SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The 50th Contracting Squadron’s Base Support Flight continues to find methods to improve productivity with its weekly morale boosters.
To ensure her office’s Airmen remain proficient and enjoy their time, Kristin Heikkila, 50th CONS PKB Flight chief, designed morale boosting activities to occur within the flight, in an effort to curb stress created by a manning shortfall that occurred in January 2020.
“We assigned a person a week, and their selection for an event had to be something that would improve morale in the flight,” Heikkila said. “I didn’t care what it was, and it didn’t have to be anything expensive. It just had to be something that boosted our morale. I told them when we started this, it was no holds barred.”
The first two occasions, which did not have specified themes, included an ice cream social with snacks and fruits for Airmen.
After two weeks, COVID-19 put the majority of flight’s morale boosters on hiatus, as the virus forced numerous Airmen to telework. When Schriever authorized members to return to work in June, Heikkila ensured morale boosters started up again.
“[The morale boosters] continued out of necessity,” Heikkila said. “People were bogged down with all the things going on in the world – COVID, [civil unrest] – and the synergy was off. I needed to do something to go with my whole philosophy: Happy people are productive people.”
One of the most notable boosters hosted by the flight was the petting zoo that brought animals from rabbits to alpacas to Schriever July 20, 2020.
Nanette Damon, 50th CONS contracting specialist, owns the animals featured at the petting zoo. Damon, who lives on a farm, wanted to create the event since numerous Airmen ask about the animals.
“When I thought of [bringing animals to Schriever], I came in [the office] and said, ‘I need to talk to [Heikkila] about my plans,’” Damon said. “[Heikkila] said we could do whatever, and I was like, ‘I probably need to talk to you about this one.’”
While the event was for the contracting base support flight, other Airmen and civilians attended as well. As for the Airmen they intended to bring together, Heikkila believes the events continue to benefit them.
“I’m extremely happy with the results because you can see the changes in and around the flight,” Heikkila said. “You can see it in [the Airmen’s] body language, you can see it when they communicate with one another. You can tell they’re burning off stress and coming together as a unit.”
The flight recently hosted a morale booster based on the television series ‘The Office’ with several references to the show sprinkled throughout their workspace.
Senior Airman Cindy Delgado, 50th CONS contract specialist, had the idea to choose the theme and selected it due to the familiarity.
“I just really love ‘The Office’ and I felt like there was a lot we could do with it,” Delgado said. “I brought in brownies and there’s only one scene that has to do with brownies. So it was meant to be funny.”
The morale booster also helped Delgado break the ice with Airmen in the flight as she arrived to the unit in early August.
“Being new is hard sometimes, but with this I got to show my sense of humor,” she said. “Everyone understands a part of me and how to joke around with me. It feels good to share that with everyone.”