Cutting Communications Can Hurt

By Nora Carr

When it comes to cutting budgets, so-called “soft” services like staff development, human resources, and communications often get the ax first. Faced with tough budget choices, this may seem like a reasonable response -- until employee productivity, student performance, and public support start to sag.

That’s because the “soft stuff” some school leaders are so quick to cut comprises key components of organizational culture. And research shows that culture determines whether organizations can adapt quickly to changing environments and sustain gains year after year.

In other words, developing people and improving squishy processes like teamwork, project management, and employee communications represent mission-critical work. For a people-intensive business like education, where the bottom line is measured in student achievement gains and growth, the “soft stuff” really is the hard stuff. 

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