Empower The Workplace Culture

KellerEmotional Intelligence, Mind Brain Education Science, Neuroscience Leave a Comment

The 2023 Gallup Report is worth reading if you are wanting to empower the workplace culture at your school. Although it focuses on the workplace in general, the report makes some really useful recommendations that school leaders may consider applying.

The full report can be found here.

Key points for a quick read:

  1. When organisations understand and activate the power of strategic recognition, they cultivate strong cultures that unite their employees and drive them to achieve the organisations’ mission.
  1. Gallup’s poll indicated that only 34% of employees felt that they are recognised at their workplace.
  1. What is workplace culture?  
  • In simple terms it can be described as “the way we do things around here!”
  • School leaders need to make sure they have defined the culture  of their school (the way we do things around here) and made every staff member aware of it.  This culture must have purpose and be intentionally driven by the school leadership to ensure it becomes part of every employee’s work life.
  • Just 2 out of 10 employees in the US felt that they were connected with the organisation’s culture.  This forces us to consider what is the culture at our school and how do we make sure everyone knows the mission and the plan to achieve it?
  • It may be useful to ask your staff to complete this checklist so they can share how they feel about the culture in their workplace.
  • Column 1 is the words used by employees to describe the workplace when they feel engaged with the culture and Column 2 reflects those who describe it as disengaged.
  • When the purpose isn’t clear, teachers often feel that they are disengaged.  
  • In our Independent Schools, whether they are Trust Schools or Listed Company schools, a disengaged staff will always feel that it is all about money and profit.
  • STRONGLY AGREE.  Employees who strongly agreed that there was a workplace culture that made them feel engaged were:

3.7 times more likely to be engaged at work

5.2 times more likely to recommend their organisation as a great place to work.

68% less likely to be burned out

55% less likely to be watching for other job opportunities.

4.  Recognition

The purpose of recognition is to clarify and amplify workplace culture. Recognition needs to spotlight the behaviours that best exemplify the culture of the organisation and motivate employees to model those behaviours more often.

But this recognition needs to be strategic. 

The 5 pillars of recognition are worth noting.

Pillar One

Fulfilling employees’ recognition expectations

Pillar Two

It is authentic. It isn’t a checklist.

Pillar Three

Personalised. One size of recognition does not fit all.

Pillar Four

Equitable. It is given fairly without playing “favourites”.

Pillar Five

Embedded in the organisations culture. It is integrated into the day-to-day life of the organisation.

The article goes on to explain that employees who receive great recognition across the five pillars – 72% say that the performance for little things is commonly recognised compared with 16% of employees with poor recognition experiences.

5. Next Steps

  • Define the culture you are striving towards in your school.  Make sure it is fully understood.
  • Consider your unique environment and decide what has fuelled growth and achievement up to this point.
  • Understand that this process has to be done intentionally and that it will take time.
  • Ensure that there is consistent, thoughtful evaluation of how the recognition is being implemented to build a culture that is robust and faithful to what you are trying to achieve.

Human capital is the best investment in any school.  The quality and competency of our teachers and their ability to fit into the organisation’s culture is one of the greatest investments you can make.

We need to empower workplace culture through strategic recognition.


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