In One Ear, Out the OtherGetting the Most Out of Your Transitional Workers Crystal Boyce, Student Supervisor Circulation Dept., Swem Library College of William & Mary
Who are our student employees? Student employees at Swem:◦ Interlibrary Loan ◦ IT◦ Circulation ◦ Media◦ Administration ◦ Reference ◦ Special◦ Tech Services Collections ◦ Serials, cataloging, acquisitions, ◦ Development preservationBut who are your transitional employees?
Discussion & Conversation When we go around the room, please say: ◦ Choose your library type (academic, public, special, school): ◦ What your transitional employees (TEs) do: If you have a…. Chocolate Chip Cookie: best part about supervising TEs Oatmeal Raisin Cookie: most common problem when supervising TEs Peanut Butter Cookie: thing you would like to see change White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie: your choice of the above
Common TE Problems The TE who complains The TE who procrastinates The TE who resists change The TE who is dishonest The TE who violates library rules The unmotivated TE The TE with low morale The disloyal TE The TE with absenteeism problems The TE with personal problems The TE with personality problems
Common TE Problems: What this really means The TE who will no call/no show The TE who doesn’t have good work etiquette The TE who is constantly late for work The TE who calls out of work often The TE who isn’t focused on work The TE who disappears or avoids work in general The TE who hangs out with friends while working
Motivating TEs 1st: ask yourself – What are we really trying to get done (big picture)? 2nd: ask yourself – How can my TEs help us do this? 3rd: promise yourself – You will be as great a manager as you can be, despite whatever is happening ‘above’ you 4th: Focus on achieving extraordinary results rather than just getting things done
How do we start? Know what Mazlo’s hierarchy motivates yourself of needs Know what motivates your TEs Connect your TE’s interests with your interests
Trust & Relationships The mutual Build relationships assurance that if I ◦ Informality go the extra mile ◦ Open-door policies for you, when it’s ◦ First names your turn, you are Make everything a going to go the WIN-WIN extra mile for meGive away all the credit, take all the blame!
Trust in Action Do ◦ Encourage reasonable risk ◦ Foster autonomy ◦ Analyze mistakes ◦ Ask for creative solutions ◦ Praise winning ways Don’t ◦ Criticize in public ◦ Use a “do as you’re told” approach ◦ Sabotage or ambush your TEs
Putting it into Action Coping with stress Encourage creativity Recognize your employees Empower your employees
Coping with Stress Help TEs break larger projects into smaller pieces and to develop timelines Show TEs what they are accomplishing and WHY it matters
Encourage Creativity Encourage others to express opinions Don’t dismiss ideas without discussion Argue all sides of an issue Challenge the status quo Be thankful for small ideas – they may be the start of something big
Recognize Your Employees Identify behavior which consistently exceeds requirements Say thank-you regularly Reinforce the kinds of behavior you want repeated Recognize individuals publicly Celebrate successes as a team
Reward SMART-ly Specific – tie a reward to a specific action Meaningful – match the reward to the person receiving it – what would they want? Attainable – reward small achievements Relevant – related to the rewardable behavior Timely – reward quickly after the rewardable behavior
Empower Your Employees Foster ownership Let TEs see how their work fits into the grand scheme of things Give them the freedom (aka, trust) to do their jobs Offer mentorship when appropriate
Resources The Swem Student Handbook (https:// swem.wm.edu/forms/student-employee-handbook-acknowledgement) Complete Guide for Supervisors of Student Employees in Today’s Academic Libraries by David A. Baldwin and Daniel C. Barkley. 2007 The X-Factor: Getting extraordinary results from ordinary people by Ross Reck. 2001 Motivating Employees for Dummies by Max Messmer. 2001 Effective Management of Student Employment by David A. Baldwin, France C. Wilkinson, and Daniel C. Barkley. 2000 Managing Student Assistants: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians by Kimberly Burke Sweetman. 2007 “Managing Student Employees” by Alberta Davis, Emily Okada, Rebecca Stinnett, and Bara Swinson. Indiana Libraries, vol. 24, no. 1