June 29, 2023 All Articles

Meet the Speaker: Dorota Katarzyna Ulkowska, Sales Manager, Shing Digital

We caught up with Dorota in preparation for her involvement in the Wellbeing at Work Summit Canada which takes place from September 26-28 live and in-person in Toronto & Calgary to find out why she is so passionate about wellbeing at work and why she is looking forward to the Summit.

We are thrilled that you will be speaking at our Wellbeing at Work Canada Summit in September. Our first and most important question is, how are you doing today?

I am doing excellent today…although that is definitely not the case every day. Having said that, positivity typically outweighs the negatives. 

As a leader based in the region, what are the main challenges your you are facing when it comes to employee wellbeing?

Our industry requires a lot of solving of issues and therefore from time to time client facing emotionally charged situations. We are the fix it people. Therefore, we need to stay calm, hear our clients out and provide solutions. This can have a huge impact on the emotional state of our employees. The level of work, plus the client emotional tightrope is something we are continuously facing.

What strategies have you seen developing over the past 6 months, both internally and externally, that is moving the dial on wellbeing in the workplace?

One on ones with each employee provides a method to check in on;

  • How are you doing – at work and otherwise
  • How is your team doing
  • What else do you need to help you within your role

This process helps us bring up to the surface the challenges individuals are facing. If we do not understand what is happening for people professionally or personally, we cannot support them.

This process has assisted us in putting together some additional processes to help support individuals internally. In addition it creates a very tight team environment where we are here to support one another.

Why is employee wellbeing so important to you personally? 

I have gone through some significant challenges personally in my life due to family and health. This relates to physical as well as mental challenges. I understand first hand that no matter how much we may love our jobs (or not), we are human beings in a workplace. Being a human being can be challenging. And our priority should be to make sure we are functioning human beings within our workplace. Otherwise, eventually, everything starts to fall apart. We are human beings having a work place experience not the other way around. 

What are you most looking forward to about the Summit in September? 

Learning what skillsets and experiences others are creating in their workplace. We learn from one another and I look forward to expanding my consciousness as to what is possible within our workplace.

Tell us, what is your vision for the workplace of the future, in terms of engagement, health and wellbeing?

Working hard with intense balance. What do I mean by that – we all have the capacity to put 100% into our roles but we require time to recharge our batteries. This of course is the case in our personal lives as well. My vision for the future is to have an environment where we support mental, physical and even spiritual well-being. The basics are having a health plan which promotes pro active health. But within our environment having a culture of openness where we support one another while at the same time owning the responsibility for our work. Beyond this providing a flexible work schedule where employees can work remotely and in the office. And last, having a culture of creativity, trust and fun. Our work should be fun! No matter what we deal with, if we are not enjoying what we are doing the stress and pressure will outweigh any positive steps we are taking. 

What areas do you think employers should be focused on over the next 12 months? 

Listen! Listen to your employees. We will not be able to act on each individuals’ unique requirements. However, what is the basis of the needs that your employees are communicating? Is there something which needs to be fixed or added internally? Or is the requirement for further wellbeing a support of the individual outside of the workplace? Lets not throw solutions out to see what sticks. Listen and learn. But once you do, be ready and willing to bring on change.

How has your organization been leading the way? 

Every week we review our values in individual team meetings. We choose one of the values and review examples within our organization or outside of our organization.  When the organization values are top of mind they are easily integrated into our thoughts, plans and actions. The conversations which occur are easily brought up when something does not align with the culture of wellbeing which we are committed to creating.  The level of gratitude is quite high in every one of those meetings. 

Dorota will be speaking in Calgary at the Wellbeing at Work Summit Canada that takes place both live and in-person in Toronto and Calgary, and virtually for the wider region. Further details on the Summit can be found here.

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