Little Gestures Make a Big Impact!
What your team wants is quite simple—to feel respected. You can show them your respect with gestures and tokens that are small but pay off big time in your team’s energy, motivation, and focus. When team members are happy and feeling appreciated, their productivity soars. Here are five tips for better teacher morale that you can implement right away:
Create a Home Away From Home
Make your school warm and inviting with little touches for a cozy and creative atmosphere. Adding plants or flowers around the front office or putting some magazines and healthy snacks in the teachers lounge can make a big difference in attitude. “Research has shown that the environment can be more important and more motivating than money,” explains Dr. Nicole Lipkin, organizational psychologist and CEO of Equilibria Leadership Consulting. “When your surroundings are inspiring, your brain is more likely to be inspiring too.”
Feeling appreciated is a core emotional concern for all humans. It’s part of our make-up. A simple verbal thank you, a hand-written note, or a pat on the back can incentivize your team to work harder. “Celebrating small wins as a team enhances motivation,” says Lipkin. “It helps teams maintain focus on what they’re working towards while giving everyone a chance to reflect on their successes.”
Let Your Team in on the Big Picture
Don’t assume everyone on the team understands and knows the goals and priorities that are top of your mind. Have regular meetings where you clearly spell them out to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Show Them They Have Your Trust
If one of your teachers wants to develop new curriculum or a counselor wants to start an after-school program, they’ll take much more pride in their work if you give them autonomy. You can provide a roadmap and offer yourself as a resource and sounding board. But be willing to let go and enable your team to take the wheel. “Tell them they can decide when to accelerate and when to brake—and you’ll be there to support their decisions,” says Greg Moran, president and CEO of OutMatch.
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