A Service Profit Chain: A Path to Educationally Successful School
Primary and secondary schools as well as institutions of higher learning serve to educate young people and prepare them to make a positive contribution to society. Even when lessons are challenging, students are shown to be more successful if the school environment supports learning. But how often are the needs of staff and faculty and the conditions in which they work taken into consideration in terms of contributing to student success?
In the corporate sector, most business leaders and HR professionals are increasingly tuned into the importance of fully engaging employees in the workplace. This means assisting employees in circumventing any hindrances to successful performance in the same manner as customers or clients are walked past obstacles to purchasing products or services. Improving employee engagement through the creation of a supportive work environment has a positive correlation to customer engagement which translates to increased corporate revenues and more sustainable profitability.
So, why would people working in educational facilities react any differently to their work environments than employees of a corporation? It has been established that high employee retention levels, a key characteristic of a supportive work environment, generally highlight an effective, functional organization. Similarly, studies in the academic arena have shown that faculty retention rates correlate with the increased academic success of students. The alternative, students whose education is prematurely terminated before graduation represent a clear failure of the system with accountability rising through all levels of the academic structure.
Whether in business or education, the remedy starts at the top with the desire of leadership to chart a new course to success by demonstrating the same concern for the well-being of employees, staff, and faculty as has traditionally been reserved for customers or students. This path includes a clear articulation of goals and the strategy to achieve them; establishment of a trust relationship between the administration, staff, and faculty; open and honest communications; and a genuine collaborative effort to remove any obstacles to the delivery of a quality education to all students. The fact is that supportive environments produce the best results regardless of where they exist.
Fred Stawitz, a national award-winning educator and writer, is recipient of the Leadership 500 Awards LEAD 2016 Circle of Winners and author of Don’t Run Naked Through The Office! which addresses the impact of the work environment on safe, productive, and profitably sustainable operations.
He has chaired and spoken at conferences on topics related to HSE, process safety, plant STOs, offshore operations, petrochemicals, refining, supply chain compliance, and mining as well as a variety of HR and talent management events both in the US and Canada.
He served as Training Manager for InterGen, a Shell/Bechtel joint energy venture, developed a skills-based training program and desktop simulations for astronaut training with the Space Shuttle program, and headed up online technical training and in house video production for El Paso Corporation. He is currently the Principal for Technical Training at Kinder Morgan.
As a high school teacher, he originated the “Reach for the Stars” Program, in the wake of the Challenger tragedy, which connected hundreds of thousands of students with aerospace education resources. This highly publicized initiative earned him an A+ for Excellence in Education Award from the National Education Association and a national Honors Teaching Award from NASA and the National Science Teachers Association. Additionally, he served as president of a regional alternative education association and has extensive experience working with at-risk youth.