Even though I am fortunate to be married to the most patient person I know, Linda, I still occasionally trot out the old statement, “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. Husbands use it often – the smart ones make sure their wives are not within earshot!
I have absolutely no doubt that my world is a happier place when Linda is happy. My apologies if that sounds sexist, that’s not my intention. A more accurate statement would perhaps be, “Happy partner, happy life”…but that doesn’t rhyme, so that won’t take off!
In schools the saying should be “Happy staff, happy students”. Staff morale has a massive impact on the culture, atmosphere and success of the school. High staff morale leads to increased levels of engagement and satisfaction. Higher levels of staff engagement ensure better results, more effective implementation of change and ultimately, better outcomes for students. Higher levels of staff satisfaction will reduce staff absenteeism and the cost of relief staff and also reduce staff turnover.
Lower levels of staff morale contribute to absenteeism – people who are physically away and withdrawal – physically present but checked-out long ago!
I’m currently reading (and enjoying) “30 Days to a Happy Employee” by Dottie Bruce Gandy (thanks to Michael Stewart at St Mary’s Primary School for recommending it).
The 30 day process is a deceptively simple method of moving from an occasional act of kindness to an intentional and sustaining way of interacting that leaves both the other person (and ourselves) feeling connected to our true worth. Each day (for 30 days) you share, face to face with ONE particular person, a different quality or trait that you admire and appreciate about another person. I’d recommend trying this approach out with your partner over the Christmas break and then with a colleague at school who you work closely with, next year.
“Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is …to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.”
Dr Stephen R Covey
Lessons from “30 Days to a Happy Employee”
- Employees want to know that what they contribute matters to their school
- As human beings we are greatly under-acknowledged and under-appreciated. This is ironic as it didn’t start out that way, as infants, we received an almost unlimited amount of positive feedback and attention.
- Staff who feel acknowledged for who they are and what they contribute tend to stay with the school. Those who don’t leave (either physically or mentally).
- Schools are in the PEOPLE business
- If you are looking for long-term sustainable improvement in school performance and retention, acknowledgement is the key
- “Making deposits into the emotional bank account” of another person is a powerful way of building trust in a relationship
- We have long known that when we feel good about ourselves, it is reflected in our behaviour with others, both at home and at work.
“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.”
The fastest way to boost staff satisfaction is to identify and address the problems that annoy and frustrate people. The staff survey in SurveyMySchool has been specifically designed to support the leadership team to identify issues that are frustrating your people. The interactive format of the surveys identifies specific issues and potential solutions. Respondents who express dissatisfaction with an aspect of the school are asked clarifying questions to provide further detail about their specific concern and potential solutions. The survey report provides useful information to inform school planning, improve the school and increase the satisfaction of staff.
Click here to read more about our SurveyMySchool surveys or contact us to set up a survey of staff, parents and/or students in 2015.
Promoted to Incompetence?
I love this blog from Seth Godin – Does it resonate with you?
The original Peter Principle made perfect sense for the industrial age: “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.”
In other words, organisations keep promoting people up the organisation until the people they promote reach a job where they are now incompetent. Competence compounded until it turns into widespread incompetence.
Industrial organisations are built on competence, and the Peter Principle describes their undoing.
Consider a corollary, one for our times:
“To be promoted beyond your level of confidence.”
Too often, the person who wrecks our work is us.
In every modern organisation with upward mobility, good people are promoted until they get to the point where they lose their nerve.
Teaching Thinking Skills?
Lane Clark – absolute guru on integrating the teaching of thinking skills is offering public workshops in a number of locations across Australia next year. The two day program “Deep Thinking for Deep Learning” focuses on the infusion of thinking into classroom pedagogical practice as critical for learner success as all substantive learning is driven by substantive thinking.
Brisbane – February 24 and 25
Melbourne – March 12 and 13
Sydney – March 26 and 27
Don’t miss this opportunity to work alongside one of the world’s acknowledged experts in thinking and learning – Lane Clark. Places at each workshop are limited to allow for maximum interaction. Further details, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This Month’s Happy School articles include:
- Who’s Managing Your Mojo?
- Make Them Laugh.
- Outcomes that Count.
- Avoiding Poor Me Syndrome.
Subscribe now and join the 615 schools who are already boosting staff morale and reducing teacher stress as members of Happy School. Reply to this email and ask us to set up your membership. It costs less than ONE supply teacher day!
Conferences and Work With Schools
This month I’m looking forward to working with:-
- Spinifex College- Students
- St Mary’s College Ipswich- Staff
- St Rita’s- Leaders
- Guardian Angels Primary- Staff
- Crestmead Cluster- Staff
- Mudgeeraba Creek State School- Staff
- Coomera Springs- Staff
I’d be happy to talk with you about the professional development needs of your leadership team or whole staff. Feel free to contact me on 0421 705 693.