Thursday, 12 April 2018

Why Leaders Should Care about Employee Loyalty

Loyal teachers are a major asset for a strong school. Schools may think that teachers are automatically loyal just because they’re getting paid. The truth is loyalty isn’t for sale. Loyalty has to be earned by the way you treat your staff. Transforming your school culture isn’t easy. You can’t do it alone. 

Why do teachers leave?
Poor leadership may lie at the heart of a teacher's departure. People don’t leave jobs, they leave leaders (line managers). Who is the school’s first point of contact with that member of staff? If that contact is bad, the relationship with the school will be bad and the teacher won’t stay long. 

In the present environment, it becomes a necessity for schools to have a strategy for retaining their best teachers. Other schools are waiting at the door with "treats" to lure away your top performers. According to data drawn from 30 case studies taken from 11 research papers on the costs of employee turnover, it costs at least 20% of their salary when an employee leaves. These costs reflect the loss of productivity from the departure, the cost of finding a replacement, and the reduced productivity while the new teacher gets up to speed.

How can we raise productivity?
The link between teacher job satisfaction and productivity is long-established. Research has found that happy staff are 12% more productive than their less satisfied counterparts. 

Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to. 
-Richard Branson

Tips To Help You Keep Your Best Teachers
When teachers feel disconnected, undervalued, and unappreciated, it doesn’t take long for them to jump ship and look for another job that will recognize their contributions. The only thing that can stop a high turnover is to give staff a reason to stay, or, even better, multiple reasons. Here are some tips to help retain your best employees:

* Establish a clear vision and moral purpose - and show how the individual can contribute to it. Id staff believe in why you are doing what you do, and see their impact they are more likely to stay. Of course you need to celebrate when you see people actively supporting the vision and let them know that you value their efforts!

* Don’t treat teachers like machines – they will want to know that their leaders understands
 the need for a work/life balance and respects their personal time.

* Create opportunities for growth and development – Always make sure there are ways your staff can grow and can do work that inspires them. Have you got a long term plan for each member of staff? Is access to CPLD equitable? Do staff know what opportunities there are open for them?

* Reward staff efforts - An open school culture with room for recognition and appreciation is very important. If you want the best, you must pay the price for the best.

* Don't micromanage - Trust staff. Give them autonomy and breathing space to get their work done.

* Provide adequate training and support. Training demonstrates a company’s commitment to employees in terms of personal and professional growth.

* Show Empathy. Very few bosses show empathy towards their team members and this helps improve overall team morale and performance.

Furthermore, when people leave your school, find out why. Your school may have morale weaknesses you are not aware of or have been underestimating. In one study, 89% of managers surveyed said they thought most employees leave for better pay. However, another study found that 88% of employees who quit did so for something other than money. Clearly, there is often a disconnect between managers and employees about what motivates an employee to leave. 

Consequently, when people stay with your school, find out why (Stay Interviews). Here’s the reality: employees are only as loyal to the company as they believe the company is loyal to them. Loyalty is a two-way street. So in the end, building a school of committed, loyalty employees ultimately comes down to demonstrating to employees that the company deserves their loyalty.

The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
Brigette Hyacinth
Published on April 5, 2018

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