Extension staff are increasingly challenged to do excellent work and balance their lives. University of Maine Cooperative Extension committed to a 2-year participatory action research project to support staff and to an organizational climate that encourages personal sustainability. With tools from ethnography and appreciative inquiry, staff engaged with colleagues through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and informal conversations. This article describes the richness of the process, the methodology, and the findings. Actions began early, as awareness was raised and people felt empowered. Recommendations resulting from the project address ways to support work-life balance, collegiality and connection, and staff connection to organizational vision.
Forstadt, L., & Fortune, A. (2016). Personal Sustainability: Listening to Extension Staff and Observing Organizational Culture. Journal of Extension, 54(2), Article 15. https://tigerprints.clemson.edu/joe/vol54/iss2/15