Friday, July 27, 2012

Building a Culture of Care: Welcoming Everyone We Encounter

Recently, one of the school district employees mentioned to me how welcomed she felt whenever she came to the Educational Services Center (ESC). Here are her thoughts:

"I have truly appreciated how welcoming all of the ESC staff have been. When I first started working for the district, I felt nervous and uncomfortable going to the ESC, but whenever I stepped through the door any employee I ran into would instantly smile and if we were walking past each other, they would say “hello.” At first it seemed unusual to me, but through that little kindness, I felt welcomed into the district."

What the staff at the ESC is doing is actually known as the 5/10 greet.

What is the 5/10 greet?

When walking into the corridor or if someone walks into your office, acknowledge him or her with a smile and nod when they are 10 feet away. When they are within 5 feet acknowledge them with a verbal greeting. This simple action creates a culture of caring by accomplishing three things:

1)      We welcome people into our building.
2)      We invite people new to our building to ask questions if they are uncertain, lost or simply     curious.
3)      We let people know that they are valued, not simply another face in our building.

I want to thank the ESC staff for doing a great job at welcoming people into our building and district. I also want to encourage staff around the district to adopt this action into their daily routine. Because our staff values the students, parents and their coworkers, let’s create this culture of caring by welcoming people into our buildings and district, showing them that they are valued and noticed.

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