As students return from holiday break rejuvenated and ready to learn, program leaders should find ways to engage staff and motivate their team to finish the year strong.

It’s the start of a new year, but for educators, January marks the halfway point of the school year. As students return from holiday break rejuvenated and ready to learn, program leaders should find ways to engage staff and motivate their team to finish the year strong.

A motivated staff contributes to a positive learning environment, which in turn positively affects student performance and achievement. The National AfterSchool Associaton (NAA) provides the following tips for motivating program staff:

  • Start with yourself. Ask what you can do to keep your own tank full, so that you can be present to fill the tanks of others.
  • Appreciate others. Regularly acknowledge your staff’s efforts, both big and small.
  • Create a common purpose. Help your staff understand the “why” behind what they are doing.
  • Communicate carefully. When communicating, always ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were on the receiving end of this communication?”
  • Stop talking. Listen carefully to your staff, empowering them to make their own decisions.
  • Be wrong more. Create an environment where failure is okay and growth comes from making mistakes and experimenting.
  • Focus on the bright spots. Shine a light on staff whose work is exemplary.
  • Be what you want your staff to be. If you want to create a motivated staff, use yourself as the example.

Motivation is the key to having happy, productive staff.