I’m worried about the morale of teachers. Just quietly, many of them are NOT happy! They may not say that openly to the Principal or other school leaders but many are feeling unhappy and frustrated. They often vent to their partners, their colleagues and even to strangers in social settings.
Unhappy teachers often present a nice façade and respond with the usual pleasantries however, scratch the surface and they are unhappy and frustrated.
At their best, staff who are unhappy will do what is required but won’t bring the passion, energy and commitment that a happy staff member brings. At their worst, an unhappy staff member is toxic, will undermine change initiatives and sabotage the good things that are happening in your school.
The challenges of staff engagement do not only apply to leaders in schools. Research from across many industries indicate that only about one in three employees are ENGAGED (36%) and nearly one in five are actually DISENGAGED (17%).
If you’d like a copy of my research on “Staff Morale and Engagement in Schools – What School Leaders Can Do to Maximise Staff Effectiveness”, send an email to email@example.com
Who would you like teaching YOUR students, a teacher who is engaged in their work, passionate and enthusiastic or someone who is ‘going through the motions’, is aggrieved and doesn’t see they have any other alternatives?
As leaders in schools it is up to us to do EVERYTHING WE can to engage our staff and keep them happy. One of our roles is to remove barriers that stop our staff being as effective as they possibly can be.
Does your staff have the right resources to do their job?
Do we use time and money effectively and efficiently?
Are the school communication channels working effectively?
Through removing barriers we can bring on-board the remaining 47% (almost half the workforce) who are neither engaged nor completely disengaged. I suspect they may be the ones “just going through the motions”.
Do you know what the barriers are from your staff’s perspective?
What would you need to do to keep your staff happy?
What problems get in the way of doing their job well?
How could you help them get more satisfaction and be more engaged?
Many schools undertake Staff Opinion Surveys as a means of gauging staff morale. Often this can be the only time that staff can vent to those they see as being in leadership positions. However the results from most opinion surveys lack clarity and fail to identify specific areas that need to be resolved or addressed. Often the surveys ONLY provide data. This data is often misinterpreted and can also be deflected to the government authority or the School Board.
School staff opinion surveys ONLY provide data and do not provide any real, specific direction for the school’s leadership team on the issues that staff are identifying.
In response to the limitations of a survey that only provides data and doesn’t provide any specific guidance or direction, I have developed Happy School Staff Surveys. The survey is INTERACTIVE and on-line. It provides specific feedback for the school leadership team on emerging issues within the school. The format will be especially helpful to Principals in not only measuring staff morale but also identifying specific areas of concern. It could be used as part of a school review process or once a semester to measure progress.
If you’d like to find out more about Happy School Staff Surveys, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you further information and a link to try the instrument yourself.