Commitment is one area of working with this generation that creates tension. We offer them a great job at a decent wage and expect them to show up for every shift. But they need time off for such frivolous (sarcasm) activates as writing exams, family celebrations, travel, illness, etc. Are they all that different from the generation of staff that worked in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, or in the early 2000s?
After thinking about this I think the answer is no. I also think that commitment is a two way street.
We were just as self centred and have forgotten what it is like to be young. At 16 we wanted to work, but just enough to get by. 6 -9 hours a week was fine. School was very important, and I really did like my job.
What creates commitment? Difficult question when you consider this is largely something that comes from within. It is an intrinsic value. Don’t get me wrong; there are strong extrinsic forces here as well. We did like the money and for me working in a female dominated environment was a wonderful benefit for this single (and lonely) guy. And we socialized… But what really mattered to me was how I felt at work and how I felt about my work.
I started teaching swimming at North Centennial and Sherbrook Pool. I was blessed with great helpful coworkers and supervisors that were so helpful and encouraging. I got the genuine sense that I was important, competent, contributing, and needed. I could ask for help and it was there – it was okay. My coworkers put me “under their wing”. I felt a part of the whole staff. Great feeling.
I looked forward to teaching swimming. It was the best part of the week.
From this environment came my commitment. I developed into a competent and interdependent instructor.
I was in a healthy physiological place:
What are we doing today to foster this environment?