Creating a Truly Collaborative Organization

I am most passionate about creating a positive work environment, where people can feel respected and valued, and collaboration is encouraged and inclusion is pivotal, rather than placing the focus on competition and individual achievement. I believe in an organization that shares its successes and failures openly.

One area in which I have been able to implement my passion for creating a positive work environment at the Advanced Test Reactor is chairing the Employee Health Committee. Including individuals from every organization across the complex, the focus of the committee is employee professional development and retention.

In 2020, the committee focused much of its efforts on boosting the morale of the essential staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, while building a connection between the staff who work at the reactor and the telecommuting staff. These efforts included weekly contests and questions that encouraged staff members to submit personal information to share with their colleagues about their lives. The committee also facilitated appreciation gifts from the telecommuting staff to the essential workers around the holidays. Further, the committee presents opportunities for both essential and telecommuting staff to connect and learn through engaging and educational online presentations. These efforts help build a truly collaborative environment, comprising individuals who provide support for one another, offering compassion, kindness, and engagement for all.

Team member support can take many forms, including sharing knowledge or bouncing ideas off one another to find the best approach to solving a problem or finishing a task. At the Advanced Test Reactor, Intent Based Leadership is a core value that managers and staff embrace: People are empowered to make decisions at every level. Mistakes are expected and forgiven. From the beginner to the seasoned veteran, every individual, regardless of position, uses his or her skills to contribute to the overall success of the group, and that success is shared equally among team members. Through this approach, team members gain confidence to do their work, ask questions, feel a true connection to others within the team, and are empowered to take an innovative approach to their work every day.