOHR) positive energizers and their teammates are keeping up the positivity by connecting in a variety of ways. They’re sharing pictures, quotes and videos that bring them joy, letting their kids and pets visit their video chats for some added levity, and taking advantage of their Slack channel as a method of communication. To help their team start their day on a positive note, their leadership has been welcoming their teams to their virtual workdays with a "good morning" message.

Week 12

UHR - Communications positive energizers and their teammates are continuing their Swedish “Fika” tradition of taking a coffee break with colleagues to focus on connecting. They first learned about this tradition when UHR hosted some visitors from the University of Karlstad in Sweden.


Finance - Sponsored Programs positive energizers created a private Workplace group for their colleagues to connect virtually! They emailed out instructions on how to join the group and are encouraging their staff to participate in two fun relationship-building activities. The first activity was submitting a single word describing their current experiences (whether working from home or working in a nearly-empty office) to help create a fun visual for their site. The second activity was to encourage their teammates to get comfortable with their new Workplace site by submitting a post about an item that brings them joy or keeps them motivated during the current situation.


UHR - Benefits Administration Office positive energizers are sending out weekly “Thought for Thursday” emails that are now centered on coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, recent emails included articles on managing stress or funny videos to allow a little reprieve. To help counter the isolation remote work inevitably causes, they sent out a gratitude email and encouraged the team to "reply all" to highlight something they are grateful for at the moment. 

Week 13

Finance - Treasurer’s Office positive energizers organized staff to contribute inspirational words or phrases to create a word cloud that reflects how they’re feeling in their current situation. This word cloud was distributed to staff members to keep them connected and inspired. 


The Investment Office positive energizers created a newsletter that gives IO staff the opportunity to share meaningful things going on in both their personal and professional lives. Thus far, some topics the newsletter has highlighted are: MHealthy news, words of appreciation from colleagues, employee spotlight, recognition of birthdays and significant events that bring them joy. It is their hope that the IO Insider will bring the team closer together while also bringing a smile to the faces of all who read it.     


UHR - MHealthy positive energizers created a video titled “Humans of MHealthy” in hopes of keeping their staff connected during these challenging times. They're planning to release more videos in the coming weeks!


F&O - Logistics, Transportation & Parking - Parking Customer Service positive energizers are maintaining their strong connections virtually. They started a "Virtual Positive Energy Wall" after their teammates reached out saying they missed the in-person wall back at the office. Twice a week, they post positive quotes via email to which staff reply with quotes of their own.  



F&O - Architecture, Engineering & Construction positive energizers are hosting weekly, virtual zoom lunches where they play “Family Feud” to lighten things up and to help their teams stay connected. They use a free version of the quiz creator triviamaker.com as their gaming platform. They divide the participating staff into two “families” and let them “duke it out” over a couple of games!



Finance - Procurement Services positive energizers created a running song list of 35 groovy music choices. Their team listed some of their favorite "happy" tunes with YouTube links to share the fun with everyone. The list has some old-time favorites like: "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," "Lean on Mean," "You’ve Got a Friend," and "Old Time Rock and Roll" along with current tunes like: "All Summer Long," "Uptown Funk," and "Rise Up." They’re learning a lot about what music their colleagues find inspirational!

Beyond sharing music, they are also sharing their favorite recipes through a Google Doc. So far they have 14 shared recipes. These include classics such as award-winning guacamole, taco salad, hummus, and spicy grilling marinade and unique recipes such as Hawaiian style aloha chili, seasoned bell pepper rice, and breakfast calzones!

In early April, their team scheduled a "recess" break so they could engage in outdoor activities while working at home. Participating staff took a few minutes to go outside to enjoy the weather. Various team members took their work outdoors, went on nature walks or walked their pets, played outdoors with their kids and one even became "Air" Jordan. They shared pictures of these activities through email and the Google Community Group and encouraged each other by making positive comments on the pictures. Procurement Services will continue to encourage these types of activities to promote well-being and to build stronger relationships between colleagues.