A third special edition of MHW News with resources to support you during the COVID-19 crisis



June 2020


Our ability to learn and adapt translates into countless opportunities that can empower us – both individually and collectively.  


More than ever, while in confinement, we can see that so much of our subjective experience in the day-to-day is in our own hands – what we focus on (in thoughts and interactions) and how we choose to interpret the events of our lives. For some, life is full of amazing “lessons.”  


What will stand out for you about your learning, when you look back on these unprecedented times? In this Learning edition, we invite you to find strength in your own lessons learned, and to continue to learn more about how what we do now is likely to affect our workplace post-pandemic. Are there ways we can emerge even healthier from this experience?  


Enjoy a glimpse of how others are self-managing at this time, and don’t miss our Healthy Workplace events and activities. 


Lessons Learned  


The British Red Cross has been sharing acronyms on Instagram as a source of inspiration through the pandemic. Last month’s “C.A.L.M.E.R” acronym is fitting for this third special edition of MHW News as we keep learning from this pandemic – about ourselves, our community, and our world: 


Capturing Lessons Learned


When we wrap-up a project or an important event, reflecting on what went well and what could be improved can deepen our learning, contribute to a sense of resolution and improve future outcomes - on a project team, or even in a family.


Use this simple, adapted version of a Lessons Learned Template for projects that you might choose to put to creative use at this time of great learning for all. 


McGill Checks-In 


McGill Checks In is a recently-launched series of webcasts hosted by University Advancement's Managing Director of Communications, Derek Cassoff. The McGill expert-studded videos explore big questions related to the pandemic and are open to all, live or recorded. Tune in live or any time to find out what we can learn from past pandemics, what astronauts can teach us about braving COVID-19 and many other fascinating topics. 

Learn Now 


McGill Launch of LinkedIn Learning 


Building on Principal Fortier's priority of becoming a Learning Organization, one of the goals of the My Healthy Workplace initiative is to foster a work environment that embraces and encourages continuous learning. Learning is a lifelong process, that can take place almost anywhere and any time - including remotely and now. In this context of increased online work and learning, McGill has launched its partnership with LinkedIn Learning for a timely 6-month pilot focused on Administrative and Support Staff. 


The LinkedIn Learning platform offers unlimited access to video courses and learning paths taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. Those eligible for the pilot received an initial invitation on May 21. Contact Organizational Development with any questions about the pilot and check out upcoming learning opportunities just below.


Upcoming MHW Events


It is not too late to join this special 5-part series:


Parenting in the time of COVID
Series by Dr. Tina Montreuil

Fridays (12:30-2:00 pm) 

June 12, 2020

June 19, 2020


Virtual Meditations with MHW Ambassador
Every Friday (12:30-1:00 pm)
Email Lana Kobeici to be added to the calendar invitation.


Learning from the Heart


McGill’s staff and community have taken exceptional measures to support our students during these strange and challenging times. 


We can continue to support all of our constituent groups and clients using the HEART framework:   

Humanize our organization 

Educate about the changes 

Assure stability 

Revolutionize offerings 

Tackle the future 


Staying Productive During Self-Isolation


Cold showers, headphones – with no sound on –or sitting in the sun. Check out these sometimes-surprising tips and tricks to stay productive during self-isolation


Remote Work Research: Conversations with an Expert


Conversations between Dr. Jean-Nicolas Reyt of the Desautels Faculty of Management and HR’s Organizational Development team began during the earliest stages of the pandemic, before campus closed. McGill had just launched its Flexible Work Arrangements pilot program for staff and was in a remote-work learning curve. Then the crisis hit and we found our theories about working from home rapidly put to the test. Much of Dr. Reyt’s research is focused on remote work; he has proven a wise advisor as OD has worked (remotely) to support McGill's managers through the transition.


The absence of face-to-face contact with their teams has been a challenge for many, as has the sudden shift in the technologies needed to connect and share information with our colleagues. Dr. Reyt was quick to point out that while technical issues may present a challenge, much more is at stake as we acclimatize to the new remote work reality.


Supported by decades of research, Reyt highlighted several key issues that managers especially, and employees generally, should be aware of and, ideally, proactively address: communication norms, work-life conflicts, and our approach to supervising others. Read more to find out how.


Learn for the Future


Many of us are asking ourselves: “What will the new normal look like?” Regardless of our vision for the post-pandemic future, and the undetermined time before then, we have to continue learning and adapting to make our visions a reality. Speak with your manager about how to incorporate future-relevant learning into your development plan. LinkedIn Learning’s goal-setting tool is an easy way to start. As little as 15 minutes a couple times a week can make a real difference. 


Incorporating Learning 

It be difficult to imagine how to incorporate learning into our routines these days, but by taking small steps, you can make progress on your leaning goals.  


These Harvard Business Review tips tell us how. 




Navigating the Transition

How can we make the most of our transition to remote work? As leaders and change agents we can: Set clear expectations, keep things simple, continue building relevant skills, and be authentic and inclusive. The World Economic Forum tell us how to get started.


My Healthy Workplace Shares


The My Healthy Workplace Team has been busy undertaking new initiatives for McGill staff and faculty as we continue to learn the evolving needs of our community.


From the launch of LinkedIn Learning for Administrative and Support Staff, to rolling out the 13-Psychosocial Factors of wellness in the workplace, and several new mental health initiatives: get the scoop on what MHW has been up to and what initiatives are coming up!

Share your Story


How has social distancing affected your work? What have you and your area done to adapt? The MHW network would love to see you in action! Share your story, and we will share with the rest of the McGill employee community in the next newsletter.

The Organizational Development team in Human Resources has provided the following examples of how they have adapted to the new reality: 

  • Offering special virtual sessions of Coaching Ourselves to connect colleagues across faculties and units
  • Partnering with the Art of Living for online meditation sessions
  • Interviewing McGill researchers regarding tips and tricks for dealing with challenges of the pandemic
  • Connecting as a team on a weekly basis for a virtual coffee break


Source: International Red Cross Committee

We want to hear from you!


Send the MHW News editorial team an email to let us know what you think of this issue or to suggest an initiative to highlight.





My Healthy Workplace