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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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