by Guest Author
We are on the other side of October, or as it is sometimes affectionately called, “Rocktober”. This is a time of year when most people in schools find themselves navigating challenges and feeling the strain of the work to be done with students. In the face of staffing shortages, mounting issues with student discipline and concerns about mental health, teachers and leaders continue to show up in an effort to work towards purposeful impact with students. In a recent educators poll, educators reported that they spend 40% of their time addressing classroom management challenges and supporting students’ mental or physical well-being. There are a number of people who want to teach and who are committed to their schools. It is not easy to create conditions for learning to happen everyday while also working to ensure that teachers feel valued for their contributions, but it matters.
As a part of my work with Edgility Consulting, a consulting firm dedicated to helping mission driven organizations build intentional equity for staff through equitable executive search, compensation and talent management practices, I often get the chance to talk with and discuss the experiences of staff members. Transparently, it is my favorite part of the process because I get to listen. In these conversations, staff members often surface the realities of being stretched thin and questioning whether they can continue to do the work that they love when so much is expected. This makes me think about burnout and how schools can lighten the load and strengthen their approach to supporting educators. In conversations and in surveys, we ask, “What are factors that make you want to stay at your school?” More often than not, the following themes emerge:
- The mission of the organization
- My Colleagues
- My impact
When I see these at the top of the list, I get excited because those things are really important. It’s the why! Teachers choose to remain in schools because they are clear on what they want to accomplish and work hard everyday to get one step closer to their goal- student achievement! Let’s be clear though: Teachers should absolutely be paid more. I think we are all aligned on that fact. And there’s also something to be said for the value of a holistic approach to your organization’s Total Value Proposition (TVP) and meaningful Recognition Programs. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to coach school leaders on the East Coast, and we started having conversations about compensation. As we engaged in deeper conversations, the leaders recognized that while it was challenging to lose staff members, they also had a number of staff who remained. They needed a strategy to keep them. This realization led them to lead their teams to clarify their TVP starting with listening to their staff.
It is not lost on me that there is a lot to consider when thinking about retaining talent. Perhaps it is overwhelming to figure out where to start. At Edgility Consulting, we offer a Talent Equity Assessment Survey that provides critical insight into how equitable your talent management practices support the growth and retention of staff from all backgrounds. The results will help you understand where gaps may exist at your organization and offer actionable insights and suggestions to address them.
Want to dive deeper into TVP? Check out this blog from my colleague, Jennifer Svendsen
Want to talk more about your school’s approach to retaining talent? Schedule time with me here.