Teachers operate in a world where deadlines are required to be met, and goals must be accomplished. Introduce difficult parents and the pressure of overwhelming testing expectations, and it becomes easy to see, how the teaching profession suffers from a massive attrition rate. Successful teachers, learn early on, that recalcitrant students are non-productive students. They are also able to distinguish between ritualistic compliance and a genuine desire to learn. This distinction, is one that is vital in the classroom, and even more so in the business world.
Employers rely on a multitude of methods to get workers to produce. Small firms lacking resources, sometimes settle on the tried and true method of using rules and rituals to manipulate workers. The old adage of: “The beatings will continue till morale improves” holds quite a lot of traction in these settings. This “tried and true” method is built on one massive sinkhole: reduced employee effectiveness. Ineffectiveness displayed through less than optimal behaviors such as, grouchiness, tardiness, and in some instances outright laziness.
A great way to break the cycle is to set up small incentives. Think back to grade school, the teachers that drew the most affection, were those that used a bit of coercion. Introduce nap rooms/times for rock stars, paid lunches for top performers each month, creation days that people can use towards working on a project that they can introduce. If these ideas are intimidating, go smaller, let workers create their own hours, or let workers select the end of shift song, etc.
Shifting away from a culture of rigid accountability is not an overnight event. It takes real commitment, and a willing desire to do so. You may have to implement some small structural changes. Have a committee plan the weekly get together, the month’s goals/rewards, the big silly event to end the quarter such as wearing pirate costumes. The big idea here is to shake up the monotony.
You may be asking yourself: “Why go through the hassle?” There has been a whole philosophical change that has taken place in education. There is a push away from big-time testing, towards continuous assessment of skills. Setting goals and responsibilities, that employees play a part in creating represents an investment in people. Businesses that invest in their workers as people, instead of units, are able to capitalize on gains that are unimaginable from the onset. That outcome is something that your favorite teacher can relate to.