Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Increasing Staff Retention
The big things in my facility are higher wages, safer working environments and administrational staff listening to the line staff to find out what their needs are on the front lines.
It's easy for someone to change and implement rules and regulations/procedures and then expect someone else to enforce them.
When it comes down to the line officers actually having to enforce these changes, it's a whole different story. They face ridicule, fecal matter and urine being thrown on them, being spat on, verbally assaulted and physically abused by the inmate population.
Line staff need to hear from and actually see (not read e-mails and memos) administrational staff and know that their word is being heard and they actually care about the staff who work there and that they are not just blown off, which is what usually happens.
18 years ago I started out as a Corporal. I remember what it is like to not be listened to and blown off. I don't want that to continue to happen. The line staff are the people who make the facilities run. Let's listen to them and acknowledge who they are and what they do.
1. More accolades. So many of us do small things, each day, to improve our work environment. Give us 'tools' to give other officers positives. Anonymous posting of "I noticed you..." or "I appreciated it when...".
2. Our union president organizes secret pal events. Each party picks another person's name and they give each other anonymous gifts for a set amount of time. This builds morale.
3. More training opportunities. We are told to follow policy and procedure when we are here. We do this and by default we feel very limited as to how creative we can be. We MUST feel we have an impact on our environment. We must also feel we can utilize our creative brain. Without lubricating these pathways we become bored.
---talk to us. Do not believe everything that the inmates say.
---work on shift schedules that work for people and allow them to have a life.
---allow us the same rights which inmates have. If I cannot call them a bad name if angry, why can they threaten me or continue to be caught with drugs with no consequences?