It’s not all about money

Reports of salary demands for teaching staff are in the air again. Just at a time when school finance committees, heads and bursars are already buried in spreadsheets and working through ‘what -if’ scenarios to balance higher pension contributions with parents’ ability to stump up for more fees.          

No one does a good job if they are pre-occupied with making their money last as long as the month, but it would be a mistake to rely on salary increases to maintain staff morale and retention.  Volumes have been written to demonstrate that motivation is not driven by money (given that the money : month ratio is reasonably balanced) and that other factors are more lastingly important for all of us.

A good start is to take a look at your internal communication. If staff are consulted and informed then they will feel that their contribution is valued and become more committed to the collective aims of the school. That will include a recognition that pricing oneself out the market is not good for long term job security. Fixing this on its own is no silver bullet but, as we have shown clients, it is remarkably straightforward and inexpensive to get it right or much better.

In our work with some really well- run and successful schools we have been told of timetables that were changed without consultation with the teacher – the person most affected – and of support staff who arrived at a meeting with no clue why they were there nor how long it would take.

In both circumstances the colleagues involved might be thinking that they are not paid enough to put up with this sort of thing.

There is always a reason, of course and usually that is that everyone is too busy to do things correctly – ‘we just needed to get on with it’. It could be that one reason for being so busy is that they were up to their necks in fixing problems caused by less than thoughtful communication. 

It’s a possibility.

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