Social workers are often so busy with their own workload, that they may take their colleagues, who are part of their support structure, for granted. In the challenging environment you function in daily, teamwork, shared support and motivation is essential. A simple thing such as praising someone for what they achieve goes a long way in boosting the morale of a fellow social worker. Due to the nature of the work, many of the skills the social worker already possess can go a long way in providing mutual support.
Here are a few handy tips to raise each other up:
- Never discuss a colleague in a negative way with other professionals.
Social work is a challenging career. It is also an ungrateful job, very stressful and full of red tape. Negative gossip in the workplace poorly reflects on you as social worker, as your internal DNA is one of compassion and servanthood. It is true that should the situation so require, one must speak up about issues that negatively impact the work you do but can be done diplomatically and professionally. Set each other up for success, not failure.
- Highlight the contributions from everyone in the team.
It is important for every social worker to be able to depend on his/her professional network. This bridges the gap between working in isolation and facilitates the shared knowledge of ideas and support. Within your team, be gracious. Give recognition where it is due. Acknowledge everyone, their value and contribution to the team.
- Make someone’s day.
Doing a random act of kindness does not only boost the recipient of your good deed, but also releases “happy” hormones within yourself. An act of kindness can be as simple as leaving a special note or card, complementing someone on a successful case, or showing sympathy when needed.
- Make use of collective knowledge.
Every social worker has certain skills and expertise that could be of value to others within the team. Invite a colleague to do a presentation on something they have learnt or have in-depth knowledge of. Facilitate round-table discussions where everyone shares ideas, highlighting techniques or tools they have tried successfully.
Social workers: Raise each other up and pay it forward. When one of us is recognised, we all win!
Original article available at https://www.socialworker.com/extras/social-work-month-2020/social-workers-raise-each-other-up/