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7 Ways To Help Your Faculty Feel Appreciated

7 Ways To Help Your Faculty Feel Appreciated

It’s no secret that many faculty and staff feel underappreciated and under compensated. While some reports suggest that quite a few do, there have been a large number of employees who feel otherwise.

It’s also no secret that a group of people who don’t feel valued is bad for morale. This means less productivity; things simply aren’t getting done and jobs aren’t being finished.

This can lead to the professoriate feeling stressed and anxious during a job they should love doing.

Imagine working a job where your efforts aren’t recognized, the work you do is ignored, and you feel like you’re replaceable in an instant. It isn’t fun, is it? That said, here several specifically-designed methods for helping faculty feel appreciated and to keep them chugging along.

1. Communicate Openly

A general pat on the back and “good job!” isn’t sufficient to make most people feel appreciated.

Employees need to feel as though they can discuss everything with their bosses — even the negative news.

As people, we should feel free to communicate with each other. This feeling extends to friendships and relationships (such as with spouses, marriages and family, etc.). However, communicating is much more than talking. It’s about sharing experiences and emotions with each other.

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This means opening up with each other about both positives and negatives — whatever they may be.

As such, it’s advisable to be as open and transparent with faculty as possible — about their job performance, what you expect from them, any organisational news that’s occurring, etc. Don’t be afraid to bite the bullet and share any bad news, either. Doing so only prevents people from performing at their peak.

Additionally, communicating frequently also presents many opportunities to openly acknowledge any triumphs or criteria surpassing. You can do this with straight verbal exchanges. However, research has shown that many people express greater bouts of joy over small gifts such as handwritten cards or small, inexpensive trinkets.

A long time ago, a manager of mine – recognizing how hard I had been working and staying late – gave me a box of hot cocoa mix, with marshmallows included. Who doesn’t love hot chocolate?

2. Inspire Passion

When people do work they’re passionate about, it’s easier to feel good about the job. (This isn’t science, true. But you’d be surprised how many people work at jobs they hate, and are unhappy with.)

How do you help someone feel passionate for what they’re doing? Encourage them in what they do! Think about training a puppy: when it sits on command, you give it a treat, right? Then you’re happy for its progress and shower it in joy for listening.

You don’t have to go to that extreme with employees, but research has shown that people who are encouraged for their individuality perform significantly better at their duties.

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3. Offer Half-days

If certain faculty members’ students get favorable scores during tests and exams, then those members are steering their future prodigies in the right direction.

After a particularly successful quarter, why not offer half-days on every Friday until the next quarter ends?

I know of no one who wouldn’t benefit from half-days. And no one has to be sold on how gruelling life has become, with it often feeling like a 24/7 rat race. A half-day every Friday is certainly a morale booster – and makes the week seem brighter.

4. Develop Their Skills

Are you fully challenged and fully developed? A lot of people aren’t. Life has become a coaster, stripped of challenges that push us to be someone more.

Chances are, your faculty feel the same way. Any institution becomes a compartment of humdrum fragments and redundancy. The days become vapid and stagnant; going to work becomes a chore that not even the sweetest paycheck can make fruitful.

This is why pushing staff’s buttons and encouraging them to improve their natural skills is key: to get their cognitive wheels turning means their minds are burning with life.

You can be the initial spark by offering training opportunities or online courses in their chosen field. Take note of who each individual is, note the aspects and attributes that makes them unique, then assign them tasks (or create some) accordingly.

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5. Take Them Out

Often, the people you work with “in the office” are completely different away from work.

When I was in college, I had a professor who allowed absolutely no swearing in his classroom. He encouraged casual conversations, of course. But absolutely no cursing or “adult language” of any kind was permitted.

Imagine my shock when, weeks later I spot him at one of my favorite watering holes. He was there with his friends, swearing up and down the walls like a sailor. It was a shock to say the least.

I would have been less surprised if I knew, at the time, that although most people behave naturally in their work environments, they freely “let loose” in their most comfortable places. Because none of us are managers or employees or workers – we’re all people.

how faculty members you want to get to know them for them, as they are. You can do this by inviting them out for a round of drinks (or perhaps a karaoke night). If you haven’t already taken advantage of the situation, you can even take them out for a slice of pizza for lunch.

Any celebratory gathering/party that takes everyone out of their workplace personas is definitely encouraged.

6. Sleep Through It

Days are hard, exhausting, and long. They can pile up on you if you challenge them, head-on, day after day. Handling students endlessly, year after year, takes its toll on certain individuals. I would imagine life becomes a hazed blur – and unimportant.

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This is why it is crucial to encourage faculty to take a 20-minute power nap throughout the day. Researchers confirmed that we are heavily overworked, and often not performing at our peak level.

Other researchers also discovered that 20-minutes of “sleep” a day changes that. In fact, some wealthy entrepreneurs swear by taking power naps during the day; arguing that the way to be more productive is to take more breaks.

Exciting news for the world of sleep-lovers, but even more exciting for task conquerors who love going to war with to-do lists and checklists.

7. Give Them Time Off

Earlier in the article I suggested giving valued faculty a small gift. Well, a huge gift would be to give them time off – perhaps an extra day or two.

The reasoning behind this is simple: life is short. Even people who love their jobs need time away from it. Whether that be an extra day or two, any amount of outward appreciation is worth it, and gives faculty a time to explore their lives outside work.

It doesn’t have to be routine, and it certainly doesn’t have to be expected.

Last Thoughts

We are people, we aren’t machines or drones. We don’t have the capability of repeating humdrum tasks daily. Showing faculty how much you value them isn’t hard. At the end of the day, all you need to do is show a little humanity.

Featured photo credit: Wokandapix via pixabay.com

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Maya Levine

Passionate Writer & Researcher

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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