Wednesday, June 20, 2012

[UPDATED: Now with SCIENCE!] New Berlin School District Hemorrhages Employees

When you act like a bunch of vengeful douchebags towards your employees, don't be surprised when all the good ones quit.
At a recent School Board meeting, when departing staff members took the floor to explain their resignations, a common theme emerged. Guess what? The mass exodus is not about money or benefits.

No, the reason employees are leaving in droves is they feel disenfranchised and devalued by the district. They're willing to take a cut in pay to work for employers who will listen to them, include them in decision-making and treat them as assets, not liabilities.

New Berlin's district leadership is enamored with what it terms a "business model" of operation. Perhaps the leadership team would benefit from some research on the human resource habits of effective corporations.

Skilled human resource managers know that as imperative as it is to toe the fiscal bottom line, it's equally important to ensure that employees feel appreciated and respected. When employee morale falters, productivity suffers and the end result is bad for business.

In the private sector, high rates of attrition are not a badge of honor; they're indicators of organizational dysfunction. If one-third of a company's workforce resigned en masse, it would be calamitous enough to prompt an involuntary turnover of corporate leadership.
Well done, Walker-bots, well done.  So when your properly values plummet because nobody wants to live in a school district which more closely resembles Biloxi than Madison, you'll have nobody to blame but yourselves.  And Obama...  Yeah, that's the ticket.

[UPDATE] Well, it turns out this is not entirely unexpected given scientific research into what makes people happy at work.  Turns out, they don't want money, what they want most is respect.
New research suggests that overall happiness in life is more related to how much you are respected and admired by those around you, not to the status that comes from how much money you have stashed in your bank account.

Psychological scientist Cameron Anderson of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and his co-authors explore the relationship between different types of status and well-being in a new article published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“We got interested in this idea because there is abundant evidence that higher socioeconomic status – higher income or wealth, higher education – does not boost subjective well-being (or happiness) much at all. Yet at the same time, many theories suggest that higher status should boost happiness,” said Anderson.

So if higher socioeconomic status doesn’t equate with a greater sense of well-being, then what does? Anderson and his colleagues hypothesized that higher sociometric status – respect and admiration in your face-to-face groups, such as your friendship network, your neighborhood, or your athletic team – might make a difference in your overall happiness. “Having high standing in your local ladder leads to receiving more respect, having more influence, and being more integrated into the group’s social fabric,” Anderson said.
Imagine that... Oh wait, we don't have to imagine it, we can watch it play out in New Berlin and other Wisconsin communities where the citizens turned into taxpayer thugs and vomited their vitriol all over the teachers, nurses, firefighters and police officers who dedicate their lives to public service.

Karma's a bitch, ain't it.

Take it away, Aretha!  The Queen of Soul understands.  Do you?


  1. DO these whiny teachers THINK they are not replaceable, go ahead leave, you won't find the cash cow in the private sector no now have. No one is feeling bad that your itty bitty feelings are hurt, be honest it is all about your pocketbook no one with a brain believes your disfranchisement whine.

    1. When you find yourself living in Biloxi, don't come crying to me. When your property values continue to plummet, don't come crying to me. The only one whining here is you. The teachers of New Berlin are doing what they should do: leave.

      It's what you wanted, right?