Half a Cup of Blues

Monday, January 02, 2006

The (not so) Little Things ...

So I had to sit in a faculty meeting for 90 minutes this afternoon to brainstorm ways that our company could improve morale. The timing was rather interesting. I have felt that there are ideological differences that have moved the company and myself farther apart rather than closer together over the last few years. I have always loved what I do but the atmosphere and climate of our school has become strained.

You have to absolutely LOVE what you are doing (in this field) or you burnout like a supernova. We've lost some really good teachers and aides the last few years and we all feel fairly expendable. The pervasive feeling of being underappreciated and devalued makes an already tough job nearly impossible. Needless to say we came up with about 30 ideas that I thought were mostly pretty good.

One of the things that I suggested would raise morale was very small and simple: say "Thank you" more often. That shouldn't have to even be suggested but it is amazing how quickly people become numb to the niceties like good manners when they are overwhelmed, overworked, and unheard in their pleas for help. Such a little thing but I really do think that it could make a HUGE difference in making our staff feel better about the awesome work that they are doing each and every day.

If...

If they really do start making changes and begin treating us like valued members who provide a vital service instead of mere cogs in a corporate wheel then I'd like to think that this will once again be a positive place. I need to work for a company that I believe in and I'd like for it to be this one. It really is the little stuff that often make the biggest difference.

Today's Plan: Say "Thank you" and make sure that I show others how much I value them.

4 Comments:

  • Dead on about being polite. I know it affects me in a positive way. The real challenge is to do it when things are not going especially well.

    Myself, I need to be a little more liberal with the compliments. For whatever reason, I tend to be suspicious of those who lay those on thick, as if it is a sign of insincerity. I have noticed that my staff really appreciates when I praise them, because it is so, or kind of, rare and therefore means a lot. I'm going to have to find a happy medium where compliments are a little more forthcoming, but still significant at work and elsewhere.

    I love you! M'wah!

    By Blogger Yibbyl, at 1/03/2006 7:52 AM  

  • I don't know how folks like you and my beautiful, but stressed wife do what you do, but because you do, those kids stay out of do-do!

    You are the best!

    By Blogger Jas..., at 1/03/2006 1:03 PM  

  • I feel - rather strongly - that manners are terribly underrated these days. It is amazing the difference it makes in a marriage when you make just the smallest effort to be polite. At first it seemed a little phony but like many things I find if I start out faking I'll end up being sincere about it. Not sure how that works but it does. Like when you go to a party and you aren't in the mood but you smile and laugh because it would be rude not to and soon you find that you are smiling and laughing for real and actually having a good time. Not exactly like that but it is the closest I can come to explaining how it works for me. When I notice that we are getting snippy with each other I start listening to my tone of voice and watching my manners. It is amazing how often that fixes things. Obviously, if there is something truly wrong then it needs to be addressed. But if it is just the every day variety of snippiness that really doesn't stem from anything, it is astonishing to see how being polite can work wonders.

    And in case you haven't heard it enough today, THANK YOU for what you do and for being who you are!

    By Blogger edieraye, at 1/13/2006 6:52 PM  

  • That is so true!....

    The not so Little Things are the ones that inspire the most...

    Thanks for your warm words! :))

    By Blogger midsummerprism, at 1/16/2006 3:39 PM  

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