UMD’s Thriving Workplace Initiative is making the University of Maryland a great place to work by providing tools and support to foster engaged, inclusive and empowered faculty and staff across campus.

Each Monday, its Five to Thrive list offers five strategies crowdsourced from research, experts and our own UMD community to help your workplace thrive.

Want to build a Thriving Workplace? Here are this week’s tips:

  • Check your attitude. What you say is only part of an interaction; how you say it is just as important. For best results, look people in the eye, put down your phone and avoid crossing your arms.
  • Don’t curb your enthusiasm. Last month, we discussed how to limit the exclamation point, but that doesn’t mean enthusiasm in the office is unwelcome. Energy—whether it’s a wide smile, relish to tackle a project or a well-placed fist bump—is uplifting, contagious and motivational.
  • Practice self-care. Know when it’s time to take a break, go home or cash in vacation days. Taking care of your health and personal relationships resets your body and brain and translates to improved productivity.
  • Build a better mousetrap. One benefit of a large university is virtually unlimited skillsets, so ask for input on new ways of doing things. Listen intently and work to implement one new idea from your colleagues each semester.
  • Put your to-do list on a diet. On your daily to-do list, select one or two things that must get done; it creates a focus and priority for your day and a sense of accomplishment when it’s done.

Participate in the Thriving Workplace Survey, April 1–12. Take five to 10 minutes to reflect on life at work and help the university create more engaged, inclusive workplaces. Learn more at