I am so incredibly lucky to have two really great students working with me this summer. They are both hard workers, super productive and really nice and really funny girls. There is a lot of laughing in our office, they keep me entertained.
Over the years, I have had a few great supervisors and a lot of not great supervisors. I am taking what I learned from all my supervisors- the good and the bad- and applying it to my own role as supervisor. I want the students to have a great experience and enjoy their time working for our organization. I also want them to feel valued, appreciated and heard. The students are aware of this.
Last week, they, jokingly, asked if they could have a suggestion box when they could anonymously leave suggestion on how I can do my job better. Of course, I agreed and told them that we will read the suggestions at our weekly team meeting.
Here are this weeks suggestions:
Drip. Drip. Drip. How's the water shut off? The day of our meeting, the City turned our water off due to construction.
More espresso beans. Someone gave me chocolate covered espresso beans as a thank you gift and I left them for the students.
Don't crush dreams. This is actually something that was said jokingly and with laughter. And I'm the one who wrote it down and put it in the suggestion box.
Keep a list of funny things that are said in the office. The students say hilarious things on an hourly basis (ex Student 1 to Student 2: I feel like we're complete opposites. Everything I like, you don't. Everything you like, I've never heard of). Plus, after the summer I can read the list and remember how funny they were.
Bowling party. No idea why this was suggested, but we are now going bowling after work in August.
Co-worker should be the supervisor because she brings cupcakes and folds brochures. A co-worker brought in the most amazing cupcakes for the office one day. I only bring Timbits and store bought cookies. Plus she helped them fold brochures while I was in a meeting.
Love the way we have to fold the suggestions to submit. Suggestions are written on the back of a post it note and folded so the sticky part attached to the other end. With everyone submitting suggestions the same way, it helps them stay anonymous.
Paper beside the suggestion box to help with anonymity. Everyone was writing on different kinds of paper, which would help me figure out who suggested what. If we use the same paper, it helps conceal the identity of the suggestion maker. I put a pad of yellow post it notes beside the suggestion box to address this.
Espresso beans. Yup, suggest twice. They REALLY want more espresso beans.
More opportunities for "gold stars". I give out stickers to people who earn them...from doing a good job with a task to surviving a rough morning. There are no set 'rules' for earning stickers but they would like more stickers.
Respond efficiently and effectively in a timely manner. I often have over 100 unread emails- it's a combination of reading select emails from the day before and people just emailing me a lot. It does take me a couple of days to respond to stuff. I'm sure this was a semi-serious suggestion, but the students are in my office and usually say "I'm emailing you a draft of a poster, can you look at it and let me know what you think?" so I look at it and give them verbal feedback. It's not like I'm ignoring them.
Co-workers in our office, but not on our team, were surprised (as was I) that no one suggested I clean my desk/workspace, which is a disaster. Both students love to organize and have been counting down the days until I was on vacation so that they can organize my desk, workspace (the floor around my desk), my filing cabinets and my business cards.
The suggestion box was a really fun activity and a great way to start our meeting.I can't wait to see what suggestions they have next week!!