Zappos is a shoe company. It just happens to be the shoe company that I always use to get new all-black Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars, the shoe I wear to school every day. Here is an interesting fact about Zappos: They pay their employees $5,000 if they leave the company. You might be thinking, “What?!?! That’s crazy!” Well, it is certainly unique, but it is Zappos applying pressure on themselves to make the culture at their company so good that people would rather stay and work for them, rather than leave the company with $5,000 in their pocket. Zappos knows that it’s all about culture when it comes to job satisfaction and employee morale. Let’s apply this to school - would you rather stay at your present school or take $5,000 and go to a different school? The answer will tell you how the culture building is going in the school in which you teach. Apply that same concept to your class - would students rather have you for a teacher or take $50 and go to a different teacher? Thinking about this through the Zappos frame is a helpful way to approach your efforts at building culture. It is such an important task - to create a culture in your school/classroom that would cause people/students to stay with you, rather than taking a bag of money and going elsewhere. I FOR SURE would have taken the money and took my chances with another teacher, rather than stay with who I currently had. However, there were other teachers/coaches along the way that I would have stayed with, no matter how much money was dangling in front of me. Why? Because it’s all about relationships. Those teachers/coaches were super nice and took a genuine interest in me. I knew they cared about me and had my best interests in mind. They talked to me and treated me like a person, not a subordinate student. So, examine your world. What would your students do if presented with the stay or leave option? If you area principal, what would your teachers do? Jump ship with the dough, or stay with you?
Be the reason people want to stay.