A great climate doesn’t just happen. It relies on the goodwill, passion and involvement of colleagues who go above and beyond in their desire to make UWM a better place to work. Here you will find out what is being done and how you fit in.
Best Place to Work (BP2W) is an essential part of UWM’s vision to be a top-tier research university that is the best place to learn and work for students, faculty and staff and a driver of sustainable prosperity. This important initiative brings us together to foster a climate that better attracts, retains, and develops all employees and students.
Initiatives in Action
The UWM BP2W Coordinating and Action & Leadership Teams have worked together to develop and implement climate action plans. Beginning in August 2011, three campus retreats were held to identify and prioritize a series of action-oriented climate initiatives.
- Workplace: Initiatives addressing civility and supporting an employee-friendly workplace.
- UWM Gems: A collection of our many and unique opportunities we call gems.
- The Advancement of UWM Climate Initiatives: Parking
- Development of Bullying and Cyberbullying Policy
- Complaint Assistance
- Conflict Resolution: Campus Resources and Procedures
- Design for UWM Code of Conduct
- Employee Friendly Workplace: Compensation and Benefits
- Employee Friendly Workplace: Flexible Schedule / Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Employee Friendly Workplace: Improving Stress Levels and Wellbeing
- Leadership: Initiatives focusing on professional development to empower leaders at UWM.
- Career: Initiatives designed to foster meaningful career progression while at UWM.
- Rewards: Initiatives recognizing contributions to making UWM the Best Place to Work.
"A key component to building a great university is making sure it is the best place to learn and work for students, faculty and staff. I wholeheartedly support this concept, which emerged as a central campus element when UWM faculty and staff came together to discuss the future of our university. We will continue to work together to create that best place to learn and work, and I invite you to explore this website to learn about our latest progress."
–Chancellor Michael R. Lovell
Our climate is too important to ignore. Not only is becoming a Best Place to Learn and Work a core part of our vision—one that was universally endorsed by our governance groups and the campus—it represents the foundational underpinnings of what will enable us to become a top-tier research institution that provides access to education. It’s in all of our interests to influence what and where we can to make a positive difference and make UWM a Best Place to Learn and Work.
Climate is local; climate is global. In other words, there are things we can do to affect our overall work environment. But, arguably, the most important aspect of climate is where we work every day, our close colleagues, our bosses, students, and community members with whom we interact each and every day. In that spirit, we make the climate—how we treat each other, how others treat us. This is why we are instituting the BP2W Working Together to Make a Difference Leadership Engagement initiative, such that each school, college, and division will take on their own, local climate-related goals, plans, and actions.
We can’t get there alone. While climate change starts at the top and is embedded in our commonly held values, sustained change is not accomplished alone, nor is it done solely from the top, middle or bottom. In this context, UWM is fortunate to have a wealth of passionate, committed people and senior leaders who believe in and advance the cause. It is humbling to work with so many people—our great colleagues—who go above and beyond in their desire to make UWM a better place to work.
If your ideas are for a positive enhancement outside your immediate area – and if they can be implemented quickly and at low cost – consider proposing them as Quick Win. We continue to receive, review, and, where possible, implement the Quick Win suggestions. We have received many suggestions, with some of the recent ones implemented or being implemented including:
- New picnic tables between Engelmann and Cunningham halls and at the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health
- Additional bicycle racks located in numerous areas across campus
- Showers identified in numerous locations for bicyclists, joggers, and others wanting them—with Mitchell Hall currently available and at least three other locations to be in use later this year
- Repainting and updating restrooms, and converting restrooms to gender neutral
- Bike repair fix-it station in front of the Union
- Online trouble calls and work order form submission arriving later this year
- Facilities Planning & Management Summer Picnic Lunch
Have a Quick Win to make UWM the Best Place to Work? Submit a UWM Quick Win
While there were many superb nominations, our committee views the nominations for these individuals as highly meritorious. BP2W Champions receive a visit from the Chancellor, who presents a personal letter of thanks and a BP2W Champions lapel pin, and are recognized during the Chancellor’s Plenary Address. The following are recognized as BP2W Champions
- Vicki Bott - College of Letters & Science
- Cheri Dziekan Chapman - College of Health Sciences
- Marcia Gabriel, School of Continuing Education
- Eric Gresnick - Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
- Maggie Kaczmarek - School of Education
- Chief Mike Marzion - UWM Police Department
- Mary McCoy - Peck School of the Arts
- Tracy Oles-Fairchild - College of Health Sciences
- Ruth Schwertfeger - College of Letters & Science
- Don Szmania - School of Freshwater Science
- Jennifer Weinzierl, Institute for Urban Health Partnerships
Do you know a colleague who has a strong track record of making your work area a much better place to be and exemplifies UWM as the Best Place to Work? Nominate a Best Place to Work Champion
|Please congratulate Don Szmania, a research specialist in the School of Freshwater Sciences, Great Lakes WATER Institute. Don (at left) is our newest BP2W Champion. The School of Freshwater Sciences held an all-School reception to celebrate. Pictured with Don are Chancellor Michael Lovell and Mark Mone, Chancellor's Designee for Strategic Planning and Campus Climate.|
If you would like to make a positive difference in our climate, think about the areas that you would like to see improved at UWM and offer ideas to your colleagues or supervisor for implementation. If you are strongly committed to the idea, take the lead on helping to implement it. Join one of the BP2W initiatives or help advance the new work that we will be undertaking.
We will be reviewing the results of our campus “Great Colleges to Work for Survey,” and conducting more inquiries regarding key climate issues at UWM. From this work, we will be refining and building on our activities and welcoming new participants. Review the BP2W website for work under way, extensive resources on climate actions that can be taken and models of other organizations’ efforts at improving their climate.