7. Staff Culture

Introduction

“The only thing we have is one another. The only competitive advantage we have is the culture and values of the company. Anyone can open up a coffee store. We have no technology, we have no patent. All we have is the relationship around the values of the company and what we bring to the customer every day. And we all have to own it.” — Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks



Applications

Key Activity

Create Positive Staff Culture Agreements (15-30 minutes in small group and 15-30 min in large group)

Example of Staff Culture Agreements

Wellness Practice

Strategy for Self-care – STRENGTH – Stress Resilience
In order to offer a non-anxious presence with our colleagues, students, and their families, we need to be able to recognize the times when we cannot! In other words, we need to be able to recognize when we need either a new perspective or a break. Often our bodies let us know. The first question we might ask ourselves is, what am I telling myself about this situation and what is another possible story? Here’s a fascinating TED Talk on making stress our friend (also referenced in Section 10).

And, sometimes we really just need a break! It is helpful to have a plan for what we can do and who can assist us in finding a way to take a break. Of course, all of this is successful only if we allow ourselves the vulnerability of needing a break and, if appropriate, asking for help.

Circle Agenda

Staff Circle Agenda, Section Seven

Core Content Visual to Display in Common Staff Areas

What Do You Want to Say About the Culture of Staff? – Use this Visual and Display in Staff Break Areas
Posting this visual in common staff areas will serve as a reminder of content covered to staff and perhaps serve as a future conversation started for deeper reflection among staff members. 

Supplementary Activities/Handouts

Support Begins With Empathy! (10-15 min)

 


Links

Links Specifically for Leadership

How to Avoid the Contagion Effect of Sharing Tough Stories between Colleagues
Read the information about low impact debriefing strategies and decide how to share with staff.

Additional Resources

Excellent blog with examples from schools working on improving staff culture.