Morale and fire potpourri

Published 10:14 pm Thursday, December 3, 2015

Every employee knows that the attitude of the leaders of the company or organization is reflected in the attitudes of the employees and ultimately the product and effectiveness of the company or organization.

So it is with government organizations like any other. So it should be interesting to see how the city performs under the leadership of Patrick Roberts, no less competent than but radically different from his predecessor.

One of the first tangible pieces of evidence of Roberts’ leadership style is a television that mysteriously showed up in the employee break room at City Hall recently.

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City Chief of Staff Debbie George confirmed for me recently that this television came from the city manager’s office, after I heard it through the grapevine. Apparently, Roberts decided his employees need a bit of entertainment and relaxation on their breaks more than he needs his own personal television in his office.

I heard about other small changes Roberts has made, too. These are the kinds of little decision that can have a big impact on employee morale. If employees know they are valued enough to have a television in their break room, perhaps they will perform better. It sounds a bit saccharine, but employees who have worked in offices with both high morale and low morale can tell the difference.

Moving on to a different topic, and one I might have already addressed this year, but it bears repeating: winter is the time of year for house fires. There have already been several since the weather got colder, and at least one firefighter as been injured.

Heating elements and holiday decorations are among the top causes of residential fires during the winter.

You can heat your home properly by never leaving a portable heater or fireplace unattended; placing your space heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface; keeping all potential sources of fuel, including paper, clothing, bedding, curtains and rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves and fireplaces; and looking for a space heater that shuts off automatically if it falls over.

As for decorations, use only nonflammable decorations; keep Christmas trees away from vents and other sources of heat; toss Christmas trees when the needles become brittle; never leave a lit candle unattended; and make sure lights aren’t showing signs of fraying, bare wires or other wear.

And as always, don’t leave your cooking unattended, and make sure your home has a working smoke alarm.

The city’s firefighters thank you for your attention to keeping the city fire-free this year.