Five tips to improve your team’s wellbeing By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education
As a senior leader in education, your role will no doubt have its up and downs and you want to ensure that you have a team around you who are managing their stress. Teaching can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, but it is also one of the most stressful. Limited resources, longer working hours, low pay and high pressures for greater results can all play havoc on a teacher’s mind.
So, if your team is feeling the pressure, here are some handy strategies to improve their mental wellbeing:
Measure staff wellbeing
Find out from staff what their wellbeing concerns are – you can’t tackle the issue of staff wellbeing based on assumptions only. Ask your staff to undertake a survey or provide a suggestion box for them to give feedback. By getting staff to complete an anonymous survey, you can gain real insight into their needs and concerns, which goes a long way in informing you of any changes you need to make. Throughout the process keep staff in the loop and let them know about the results, any changes made and the outcomes.
Promote a positive work-life balance
It important that you let staff know how imperative it is to take time to do something that they enjoy away from work, cultivate a life outside the classroom and foster a positive work-life balance. A happy employee, who strikes a good balance, tends to stay and be more productive.
There are times when teaching can seem overwhelming and staff need extra support with the sharing of resources, ideas or methods. If something is consistently working for a member of staff enable them to share it with others. Equally, staff can share lessons learnt to encourage sharing of knowledge gained. It helps people to feel like part of a team rather than on their own.
Offer wellbeing training
79% of teachers believe it is important for their employer to offer formal wellbeing training, and 74% are more likely to work for a school that offers such wellbeing training. It is therefore very much in your benefit to provide some kind of wellbeing training to help improve staff resilience, learn techniques to reduce stress and balance workloads.
To support you in this, we offer 10 wellbeing training courses as part of our free Wellbeing First training package, helping you to help your staff at no extra cost to your school. Take a look today to see how else you can help your staff.
Foster open communication
It’s important that staff can talk about the pressures of the role and their experiences to you or their peers. The idea is not to inflate negativity but to encourage staff to talk openly without fear of judgement or scrutiny. Let them know that asking for help is not a weakness but a strength.
Focusing on staff wellbeing cultivates a mentally healthy school and improves staff retention; in turn, motivated staff promote higher wellbeing and attainment in students.
To find out more, or to discuss your employment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.