How can I improve morale in the team and make sure I keep good staff?

There are times in any organisation when morale can dip, and it is at these times that staff may begin to look elsewhere for the job satisfaction that is important to all of us.

Focusing on morale in a personalised way can not only improve it, but can lead to greatly enhanced practice and staff wishing to stay in the school because they are fulfilling a role which meets their individual career priorities.

Working Together for Change is a simple eight-stage process that uses person-centred information (for example, from team/department meetings, or from student voice via the school council) to inform strategic change. Using the process in schools can drive the changes necessary to enable both students and staff to get more of what’s working in their school life and to change what’s not working. It involves listening to what people are saying about school life using various person-centred approaches.

Morale will only improve if people feel that they are making an important contribution to school life, and that this is recognised and valued. Knowing that you are doing the right job, with the right people, at the right time is a key factor in job satisfaction. There are a number of person-centred approaches that can support this; for example:

  • Appreciation – to create a culture of respect and make a positive contribution to team building through knowing what everyone appreciates and values about each other. Identifying the strengths and talents of team members supports individuals to use their gifts to have the greatest impact on the team.
  • Capacities and Gifts / Capacity Mapping – to explore what each member of the team has to contribute, ensuring that skills are deployed effectively.
  • Roles and responsibilities (the doughnut) – to ensure that staff are clear about what they must do (core responsibilities), where they can explore new strategies and techniques (use judgement and creativity) and what is not their responsibility. This optimises job satisfaction by ensuring that all staff are accountable and understand their role within school, so that the right things can happen, at the right time, driven by the right people.
  • Passion Audit – to identify interests and facilitate teachers teaching subjects and topics they are passionate about.

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