Employee retention, as well as job satisfaction, have always been important priorities for forward-thinking businesses. Benefits, vacation time, and ongoing employee development are a good start. However, in today’s business climate, you must go the extra mile to retain employees for the long-term.
This is especially relevant to civic workers and teachers who are always in high demand in Arizona. Here are a few thoughts from your friends at Valley Schools that should help you to keep your team together.
Working in a New Reality
There’s no getting away from the significant and unprecedented pressures that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on education and governance. The strain of navigating COVID-19 from a business standpoint is only exceeded by the need to stay healthy so that you don’t contract the virus and exasperate your challenges.
One change major change has been the induction of remote work. Working remotely creates new challenges for productivity but also for supporting your employees’ wellbeing and personal lives (like those who are working parents). In 2021, employee benefits plans will reflect a ‘new normal’ and your organization will need to keep up if you want to make employee retention a priority.
A Few Disturbing Yet Important Facts
According to a survey from the Horace Mann Education Corporation, more than 77 percent of educators are working more today than they did a year ago. In addition, 60 percent of educators reported that they enjoy their jobs less now with a similar amount not feeling secure with their school district’s health and safety precautions. Also, a whopping 27 percent of respondents indicate they are strongly considering leaving their job, retiring early, or taking an extended leave of absence. These are important, yet disturbing numbers for people charged with keeping great teachers in classrooms.
Whereas we cannot source a similar study for government employees, it is intuitive that they face some of the same pressures as educators. Civic workers continue to see challenges with pay and upward mobility as municipalities and other government entities see less tax revenue based on challenges related to the pandemic. Cities and states are forced to do more with less.
Solutions for Teacher Retention
- Mentorship and Training: Teaching is a profession with constant change. Providing supportive mentors and ongoing education (and school culture) are solid strategies to keep teachers happy and engaged. Support from school leadership also goes a long way to increase teacher happiness and retention.
- Flexible Workplace Guidelines: Ensuring teachers have a work/home balance is critical. Statistics have proven that many teachers have young children so providing a schedule that realizes this reality is key to retention.
- Simple Recognition and Acknowledgement: Nominating teachers for various awards — both locally and in the profession — is a great way to boost morale and recognize notable accomplishments. National Teacher Appreciation Day occurs annually in early May. A simple breakfast, flowers (and maybe an apple!) is a great way to show support for those educating our students.
Important Next Steps
Your most important first step is to make sure you are communicating with your employees. Keep them informed of what you’re doing to mitigate the effect of the pandemic on their jobs and perhaps more importantly, their life. Identify steps you and your benefits provider are taking to keep their families healthy and safe. Make sure that your current employee benefits packages are structured to optimize their impact on what is now a less than stable operational climate.
Difficult times are best met with a proactive approach that answers questions before they become challenges. Employees are seeking the information as well guidance from their employer that helps create a stable and safe workplace in a world that is simply put, is neither of those things.
Your Employee Benefits Partner
Remember, Valley Schools is here to help you stay on your path and encourage your journey to personal wellbeing and workplace satisfaction. Contact us with any questions or concerns that you are facing so that we can be the resource you need during these challenging times.