M9 (Pottle)

After reviewing the Hawthorne studies video, for this week’s class discussion, what, if any, has even your experience with the Hawthorne effect on the job?

The Hawthorne effect can have a great effect on a work environment if used correctly. Unfortunately, I have experienced when a management team of a preschool I worked for tried to improve the work environment with small changes, but the one factor they missed was making changes that employees did not ask for. Instead of trying to work schedules that caused less havoc in the classroom they just continued to float people around making it harder for children to create a bond with teachers because they never knew who was going to be in the classroom on any given day. Not only did this effect the children but also the parents would become frustrated while who to give information to about their child, and of course the staff resulting in increasingly high turn over rate. Instead of making changes like different coffee in the break room that seemed to increase moral a productivity for maybe a week, the management team would have accomplished more if finding a way to get to the root of the problem.  

  1. Describe a supervisor who was a poor supervisor (un-motivating, indecisive, uncaring, etc) – what were their characteristics or actions that made you feel that way?

Unfortunately, my first experience with a “grown-up job’ was with a poor supervisor. I worked in a preschool staffed with over 20 females and only 1 male. This proved to be a very interesting atmosphere that was typically not very positive solely because the women were extremely gossipy. I ended up working there for over 3 years and continually became more and more run down with each passing year. By my one and half year mark I had become a lead teacher for a classroom and was reporting directly to the supervisor of the center. When I would come to her with concerns she did not validate my concerns and in response would reverse the situation back to me and make me feel like I was being selfish, or that I did not have a valued opinion because I did not have children so “I could not understand how it feels to be a Mother or have a child’.  

Not only did this make me more frustrated, but if similar situations would arise I would not want to share them with my supervisor because I knew my concerns would not be addressed and my voice would not be validated or even heard, simply because I am not a Mother.  

It was worse because the problem was not just happening to myself but other teachers in my same situation of not having children of our own, ever though we cared for the children in our classrooms as our own. The supervisor and management team would try to up the moral of the center by having lunch ins or having small parties around lunchtime but these quickly burned out as most people would just sneak in for the food and sneak back out without actually socializing.  

At the time I knew the job was causing tremendous stress on myself and my partner. Thankfully I know have a new job that has been a dream of my for as long as I could remember that I never thought would come true and I have never once looked back.  

1 Comment for “M9 (Pottle)”



Your post about negative supervisors resonated with me, especially when you said it was with your first “grown up” job. The first “grown up” job I ever had was working as a dental assistant. The doctor was an older man, very harsh and demanding, but hid it well. All the patients thought he was so charming, and he laid on the charm for hiring purposes also. Once you were there for a little bit, you started to see the real him. He would say, “there’s no such thing as a dumb question, but if you asked a question where thought the answer was obvious, he would make the gesture that indicated “retard.” The gesture where one hits one’s chest with a bent arm and wrist, and then he’d say “DUHHH”. It was extremely offensive, inappropriate, and unprofessional. However, I was determined to stick it out. The more proficient I became at my job, the better he would treat me. It was strangely validating in an almost abusive way. Over the years, he began to train me as an administrative assistant as well as a chair-side assistant. Then, I learned the ins and outs of dental insurance companies, handled large amounts of money, made his schedule, and checked up on post-procedure patients to offer pain management advice. He not increase my pay for my increase of knowledge for his clinic, even though he would frequently have me bounce back and forth between administration and chair-side assisting. It to feel as though I was not valued for the skills I had developed, and felt as though he was taking advantage of my shyness to speak up and ask for what I deserve. I eventually just felt so beaten down that I started calling in sick a lot. Eventually I decided that I was going nowhere with the clinic for which I was working, and thought that other clinics, while maybe not being as toxic, would still only be able to perform a specific set of skills. In order to grow the way I wanted to, I needed to go back to school. Hindsight, I am thankful to the job and that boss for making me believe that I could strive for more. Hence why I am in school now. 🙂