The GO BIG staff team has worked hard for the past 9+ months to prepare for the first Community Conversation that will be held on Monday, October 5th, 2015. As we move forward in the planning process, we continue to reflect on staff members in Student Affairs who already live and exemplify the values of trust, pride, and community. Best practice tells us that these factors help make a great workplace.
During a recent GO BIG Council meeting, the team was asked who prime example of trust, pride, and community in our workplace. Manager and GO BIG team member Mark Kinnard stated that one of his staff members, Adela Rodriguez, RSSP Custodial Supervisor at Unit 1 is a shining example.
We decided to chat with Adela o find out what behaviors and actions she does in order to create a great workplace for her staff–and how she makes a difference for the students she serves everyday. Read on to learn more:
LESSONS FROM ADELA:
1. Always be a team member.
- “I always consider myself a team member. I think of my staff as humans first instead of just an employee.”
2. Treat staff the way you want to be treated.
- “When I talk to my staff, I think: how do I want people to talk to me? I want to feel respected. Even if English is our second language, we can figure this out. Put on another person’s shoes before you act. Treat people right.”
3. Understand the impact on those you serve.
- “We have to serve the students. It brings me so much pleasure to build relationships with them. Some of them talk to us [the custodial staff] and say that they’re sad, homesick. I tell them ‘Don’t worry, you’re not alone. You are welcome here, you are home, we’re here for you. I know you’re going through.’ I want to be a custodian because the students need me. It’s amazing; I’m where I want to be.“
4. It’s vital to motivate staff and connect them to the mission of our work.
- “I tell my staff…we need to have pride in our work. It’s a pleasure to have the students know how clean it is for them. After the staff clean, the students are so appreciative and thank us. Our students deserve the best.“
5. Building community is important for your staff.
- “I go to every building and ask staff, ‘How are you? How’s your family? You doing ok? I have an interest that they’re a person and not just an employee. [In other words,] ‘I need to hear that you’re with me in this moment.‘”
We can all learn from Adela and what actions and behaviors we can do to model the way for our staff and colleagues. THANK YOU Adela–for being an inspiration to all of us in Student Affairs, being a shining example of what it takes to create a great workplace, and reminding us that we continually impact the students we serve each day!