Being dedicated and successful in your job and enjoying a fulfilled private and family life should not be a contradiction in terms. As an employer, it’s important to WU to create an atmosphere characterized by mutual appreciation and respect. We encourage our employees’ further development and give them every opportunity to perform up to their highest potential. As a responsible university, we provide a working environment that encourages faculty and staff to be and stay healthy, and we are continuously working to improve our employees’ work-life balance.
A family-friendly university
The hochschuleundfamilie audit helps universities locate possible problem areas within their own systems and become more family-friendly employers.
As a member, WU is committed to continuously working to improve the compatibility of professional and family life. The current 3-year audit period ended in 2019, so we worked hard to prepare for reaccreditation. We discussed what measures we would like to take in the next 3 years and worked out a target agreement, which was given a positive evaluation by an external expert. In December, the audit board confirmed WU’s reaccreditation.
A selection of work-life balance projects in 2019
- Guidelines on family-friendly scheduling and communication
- Childcare during school vacations for children aged 6–10: 6 weeks in the summer and the entire Easter break
A healthier (work) life
In 2017, we launched a new project to promote better health at the workplace: Well-Being@WU. After a planning phase, a survey of the status quo was conducted, followed by an intensive conception phase. Finally, in 2019, we were ready to offer our employees numerous new programs as well as a new intranet page with clearly structured, helpful information.
We offer additional support to employees returning to work after long leaves of absence due to illness. With this program, we hope to:
- Maintain and promote employees’ long-term health
- React early on to illnesses and restore employees’ ability to work
- Facilitate a rapid reintegration into the workplace
- Prevent further leaves of absence due to illness
- Prevent early retirements due to illness
- Prevent and reduce occupational health hazards
- Professionalize management
- Promote and practice a culture of mindfulness in dealing with illness and disability
Participation in the program is on a voluntary basis. Information about the program is automatically sent to any employee on sick leave for over 3 weeks or with a total of 42 sick days within a 12-month period, and employees are free to decide if they want to take advantage of the services or not.
Advisory services and workshops
With our advisory services and workshops, we provide our faculty and staff with helpful tips on a healthy lifestyle and help in specific problem situations. Our services cover a number of topics, including:
- Stress and burnout
- Mindfulness and relaxation techniques
- Preventive medicine and therapy
- Organizational aspects
- Computer work and ergonomics
The Well-Being@WU project also focused intensively on management work at WU in 2019.
The result of these efforts was a basic understanding of healthy leadership. Based on this definition, a concept was drafted and a checklist on top management’s influence as role models was drawn up.
The Rector’s Council resolved to implement the Well-Being@WU concept “Top management as role models” and the corresponding checklist in their everyday activities, in order to be the best possible role models themselves with regard to healthy leadership. The concept and the checklist were then communicated to all WU management staff with the request for implementation in their own units.
Support for management staff
The work of WU’s management staff plays a crucial role in the university’s success, which is why we offer our administrative and academic supervisors a comprehensive portfolio of support services.
In 2019, we expanded the onboarding program for senior faculty. During a half-day event, the newly appointed professors have the opportunity to discuss management and responsibility issues as well as specific aspects of everyday academic work and leadership with the Vice-Rector for Research and Human Resources. In addition, we invite them to assess their leadership skills and attend a special workshop; peer coaching is also available.
The newly developed event series “Focus on Leadership” is aimed at administrative and academic supervisors. After a brief impulse talk on a selected leadership topic, participants are encouraged to discuss and develop ideas for implementation in everyday life.