NUMBER 322• 29 JULY 2003 • WORKING ENVIRONMENT
INDEX OF QUOTES
The well director constructs a stimulating yet secure, working environment for staff members.
After the well director succeeds in exciting staff members about achieving the goals of the program, he or she works to create a work environment that will foster the success of their efforts. This is done by
Having high expectations.
"If people know we expect good things from them, they will in most cases go to great lengths to live up to our expectations," observes Alan Loy McGinnis. "If we expect the worst, they will meet those predictions with disappointing accuracy.
Respecting employee’s autonomy.
When a task (leading the group for the adolescent girls or planning a camping trip) is turned over to a staff member and he is given full responsibility to carry it out, he will take the job more seriously and derive more satisfaction from its accomplishment, than if he is simply carrying out detailed orders from above.
Arranging growth opportunities.
The well director works with staff members to establish individualized training plans, then provides staff access to a variety of tools to carry out these plans: publications, films, visits to other centers, ongoing staff development in staff meetings, workshops outside the center, etc.
"Act swiftly speed in doing and deciding is more important than avoiding error. Mistakes can be corrected. Time cannot be recaptured." (Sey Chassler).
According to management guru Peter Drucker, what employees most need to improve their performance is an abundance of objective, timely feedback on the results of their performance.
The well director knows that nothing is more motivating than success, and to have this success (whether it be an activity that clicked, or the reorganization of the cottage’s physical environment) recognized and praised by the director can have a significant impact
The well director fosters the attitude that all staff members are responsible for helping each other grow on the job.
Staff members are encouraged to voice diverse opinions without fear of rebuke, to try out crazy ideas without fear of ridicule, to make mistakes without fear of punishment.
Being a problem-solver of last resort
While the well director encourages staff members to act independently and to solve their own problems, he or she wants staff to be secure in knowing that there will always be an available ear to listen when a challenge is beyond them, and to offer advise when they ask for it.
Neugebauer, R. (1988) The Well Director. The Child and Youth Care Administrator.Vol.1 pp. 23-24