Boosting morale is not as hard as it seems. It starts with recognizing employees for their hard work & rewarding them for accomplishments.
And I haven’t been doing the best job at that lately. I could pass the buck on this one easy enough. After all, morale is influenced from the top down, and I’m not exactly at the top of anything. But I do currently serve as the leader for a team of 30 people, give or take. So instead, I recognize that I lost sight of that goal somewhere in the last several months, and I came up with a plan of action, which I am (only in my head and to you, special internet friends) calling Operation Appreciation. It’s a one-woman mission–with a title that rhymes, which pretty much guarantees its success, no?
Step 1: Stop. And take a minute to consider each person and what they contribute to the department and/or to our students. It’s not like I don’t appreciate what people do, but it’s important, I think, to take a time-out to really think about it.
Step 2: Write a handwritten note to each team member specifically pointing out that contribution and that/why it’s valued (not a generic “thanks for everything you do!” but a meaningful recognition of something specific). Again, I see the great things people in my department do every day. But putting it in writing to let them know is, I think, important.
Step 3: Develop and implement “The Great Idea Giveaway!” (Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? In my head, it does…I’ll let you know how it works out in reality. The purpose of this is to encourage people to share their great ideas…and to recognize those great ideas. In exchange for sharing, they enter a drawing to win cool prizes at the end-of-semester get-together (mentioned below). That’s not only incentive to participate–it’s also kind of fun–because who doesn’t like to win things??
Step 4: Plan an end-of-semester get-together to show appreciate for a semester’s worth of hard work and to celebrate achievement (like honoring the two adjuncts who are submitting their first-ever conference proposals this semester!).
So last week I started on step 1. This week, I’m working my way through step 2. I’ve set a date for #4, and with the help of my trusty sidekick (aka our secretary), we’re working on invitations to go out closer to Thanksgiving. I also started the work for Step 3 with plans to announce it to the faculty next week.
I’m feeling pretty good about my plan and having started it. I hope everyone else will feel good about it, too. That’s kind of the point after all.