Are schools vibrant workplaces?

A friend recommended that I read First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. Since the principalship is a classic middle management position, I thought I would check it out. So far it’s pretty interesting – the authors’ findings are based on interviews and other data collected by the Gallup Organization over the past 25 years from over 1 million employees and over 80,000 managers across a broad range of companies, industries, and countries.

Using factor analysis, regression analysis, concurrent validity studies, focus groups, and follow-up interviews to sift through the incredible mountain of data, the authors note that the strength of a workplace can be narrowed down to twelve questions that measure the core elements needed to attract, focus, and keep the most talented employees.


As I look over this list, I wonder how teachers would respond to these questions? How strong and vibrant is the workplace we create for most educators?

[It would be interesting to have a couple of school districts give this survey to their employees, maybe breaking out the results by school building or job category. If anyone’s interested, I would be willing to host the online survey for a few districts and have made an example survey. Contact me if you would maybe like to do this.]

3 Responses to “Are schools vibrant workplaces?”

  1. As I read this list I wasn’t thinking of myself. I was thinking of our students. I’m a technology resource teacher in a K-5 building and was just working with a 3rd grade class. I want to know how they would answer. I don’t think we give students the opportunity to do what they do best every day (#3). But then, many of them have yet to discover what they do best. I wonder how many feel their opinion matters (#7). Do we take the time to encourage open, honest discussions? I’ll keep thinking about this.

  2. What a great list to reflect on! I’ve just tiki-toured over here from Miguel’s blog.

    I felt quite priviledged to be able to check off 11 of those 12 elements which makes me feel like my move to my new school for 2007 was a good decision. If I had to reflect on that list last year I would have only selected only 7 out of those 12 elements!

    I really like the comment Jenny Ware left on about how we should also apply this list to our students and see what we think they would answer… do we give students the opportunities to do what they do best everyday?

    This has got me thinking! Thanks!

  3. Vibrant workplaces – Part 2

    Yesterday I asked, How strong and vibrant is the workplace we create for most educators? As part of that post, I listed twelve questions from First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently that, when answered positively, …

Leave a Reply