How to Promote Staff Well-Being in Schools
Your school staff can range from teachers to aides to cleaning personnel and those involved in managing the school affairs; all these positions are vital in keeping a school flourishing and providing quality education to students.
Excessive workloads, low morale, lack of support, emotional stress, and high expectations can lead to burnout, which may lead to teachers and staff retiring early. 90% of responding educators consider burnout a severe problem in their field. Some signs your employees may be experiencing burnout are recurrent mood swings, decreasing quality of work, complaints about being stressed, and difficulty in finishing tasks frequently. Let’s understand why wellness matters and how you can support your staff’s well-being.
Why Wellness of School Staff Matters
Wellness matters because school staff who are physically and mentally well provide better support to students and create an inclusive and positive learning environment. They can serve as better role models, have enhanced job satisfaction, increase employee retention, and avoid burnout. Providing appropriate support and accommodation allows them to be more productive.
If your school staff has disabilities outside of legal obligations, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against them and requires ensuring staff wellness. In that case, you want to promote inclusivity and show respect for diversity. They enhance the learning environment by supporting students with disabilities with Individualised Education Plans (IEP) by tapping into their own experiences.
Enhancing Staff Well-Being
Here are different ways to improve the well-being of varying staff members employed at your school.
Invest in Technology
Technology can reduce burnout by supporting teachers and staff. It can offer inspiring and engaging tools, ensure safe learning environments, and eliminate costs. For example, investing in school management software such as Teach ‘n Go can help manage your school’s data, relationships, payments, and more. It’s flexible, easy to navigate, and easily accessible from anywhere at any time.
As school management software can track students’ progress, track attendance, manage fees, send automated emails, and streamline administrative tasks, it can increase teacher and staff retention and engagement by helping against burnout. Online learning tools and cloud-based technology can provide a better educational experience while helping you save time and money.
Provide Well-Being Training
Training sessions or workshops on managing stress, time management, and increasing productivity can allow employees to recognize their wellness and health matters and the tools they need to manage them effectively. These topics will enable them to talk about their struggles and raise awareness. Draft a well-being survey to gauge what’s affecting their well-being and make the necessary changes required, such as paid leaves or ensuring a manageable workload.
You can signpost your staff to relevant support services to provide more targeted support, such as for discrimination, financial struggles, disabilities or health issues, and more. Consider appointing a staff well-being lead who will create links with specialist services or manage the provision of well-being services.
Planning Team Building Activities
Your entire staff is not always available to attend events outside of school hours. Consider conducting team-building activities during business hours, such as scheduling activities in lieu of staff meetings. It creates closer bonds with staff, improving communication and increasing collaboration, which allows them to build a healthy support network and improve their mental well-being.
Within your school, numerous workers are contributing to keep your school running and providing quality education, which is why it falls on you to provide them with adequate care and ensure you are meeting their needs. They can only contribute positively to the school environment if they feel mentally well, cared for, and looked after.