In a recent webinar, we welcomed Ellen Drolette, educator and Founder of Positive Spin, LLC! Ellen dove into the biggest factors that are impacting staff burnout today, and how to make lasting changes at our centers. Ellen shared tips and strategies on how to identify your current workplace culture, and reflect on how your culture might be impacting your administrators’ and educators’ mental health and wellness.
Make sure to watch the webinar that inspired this blog post here!
Each person plays a part in cultivating a positive workplace environment and it starts with the energy you displace, the attitude you take on and the mindset you base your actions on. Energy is contagious, and when our most passionate employees become quiet, it is a signal that the work environment is fostering burnout. In a perfect world, we would catch this burnout before it becomes noticeable to others. One of the best ways of doing this is to encourage and role model open dialogue with your colleagues and employees by asking them what makes them happy at work, and what they need to be successful. Once we have this information, we can help to ensure we are providing the tools our staff need to succeed in the workplace.
The first step to cultivating a positive workplace culture is focusing on the attitude displayed by yourself and your team. Remember, attitudes can be easily sidetracked by many factors. Firstly, they are often based on assumptions or false narratives. We often make up stories in our head that are not based on fact and these can lead to negative attitudes. We need to teach ourselves and our team to check in that we are not making assumptions and letting them define our attitude. Secondly, attitudes can be based on habits. Once we have done something one way, often we assume that is how we are always going to do it. This is a major roadblock as we get to the final step in cultivating a positive workplace culture, which is having a growth mindset. Before we get there, remember that attitudes can also be impacted by another person’s attitude. This is why both positivity and negativity can spread like wildfire within your center.
The second step to cultivating a positive workplace culture is the wholeness principle. Workplace culture is everyone’s responsibility. It cannot happen in isolation. People build off of each other’s energy and attitude. Bringing everyone in the program into discussions and decisions goes a long way. In order to motivate your team to succeed, they need to have an incentive to work towards. Try to find common goals that everyone can work towards and use “I” statements that do not turn into “you” statements, for example, “I am curious how those labels ended up in that drawer”.
The final step in cultivating a positive workplace culture is to always have a growth mindset and be willing to look at other points of view. You do not have to agree with everyone but you have to listen and learn from their past experiences and opinions. Always being willing to change and grow as a team will allow team members to collaborate and communicate openly and honestly.
When people have buy-in and are part of process and conversation, it becomes easier for people to take when things might change slightlyEllen Drolette
Positive workplace culture will increase morale, wellness, dedication, and the quality of educators and administrators you attract. You got this!
Want to learn more about important topics in early education like loose parts play? Sign up for the next webinar below, it is FREE! Even if you can’t join live, you will be emailed the recording and slides just for registering!