A healthy and happy staff is essential to a positive school climate and culture. The California School Staff Survey indicates that educators who feel supported emotionally and professionally are more effective and their students show greater gains. Additionally, when staff feel supported by their leaders, they are more likely to stay with the organization long-term and contribute to the culture, environment, and success of the team.
The best way to support staff is to ensure that their emotional and intellectual needs are addressed on an ongoing basis. Leadership teams can make significant strides in supporting staff by focusing on fostering a culture that is health-seeking, people-centered, and learning-focused.
Educators are often on the front line of working with young people who have experienced trauma at home or in their communities. As a consequence, they often experience secondary traumatic stress (STS), or “emotional distress that arises when someone experiences the traumatic experiences of another individual”. LEA leaders can help ensure teachers get their social-emotional needs met by fostering a health-seeking culture and helping eliminate stigma associated with mental health.
A UK study found that “good workplace relationships have the largest impact on job satisfaction” and concluded that over half of employees’ satisfaction at their jobs is predicted by their workplace relationships and the quality of both individual and supervisor connections. Additionally, educators who don’t find connections with those with whom they work are less likely to stay at that place of work. To build strong relationships and a people-centered culture, focus on connection, appreciation, and collaboration.
Effective professional learning not only has the potential to improve both teaching and student outcomes, but can also be effective in recruiting and retaining teachers. Creating a learning-focused culture can increase job satisfaction for staff.
According to research from the International of Educational Sciences, high-quality professional learning: