High-performing organizations make a real commitment to employee communication, not only at the department level but also at the administrative level. In a study of high-performing organizations, every organization conducted employee forums or town hall meetings led by senior leaders, thus allowing employees to hear key messages, be informed on key issues, and focus on what they can do to improve.
Here’s an example from Arlington Independent School District (TX):
Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Superintendent of Arlington Independent School District, exemplifies commitment to fostering transparent and open communication with leaders, teachers, and staff. During their monthly and quarterly meetings, Dr. Cavazos communicates key information to staff in an uncommon way. In each session, he presents key information and data, and connects strongly back to the district’s goals by continuously repeating, “Failing to improve is not an option.” But, Dr. Cavazos doesn’t just deliver his message; he also fosters interaction and feedback among his staff. he always ends his presentations by asking for questions. To ensure that his inquiry is sincere, he remains silent until people ask questions or make comments. he does not adjourn the meeting until all questions have been asked and answered.
In our work with organizations, we find that when leaders have good communication skills, they also apply effective strategies to reward and recognize employees. High-performing organizations realize that people are more engaged and willing to go the extra mile when leaders frequently express their appreciation—in person, in thank-you notes, or both.
Maximize Performance: Creating a Culture for Educational Excellence by Quint Studer and Janet Pilcher will help education leaders engage in systematic reviews to diagnose, apply, assess, and validate the execution of strategies across school, department, and school system levels. Learn more about Maximize Performance at http://www.studereducation.com/MP. Follow the authors on Twitter using @quint_studer and @janetpilcher and join them in Washington, D.C., for dinner.
Studer Group. 2005. Organizational Change Processes in High-Performing Organizations: In-Depth Case Studies with Healthcare Facilities. Gulf Breeze, FL: Alliance for Healthcare Research.
Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Our goal is to help school systems provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Follow us on Twitter at @StuderEducation and visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the seventh straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
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