Guide to Employee Engagement: One Step Further - Take Care of One Another

Take care of one another.

Building a community and culture that thrives and perseveres requires us to look out for each other and care about other’s ideas, experiences, and needs beyond our own.

Protecting the pond – Ducks look after the flock.

There is no better demonstration of looking out for one another and protecting our community than our current set of circumstances and requirements necessary for on-campus activities and in-person operations as the university continues its response to COVID-19 and delivering in-person instruction and other services during a pandemic.

The university has established guidelines to help prevent the spread of illness on campus. Lets each do our part to protect the health and safety of others and contribute to our ability to continue to offer in-person instruction and activities. Current expectations include:

Refer to the UO COVID-19 safety resources for more information and important prevention strategies and safety regulations.

Demonstrate kindness, grace, and forgiveness of yourself and others.

We each have our own experiences and face very individualized challenges as we work collectively towards common work goals and perform our jobs. Tension can arise as we bring our individual points of view and experiences into the workplace. It is important that we remember, we are all doing the best that we can and having support without judgement from those around us creates space for mistakes and opportunities to learn, grow, and do better. We are all in this together.

Educate yourself and stay informed.

An informed, knowledgeable co-worker can be one of the greatest assets to a work group. Doing your part to be current and up-to-date on facts and other information allows you to evaluate the accuracy of information shared by others, pass along accurate information, and prevent the spread of misinformation.

  • Seek out information from reliable resources.
  • Be familiar with rules and regulations and know where to find policies.
  • Learn and grow from the information and knowledge you gain along the way.

Promote respect.

The University of Oregon is committed to promoting a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning and working environment for students, faculty, and staff. Together, we share the responsibility to foster and maintain a culture of respect.

  • Find value in each person and position.
  • Do your part to prevent discrimination.
    If you see something, say something. You are protected by federal and state laws and university policies and have obligations as a responsible employee under university policy to report information you have regarding instances of discrimination and harassment. Visit the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance for more information about employee reporting processes and obligations.
  • Understand vulnerability and counter stigma and racism.
    One of the unintended outcomes of the pandemic response is feelings of stigma and vulnerability. This, coupled with elevated awareness of racial injustices, it is now more than ever imperative that we recognize our own implicit biases and actively stand in opposition of racism. Demonstrate with your actions and behaviors that we do not tolerate discrimination within the university. The Division of Equity and Inclusion website offers helpful insights and information on a variety of topics related to stigma and discrimination. The University Counseling Center also provides support during a pandemic of racism.

Deescalate to avoid unnecessary conflict.

Disagreement and conflict can be healthy in a workplace. It is when they escalate, turning personal or emotional, that they can be disruptive and unproductive. Learn to disagree, respectively. and engage in healthy debate with co-workers so that the discussion contributes to the greater good or the work at hand. When a discussion is not applicable to work or to achieving a common UO goal, consider disengaging. Use the following tactics to deescalate the situation and maintain your working relationship:

  • Lead with respect and empathy by acknowledging the other person's point of view.
  • Place more value on the person than advocating your position. It is ok to agree to disagree.
  • Recognize that the conversation is becoming heated and suggest you take a break from the discussion.
  • If the disagreement is not work-related, politely bring the conversation to an end. Redirect it to a shared work-related topic, or politely excuse yourself to tend to a work-related task..
  • When a disagreement becomes emotionally charged, it is good to take a break, a cooling off period. You can return to the conversation another time, if at all.
  • Know when to walk away. Maintaining a positive relationship with a co-worker is always more important that proving a point or winning a debate.