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Common Good

We hope to raise awareness about the physical and mental benefits of gratitude, purpose, kind communication and self-compassion at IU.

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Participants in Common Good will strengthen relationships, boost happiness, and brighten their world! The  4-week online practice will help participants tap into their powerful skills of:

  • Gratitude
  • Purpose
  • Effective Communication
  • and Self-Compassion

Studies show a strong connection between these skills and our mental and physical well-being at work and home. Each week, participants will be introduced to a research-based practice that will help deepen these skills and well-being.

All IU employees, and their spouses, are invited to join this journey! Practicing is always better together, so we've encouraged employees to invite their spouse and co-workers to register, too! Those who register will receive a pack of "Thank You" Post-It Notes, so they can start sharing gratitude right away. 

How Does It Work?

Participants received an e-mail on October 16 with a link to their Personal Online Tracker. The tracker will explain each week's practice. Participants will try out the practice for a week, and then log their experiences in the tracker. During Common Good, a reminder e-mail will be sent each Monday, to help keep participants on pace with their practices. The amount of time participants choose to spend on the practice is up to them.  

Practices Include

  • Expressing gratitude
  • Contemplating purpose
  • Communicating mindfully
  • Trying a little self-compassion

Feel free to try our pilot out by registering here:

Additional Resources

Expanded information and practices of the Common Good are offered at this website:

Idea Title

Healthy IU - Common Good

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

The Common Good idea grew out of data collected in a Fairbanks School of Public Health Indiana University employees survey. Stress and social support were major issues. Survey findings: Participation in the Common Good online initiative/tracker hopes to strengthen relationships, boost happiness, and brighten IU's world! This 4-week online practice will help participants tap into their powerful skills of: •Gratitude •Purpose •Effective Communication •and Self-Compassion Each week, participants will be introduced to a easy practice and asked to observe and document their experience.

Who are you innovating for?

Indiana University employees and spouses are eligible. Participants will benefit through greater awareness of how gratitude, purpose, self compassion and kind communication impact their physical and mental well-being. This is an awareness building activity. Additional programs are available for those who want more.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

The initiative is for all IU campuses, 8 state wide. 17,500 employees. Campuses are all in the state of Indiana in both urban and rural areas. Gary, Bloomington, South Bend, Kokomo, Indianapolis, Columbus, New Albany and Richmond are the primary locations. The program is also offered to IU School of Medicine faculty and staff.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

The promotion included table tents; elevator signs; website; e-mails; newsletters and faculty/staff council promotions. See images below

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

This is a first of this type wellness initiative we have launched - I believe it will grow if completed annually. Most of our challenges (Climb IU; Feel Great. . . ) increase in participation every year.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

We are currently piloting the program on all campuses. We offered volunteer registration on 6 campuses and uploaded all employees as registered on 2 campuses with an opt out button. The Common Good initiative began Oct. 16. Our intention is to enhance our community of caring and civility -which is part of our mission. Please feel free to join: https://iu.co1.qualtrics.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

We will use the grant to enlist the School of Medicine to evaluate the outcomes of the pilot. Particular interest is to compare the campuses in which employees had to register with those that were automatically enrolled. How many employees need to engage to change a culture????

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your idea, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The data was the kicker, we regularly get the Berkley Greater Good newsletter but found some of the "practices" were too deep for an awareness raising initiative. Using a familiar platform we launched "Common Good". The name grew out of our love and appreciation of Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences for her research on "The Commons".!602!10!72430354381104!72430453363817&e

Tell us about yourself

Healthy IU is Indiana University’s employee wellness program. Our resources, programs, and workshops are free for faculty and staff and their spouses. We have a staff of 4, but play with a plethora of faculty on wellness initiatives. Shelley A. Johns, PsyD, ABPP of the IU School of Medicine was the primary collaborator on this initiative.

Where are you / your team located?

We are in the United States - State wide in Indiana

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

We are a state university institution

Company / Organization Name

Approximately 225 posters were placed in elevators to encourage kindness, gratitude and purpose and 500 table tents.


Tell us about your experience

We work with employees offering a variety of services so employees can live their best life. Our department is fortunate to have world class researchers at our finger tips and they are amazingly gernerous with their time and talent. Similar offerings from our department include Mid-day mindful drop in; Resiliency Program as well as Mindfullness Way to Stress Reduction.


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