Onsite Insites by SatisFacts Research 2014 - 4th Quarter - Page 10

All summer, before my daughter entered the first grade, she was hoping and praying that she would be assigned to a specific teacher’s class, who I’ll call “Ms. Jones.” When she found out she was going to be in Ms. Jones’ class, she was so excited that she screamed and jumped up and down. A good teacher makes such a difference, doesn’t it? Think about it-did you ever have a school teacher whose class you just dreaded going to? I had a teacher like that in fourth grade. Her reputation as the “mean teacher” preceded her, so she was the one teacher NO ONE wanted. Consequently, I was thrilled when I was assigned to Mrs. Abraham’s class for my homeroom and felt sorry for my friends who were assigned the “mean teacher”, who I’ll call “Mrs. Hee.” My joy was short-lived, however, when I found out that I was assigned to Mrs. Hee's reading class. #OhNo! Let me tell you, the stories of Mrs. Hee were true. She was mean! She was also argumentative, dismissive, harsh and could make you feel one foot small whenever you made a mistake or made a bad decision. I can remember kids crying in her class after she dressed them down, and we all lived in an atmosphere of fear. I don’t mind saying I was a good student and always loved school-but man, the thought of having to go to her class was enough on some days to make me feel sick, or to pretend being sick, just so I didn’t have to go to her class! The Good Teacher Then, there was Mrs. Abraham. She was my saving grace in my fourth grade year, and to this day remains my favorite teacher. Mrs. Abraham was kind, supportive, fair and firm. She never hesitated to correct us when we were out of line (sometimes with a stern word, often times with just “the look) but even when we were being corrected, we could feel that it came out of love. While I paid attention in Mrs. Hee’s class (out of the fear of swift retribution!) I paid attention in Mrs. Abraham’s class because I wanted to. And when I needed a hug, extra support or just a little more “TLC” she never hesitated to offer that to me as well. I wanted to give her my attention, my loyalty, my best because it felt like the least I could do for her, since I knew she truly cared about me, and so did my classmates. Which approach do you t hink worked better? Who was your favorite teacher? What qualities, attributes and actions made that teacher so special to you? Contrast that with the qualities, attributes and actions of those teachers that you just wanted to run away from! Then remember, the same principles that were true for you and me in fourth grade are still true today in the workplace! After all, if you lead people, you are their teacher, aren’t you? Do They Know You Care? I have done some work recently with a large national company, with a stellar reputation for outstanding product and great people. In all of my interactions with the leadership and the associates of this company I can tell you that they are refreshingly different from many other companies, and it’s clear to me that they truly want to do right by their associates. Yet…in some recent employee satisfaction surveys, they received feedback that indicated they could do a better job of showing their associates that they care about them. So the company embarked on several great initiatives to make sure their people know they do care. Why does it matter to this company? Because they know that happy employees are far more productive and effective, which in turns creates