August is a busy month for us with many schools requesting our "Building Faculty Engagement" workshop to start the year off right. We created this unique program to equip teachers, staff, coaches--all employees of the school--with the attitude and mindset to be effective ambassadors for the school.
The result is powerful conversation among faculty and administrators that improves school culture.
We share a complete faculty engagement continuum in the Building Faculty Engagement workshop, and below are a few of the key points about developing a culture of service.
Commitment to the Bigger Picture
To achieve a higher level of commitment and unity, teachers and staff need to appreciate and value the contribution they make to the larger goals of the school: Brand Quality, Student Growth, Enrollment, Funding, Community Relations, etc. The best faculty keep the bigger picture in mind and collaboratively contribute to make the whole organization better rather than secluding themselves within the walls of their particular job function or department.
When parents and students evaluate their experience at the school, they aren't just comparing your school against the others in the area. Their experiences span a wide range of organizations known for delivering great customer service, such as Disney, Chick-fil-A, Trader Joe's, Aldi, Costco, or Toyota. These companies are remarkably effective at building loyalty because they prioritize culture-building habits that value people. Your families want that same high-quality relationship with the personnel in their school.
Listening is an underutilized discipline in a broader culture so committed to talking. It remains a powerful professional tool to demonstrate respect, to value each person, and to build a culture that is inclusive and welcoming. The skills specific to listening have to be taught, developed, and measured in order for them to become consistently evident among your faculty. They include being adept at learning from the verbal and nonverbal messages to appreciate the deeper meanings of what is being shared.
Educators who exhibit traits of humility produce higher levels of faculty engagement and student growth. They have a unique combination of genuine humility with the focused drive to enable their schools and their students to succeed. This is an important indicator of your commitment to building relationships, with the benefits of increased mindfulness and self-awareness to the benefit of the entire community.
Building Faculty Engagement is a continuous exercise of effective school leadership that will significantly improve your chances of success.