The Whole Employee

In educational institutions, a lot of time is spent talking about the whole child. While this is absolutely vital to the success of the student, school, and district, it is also important that people remember the whole employee.

In Simon Sinek’s Leaders Eat Last, he discusses the impact of trust and valuing all members of the team, regardless of where they sit. When CEO Bob Chapman came in as the new leader at Hayssen-Sandiacre, he worked to increase trust and break down barriers by removing time clocks, and allowing access to equipment that was previously locked to employees on the manufacturing floor. Over time, the culture improved greatly, employees helped each other more often, and were able to more efficiently take care of their machines- oh, and the companies revenue grew from $55 million to $95 million. While this wasn’t only due to the shift of priorities and increase in trust, they definitely played a part in the success.

Beyond trust, another way to develop the whole employee is to invest in the development of your people. Remembering to build the employee’s professional AND personal skills will go a long way to strengthening the relationship between the employee and the organization. Strengthen this relationship and employee retention and satisfaction will grow.

In one example, it may seem counter-intuitive to teach an employee how to build a LinkedIn page or improve their resumé if you lead with the assumption that they are looking for employment elsewhere; however, that employee is viewed by others as part of the larger organization. The improved profile will better represent both the employee and the organization as a whole and signify a layer of trust, thus strengthening the relationship once again between the employee and their organization.

In education, this strengthening of the relationship between the organization and the teachers will then trickle down to the student, leading to more support for the whole child. After all, people who have their needs taken care of can better focus on the needs of others.