Monday, May 29, 2017

Oh won't you stay, just a little bit longer (Jackson Browne)

I like this from Marcel Schwantes - writing about
Exit Interviews

His suggestion - rather than an exit interview - why not try a 'stay meeting'. The idea being to forestall the actual exit and improve a situation before it gets to that point.

That seems to make sense to me. During the Stay Meeting Marcel suggests the five questions.

It got me thinking...

I found the exit interview at Woodford House, in December 2016, a very strange, surreal experience. It may have helped the school, but it didn't help me at all!

I would much rather have answered two of Marcel's questions in a 'stay meeting', at any time along the way.

Here's the first:

"Do you feel your skills are being utilized to the fullest?"
Marcel: Best case scenario here is discovering that the employee has skills the company or leader never knew about, which is a win-win: The employee wins by using personal strengths that raise personal motivation and engagement; the leader wins by offering new opportunities to tap into those strengths, which releases discretionary effort that will benefit the company, project, or team.
Would have been great if someone at my last school had thought to ask me that. Instead I felt my skills were being under-utilised and diminished.

Apart from me, no one noticed that, so I had to start thinking about fresh challenges elsewhere.

And the next one:

"Do you feel you get properly recognized for doing good work?"
Marcel: A leader will gauge frustration levels by courageously asking this question and openly accepting the response and, if it's negative, brainstorming solutions together. As Gallup has observed in its extensive research, praise and recognition for accomplishments have been repeatedly linked to higher employee retention.  
Maybe I didn't do good work. Maybe I just thought I did. I'm not sure. Maybe they didn't know either.

My best moment was at an early check in with the Principal (Jackie Barron) in 2013 who told me I'd made a good start; she loved that I was 'low maintenance'. I liked that because I do like to just get on with it and I'll check in if and when I need to. I also subscribe to the idea that if you employ good people and they are good at what they do - get out of their way.

The English department at Woodford was a case in point - three exceptional teachers, each of whom could easily lead a department, who had great ideas and got great results. Why would I want to micro-manage them?

I digress...

I've certainly received more positive and encouraging feedback in my new environment from colleagues, students, and parents in 6 months than I did at Woodford in four years. Nor do I miss Woodford's Staff Star and Extraordinary Teacher draws (given the criteria, I never had a look in). 

OfficeVibe, used by Westmount, keeps me thinking about things as well.

I'm going to use these 5 questions during the year with my new colleagues. 

Who knows what power I could unleash.

No comments: