Here are the top five tips for employee engagement in education:

1. Communication

It is vitally important to “share the why” behind decisions and initiatives.  Educational organizations and leaders should link everything back to organizational strategy, vision, and values.  Leadership must be open and honest with communication while asking for input, feedback, and seeking to understand.  An equally essential part of communication is listening to the employees in the organization.

2. Relationships

Without relationships there can be no engagement.  An educational organization and leader must build and foster relationships with staff, students, parents, and the community.  Leadership must learn more about employees and what is important to them, what they want to get better at, and what motivates them.  Educational organizations must provide opportunities for staff to collaborate, work together, and learn together. 

3. Support and recognition

It is critical to ensure that staff have the appropriate time and resources available to do their job.  This includes a competitive salary and benefits package.  Leadership should provide specific and timely recognition personalized to the individual.  Educational organizations should celebrate and reward team successes. Support includes allowing opportunities for involvement and input into decision making. 

4. Development and growth

Development starts with teacher preparation before staff enter a classroom.   Educational organizations should create an onboarding program to set new staff up for success including robust mentorship programs.  Training and professional development opportunities for both personal & professional growths should be offered throughout various stages of an employee’s career. 

5. Measurement

Educational organizations must measure employee engagement to understand trends, opportunities for improvement, and recognize organizational strengths.  Engagement surveys, pulse surveys, stay surveys, and exit surveys are methods to assess and analyze the information necessary to make organizational improvements and change.  Workforce analytics and succession planning support organizational growth and help identify developmental opportunities to challenge and grow staff skills and capabilities.

School personnel administrators are increasingly looking for resources and best practices in their field.  The Human Capital Leaders in Education (HCLE) Standards provide the competencies necessary to foster employee engagement in an educational organization.  It is vital for those in public education to understand the importance of measuring employee’s levels of engagement and satisfaction, create opportunities to strengthen employee engagement, and differentiate engagement strategies to meet varying employee preferences.