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Don't Rely on Luck...Plan Ahead!

March. 

This month can feel endless, but fairly soon, the weeks will seem to fly by, as it's full speed ahead to the end of the school year. 

And this means lots of events, obligations, perhaps testing, graduation, etc. It's easy to lose sight of one of the most critical pieces of the work of a leader: performance management, or the support, development, and evaluation of staff. This morning, Mindy Stern, with whom LSA works to provide Human Resources support to school administrators, shared that this is the MOST important work of a leader. We agree.

Why?

Consider this: The "clients" of your school are the students. They are the end user of your efforts. Who has the most direct connection with these end users? The teachers and other staff (often). In order to push forward the mission and vision of the school, it is critical to provide feedback, in the form of praise for the actions and work that support the school's mission and vision, but also to provide constructive criticism, when their work does not hold up the mission and vision or get in the way of the organization or individual's ability to hold up said mission. (For more on this, check out the Radical Candor podcast. We can't recommend this enough!) And, according to Mindy, this needs to be documented. 

But, if you don't have a plan, you can't rely on luck to make this happen. Plan NOW for success. Below are just a few nuggets to consider: 

  • Document, document, document. The good and the bad, and consistently. Some ideas: keep a file for each employee, digitally, or physically, perhaps in a binder. This will help come annual review time. Now would be a good time to check and reflect on this. It helps to avoid having annual reviews based on just the final months of the school year.
  • Don't wait until the end of the year to give feedback. Linked to the nugget above, this is critical. Staff needs to know, throughout the year, if they're on the right track, and where they can improve, and then receive support and professional development.
  • Be sure to see the performance for yourself. Don't rely on feedback from other staff - be sure that you've seen it yourself, if you are giving feedback on it!

If this resonates with you (likely if you are in a position to offer feedback and manage a staff!), we have a few opportunities coming up:

  1. Today was our webinar (free for LSA members). If you missed it, but would like the recording, email Jessica at jraba@lsany.org.
  2. During the week of 3/27-3/31, there will be a hotline where you can set an appointment for a phone call to share more with Mindy and receive feedback. That information is shared at the end of the webinar. Don't hesitate to take advantage of it!
  3. Come to our Leaders Conference on April 28! More information and registration available here. This in-person session will provide you with access to an expert, other colleagues in the same role as you, and the chance to really prepare for annual review conversations and beyond. Don't miss it - for LSA members, the cost is only $15!!

Don't go it alone - LSA is here to help you find access to the tools you need to be successful. 

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