You can find many tips, strategies, techniques, etc. to employ in the workplace with the staff in mind. All are designed to bolster a staff’s productivity and yield positive results. Depending on your particular work environment, some can be successful; others, not so much.
While I don’t consider myself a guru in staff ascendancy, allow me to share one key to a successful workplace that I have found to be rewarding for the staff environment where I work (a library).
The key? Laughter.
If you walk into the staff break area at our library, you’ll be greeted by the following sign:
This sign represents the way in which our staff interacts on a regular basis. Laughter. Humor. Playfulness. Bufoonery. Whatever you want to call it, lightheartedness helps to keep things in perspective and make all those hours we spend together something to look forward to each day. Don’t get me wrong. We can set our nose to the grindstone and focus on serious productivity with the best of them. However, a shared perspective of we’re-in-this-together-cheerfulness flows beneath it all. In a nutshell, we are a family. We laugh together, cry together, rant together, struggle together, succeed together, fail together, get tired together, celebrate together, endure together. And through it all, the smile keeps us going.
A shared family-like joy in the job goes a long way. Skills can be taught over time. A smile can be shared during a quick pass in the hallway. Both have their benefits.
OK, it’s time to come out of hiding and re-enter the blogging world. It’s been an extremely busy summer, but an experience today has motivated and called me out. So here goes.
This morning I read an article on survey fatigue in The Chronicle and shared a link to it on Twitter along with another post asking the twitter-peeps if–outside of surveys–they use any creative ways of collecting feedback data. Almost immediately, I was engaged in a Twitter conversation with Ned Potter (@theREALwikiman) about a real interest in hearing how folks might respond to such a question. (Once again, evidence of the power of social connections)
Anywho, Ned suggested that writing a blog post on the subject might help to solicit responses. And he did just that. In the post, he asks:
I’m really interested in how to get feedback – not just from students in academic libraries, but from all patrons for all types of libraries.
And later in the post:
So what are you doing to ascertain what your patrons are thinking? Is there something more reliable than surveys? And if you’re asking them via social media, how did you find out what social media platforms they used in the first place…?
I share his interest, so I ask: If people are burning out on surveys, what are some other ways of gathering feedback from those we serve? Are you using any creative/innovative ways of soliciting feedback that is working and giving you a healthy response rate?
And I, too, am thinking of libraries–those of all types–and their engagement with library patrons. But I would extend the question to areas outside libraries. Do we see non-survey feedback strategies being successfully employed in other places that could be ventured perhaps in the library environment?
So let’s hear from you! Respond to this post. Respond to Ned Potter’s post. Share your creative solutions. Yes, the irony is thick with a feedback solicitation on the topic of feedback fatigue. But, hey, it’s Friday and comic relief is good for everyone, right?