TE is an effective tool for supporting long term engagement and staff retention when used to align perspectives, unlock performance and strengthen community.
We work with districts across North America to solve retention issues by engaging directly with their staff on key topics like wellness, morale, shortage, communication and recruitment.
As you continue to shift and adjust into the post pandemic systems, TE is an effective and meaningful way to build trust, social capital and validate needs.
To effectively support ongoing engagement with your staff, below are a series of conversations you can host.
Pulse Checks for the Semester/Year
Why do leaders coordinate regular check-ins with their teachers and staff? It helps build a culture of trust and transparency; it affirms that the district is listening and open to hearing feedback; it ensures that leaders and employees are well aligned.
- We have the goal of making [District] one of the best places to work. Please share some experiences and ideas on how we can continue to make this happen?
- As you reflect on the first part of the year, what key successes and challenges would you like to share with district leadership?
- What can district or building leadership do, or continue doing to better support you this year?
- What programs/supports do you need to be your best self?
- As we approach the end of the year, what is important for school leaders and colleagues to know about your experience?
Staff appreciation and gratitude
These exchanges provide an opportunity for leaders to celebrate teachers and staff and get the team grounded in gratitude and appreciation.
- What’s on top of your heart & mind right now, and what does the district leadership team need to hear?
- As we approach <holiday>, what are the most important things we need to focus on as a team to ensure we have a strong finish to the semester? (powerful when run in a live setting)
- Share some team kudos or stories that need to be celebrated this year.
- What are some excellent examples of our successes to celebrate from this past year/season/quarter?
- What are some ways for us to highlight all the incredible work our staff has done this past term/year?
- How will you prioritize self-care over the holidays to ensure you come back energized in the new term?
- What message of thankfulness and gratitude do you want to share as we head into the winter break?
Employee Social/Emotional Health
Supporting mental health and wellness is one of the top priorities in school districts across North America, and education leaders report that retention issues are directly linked to staff feelings of wellness. Surfacing strategies to address mental health and wellness help provide a roadmap to districts to support mental wellness and create a resilient, committed workforce.
- What are some important things we could do to encourage and model positive social-emotional learning for students and staff?
- What do you think we are doing well and what can we do to improve employee mental health and wellness?
- As we look to the second half of the year, how can we better support staff’s social-emotional well-being?
Checking in early (and often!) with teachers and staff can ensure that the district identifies markers of retention and satisfaction, and ensure that staff are meeting and exceeding their professional goals.
- What resources, training, and supports do you need to deliver exceptional instruction this school year?
- What are some things we can start doing that would make you want to work in our district long-term?
- What would you have liked to know, been trained on, or supported as a new employee at [district]?
- What do we need to focus on to ensure you are able to fully utilize your strengths as a teacher to help our students thrive?
- When you reflect on your first year teaching in our district, what worked well and what could be improved?
- As we aspire and work towards building our staff community/family, what values, ideas, opportunities do you feel are the most important in the workplace?
Additional Questions that might be asked at any point in time and in no particular order:
One way to address shortages is to work on identifying opportunities to improve and highlight what is working. As a leader asking the questions below will help you identify successes that are unique and worth sharing with the wider community.
What makes you feel most valued and appreciated for the work you do?
Please share your “Why” behind working for <District>? What are we doing well and where are some opportunities for improvement?
How can new teachers be recruited into schools and supported once they are employed? (specific question for building leaders as participants)
How can effective teachers be retained and leveraged for maximum effect on improved student outcomes and equitable access?
Leadership check-in (live in meetings)
- What are some successes and challenges we would benefit from hearing right now? (If your thought rises to the top, be prepared to share the story.)
- As we approach <holiday>, what are the most important things we need to focus on as a team to ensure we have a strong finish to the semester?
Student Voice - Don’t forget, you can also bring in the students’ perspective!
- What are some important things that you and your teachers can do to help you have a successful school year?
- What are the most important things you want to share about your school year so far?
- What are key ways teachers helped or supported students this year?