Five ways to retain top teaching talent By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education
Every school setting has its shining stars with talented teachers respected by both students and fellow staff members.
However, in an education system where it is becoming increasingly harder to hold onto top teacher talent, here are five strategies to help you retain your best teachers:
This might seem like an obvious action to suggest but a lot of teachers move on to different roles and schools because they feel they’re being overlooked and undervalued in their current capacity. You need to be able to identify and express your thoughts when your staff member has gone above and beyond. Ensure praise is always objective, and still gives room for improvement for different staff members or departments. Through recognising success and work you will create an environment that employees want to stay in and build loyalty.
A traditional way to ensuring your staff want to stay in your school is to reward them for their hard work and dedication. This doesn’t necessarily have to start in and end with giving your teachers a boost in pay.
Make more of an impression and foster loyalty by tailoring your rewards based on what your staff would value most. For example, some schools have introduced ‘Free Friday Breakfast’ for staff just as a simple thank you each week for continuous hard work. Another unique reward is the newer concept of ‘Duvet Days’, where staff are rewarded by being given an extra day’s holiday to use in term-time.
Another common incidence where teachers start looking to move onto a new school, is when they feel they’re not achieving their full potential and want the opportunity to progress quicker – in fact two-fifths would turn down a job that offered no training or development. Build your staff loyalty and take pre-emptive preventive measures by structuring regular continuing professional development (CPD). This will have the dual effect of both strengthening their commitment to the school and giving them the tools to be a highly successful teacher for their students.
You can’t expect your staff to remain motivated to stay and give their role 100% if you don’t support them in their position and wellbeing. You need to be a presence in their working role and often dedicated quality time can be much more appreciated than showering staff members with gifts. If you build a presence so you become someone they can talk to, with whom they can share their ideas and feel they will be actioned, they are more likely to remain with your school. You simply need to have a self-awareness of what you would appreciate and then convey this to your staff.
The best way of demonstrating your support is to show that you’re investing in their happiness and development. Take a look at the training programmes we have on offer as part of Hays Education Training, including free access to teacher wellbeing training.
Finally, one of the best ways to keep teachers is to make sure they feel part of the collective community and culture at a school. This might be achieved through peer mentoring, curricular clubs or being an NQT mentor. Therefore, making sure you effectively promote your school culture not only at interview, but throughout employment, is critical for boosting loyalty and teacher retention.
For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.