Sunday, 18 February 2018

Retaining Staff - 3 Tips

At this time of year school leaders will be planning for September. Staff will be thinking of where to be next academic year. As a school leader, have you ever lost a great teacher?

The moment you receive their resignation can take you by surprise. However their thought process that led to them resigning most likely happened months. 

When you are leading an organisation it is all too easy to get caught up in the now... absence, daly arrangements, cover, parents, meetings. But if you allow your head to drop and focus on the now, without paying attention to how some of your staff may be wanting to know about the future you can find that there is an erosion of emotional engagement. 

Staff turnover is costly: replacing someone costs a minimum of 6-9 months’ salary. And that’s just the hard costs. There’s also the cost to morale, the classroom impact, and the burden on the school leader trying to fill the gaps, while key initiatives fall further behind.

What can you do as a leader? A lot, and it starts with language. Employees may say they’re leaving for higher pay. There are funding pressures that mean this is always going to feature. In schools of all sizes there are only so many positions that offer additional responsibility. However there are other factors which can be managed. These can be key to maintaining engagement. 

Here are three no cost ways school leaders can keep people engaged:
  1. Feedback – Employees lose their emotional connection quickly when there’s no feedback from their school leader. Companies that implement regular employee feedback have a 14.9% lower turnover rate (HubSpot). Shouting “do better” six times a day doesn’t count. It’s simple; when an employee does a good job, tell them.
  2. Meaning – If you treat your employees like a number they’ll return the favor. They’ll treat their job like a transaction. Teachers who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their schools — the highest single impact of any variable according to a global study from Tony Schwartz. It costs you nothing to tell an employee how their actions make a difference to the team, your customers, or the world at large... don't take it for granted.
  3. Horizon – When people don’t know where the company is going or where their job is going, there’s no connection to the future. Make a practice of sharing your future vision, and tell your team what’s on the horizon. 

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