Let’s face it, education has been tough to say the least! As I talk to leaders across the country, I hear the same theme, challenges with attracting and retaining top talent. Since my time in Human Resources (before COVID) this has always been a challenge the pandemic has just made it more difficult. We are witnessing a revolving door of superintendents, teachers, and principals starting to increase as many are concerned about their own mental and emotional well-being. Our districts are trying to stop the bleeding by throwing more incentives at their teachers and modifying pay structures to attract talent from neighboring districts.
But will this strategy work as districts struggle to attract and retain top talent?
I remember when I started working in education several years ago and took a deep dive into our recruitment numbers, I saw that year over year, we could not fill our custodial positions. At least 20% of our positions remained open every year. When I met with our Chief of Operations, he stated that over his 20 plus years in education, he had observed the same number in other districts he worked with. The phenomenon happens because there are a finite number of qualified custodians in the job market and all industries in that region (districts, businesses, churches, etc.) are trying to attract the same talent. It’s the same for our teachers – we are now competing not only with other districts, but now with companies who are offering teachers better salaries and working conditions, sometimes remote.
Yes, we are now competing with remote work! You are probably saying that there are not that many remote positions out there to impact our district. Do you remember the call centers where there would be hundreds of people crammed into a building answering phones for a variety of businesses? A lot of those jobs are competitive with our teacher salaries. Several years ago, a teacher wouldn’t think of leaving their profession and working in a crammed workspace, but now, since Covid and more of these positions are permanently remote, they have become a little more attractive. If I were a recruiter for a Banking service call center, I would definitely be reaching out to overwhelmed teachers. Why? Teachers are strong communicators, planners, good time managers, patient, understands how to engage with the most challenging customers, and they understand the importance of listening to understand.
I’ve always believed that with every challenge, there is a great opportunity. Right now is our greatest opportunity. What can we do in our schools to recruit and retain top talent? First we need to make sure we are creating a culture that is not just positive – but one that builds on the social and emotional needs of the people they serve.
We do this by engaging teams in the 8 BE’s to creating a positive life. Teams across the country have benefited from becoming more self-aware in this moment as they assess their personal beliefs and how these beliefs may be preventing them from living their best life. In the book, The Beauty Underneath the Struggle, author Niki Spears encourages readers to embrace the 8 BE’s as a roadmap to creating their masterpiece. These 8 BE’s are:
As a gift to you, I will send a message that you can share with your team for each of the BE’s every Friday. This will be a great way to infuse your team with positive energy and self-care. In addition, I will send over a poster which you can share with your team highlighting the BE we are discussing that week.
In the meantime, I would like for you to reflect on the 8 BEs and how these principles could apply to your district or campus in attracting and retaining top talent.
Our team at Culture Cre8ion is dedicated to not only helping you create and sustain a positive culture, but we are also committed to making sure you have the best staff to support you in achieving your goals. So, feel free to reach out to us to learn more ways we are helping to transform culture across the country.
you to reflect on the 8 BEs and how this could apply to your district or campus in attracting and retaining top talent.
Sending positive energy your way,
Kermit | Chief Experience Officer