Note: Presentation to be available after April 18, 2007 at Ms. Deiss's wiki here.
Community and culture.
- Think of the large, often immovable cultures in an organization. Think of an iceberg for an image. You only interact with the surface where only 10% is above the surface. The percentage above water refers to the objective things. For example, the promotional materials.
- The rest below the water is the bulk of the organizational culture, and this is less explicit. For example, the patterns of thought.
- Ask: what were your first impressions of your library? It may be things seen during the interview or the first day of work. Later, you get the "how things really work around here" level. It becomes known and ingrained over time. These things (biases, beliefs, notions, etc.) are taken for granted by the old timers. How is the gap closed?
- Organizational culture. It is learned. Notice there are implicit exchanges, which if made explicit, could help retention. Culture also forms self-identity and community. Notice that we navigate different cultures as we come into an organization. One's personal culture may not be in sync with organizational culture, and this can lead to conflict.
- Individual interpretations inform behavior and expectations. We all have unique structures of interpretation. Library units can have unique interpretive structures as well (see the often mentioned opposition of reference versus technical services).
- What messages does the organization send regarding individual and team growth?
- How are the messages supported through actions and programmatic endeavors?
Retention begins with recruitment. What is said in the interview to a candidate already says a lot. The language of the job ad is also important. What will people applying for the job want and stick around for? The new recruit will be asking: what are the possibilities here for me?
Types of contracts:
- Formal: written (what you usually think of a contract). This is overt, agreed upon with known conditions.
- Social: Behavior and ethics. This is based on values and beliefs. Normative. (the idea of what is right and wrong social behavior fits here).
- Psychological contracts (we all have them). This brings in individual beliefs of what the individual expects and what is expected of the individual. This is unspoken usually, and it is always unwritten. It is rooted in personal values and expectations. It is based on a variety of expectations.
The aspects of a contract boil down to this: what the employees and employers expect to give to each other and receive from each other.
The basis of promises:
- Perception of mutuality.
- Assumption driven.
- Not questioned until the promise is perceived to be broken. (In a formal contract, you break it, it means litigation, etc.)
- The organization has the will but not the means to implement (this may be forgivable).
- The organization has the means but not the will to implement (definitely not forgivable, at least in my estimation).
- Job/workplace not as expected.
- Too little coaching/feedback (I would add that you can get coaching and feedback, but it does not mean it is useful or relevant).
- Too few growth/advancement opportunities.
- Feeling devalued/unrecognized.
- Stress from overwork. Also, work/life imbalance.
- Loss of trust and confidence in senior leaders.
- Mismatch between a person and the job.
". . . we recognize that employees have commitments outside work and that we must help them manage their responsibilities along with their work obligations." --IBM U.S. Policy on Diversity.
Managers are responsible for setting a supportive tone. Be mindful that new librarians will be types to leap boundaries and appropriate authority.