Sharing Is the Key to Good Communication
By Valerie Pepe, Analyst, Capital Projects’ Sustainability Programs

Valerie Pepe
Valerie Pepe at the September meeting of the Employee Engagement Committee

The Employee Engagement Committee’s (EEC) October meeting was filled with enthusiasm. Meeting once a month with colleagues in all lines of work can be the best way to learn how to improve our workday. Chatting before the meeting started, EEC members shared stories of what each of us does at NYCHA.  Although we were unaware that the theme of the morning would be “good communication among staff,” we seemed to know that this is the underlying key to making our workday pleasant and productive.

There was a sense of encouragement and happiness as everyone shared something that had changed in their lives since our last meeting: promotions, engagements, and the welcoming of a newborn baby. This was the foundation for how we all communicated that morning, and it fostered a healthy environment to openly express our concerns when workplace communication needs improving. And it was clear that sharing positive personal moments with colleagues can strengthen relationships.

The meeting was like a new beginning for many, and we all wanted to use what we have learned over the years to help one another. We all had ideas on how to improve our day at NYCHA. The meeting ended with simple words of encouragement on business card-sized paper handed out by one of the EEC members, which she uses to motivate her staff. We all felt the positive messages as we read them. This simple token was just one idea for improving staff morale, and it was encouraged that others do the same.

Personally, I was deeply humbled to be acknowledged for my memoir “Deformed: My Remarkable Life,” as well as the charity work I do for the Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita community nationwide. It was nice to be able to share my story and work with others who have the condition I was born with and to see my fellow colleagues wanting to know more. Thanks to our incredible leader for allowing our personal stories to be told and shared.

I’m looking forward to our next meeting on November 14, when we can share more ideas for a better future at NYCHA!

Employee Engagement Committee
The October meeting of the Employee Engagement Committee
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