Walmart’s Karisa Sprague on Bringing Your Whole Self to Work

“Everybody has so many things going on their lives, so taking a couple of minutes to show the human side of what we’re accomplishing has made a huge difference with the team.”

We’ve been particularly focused on supporting all of our stores, and with that, I’ve been taking time to be more aware of my stress and anxiety. Microsteps have helped me identify when my stress is coming on, and have given me solutions to work through it. I am very much a creature of habit. I have my morning routine completely worked out: I drink a lot of water, do some yoga positions, and really focus on relaxing my mind. Where I tend to go a bit sideways is during the actual workday. Microsteps that involve getting up, doing some stretching, or taking a quick walk help me reset and reframe. 

I have two young children at home, and I often feel guilty when I see them playing outside, or when they want to come into my office while I’m working. We’ve been taking time to connect in the evenings. The kids will ride their bikes, and my husband and I walk alongside them. It gives us all a dose of fresh air and an environmental reset while spending quality time together as a family. 

I’ve also shifted the conversation at the start of each work meeting. Instead of immediately talking about the work at hand, we focus on how each of us, and our families, is doing. Everybody has so many things going on their lives, so taking 30 seconds or even a couple of minutes to show the human side of what we’re accomplishing has made a huge difference with the team.

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