Updated: Aug 28
Communication is often highlighted as an issue by staff in schools. Poor communication can lead to staff feeling demoralised, unappreciated and unsupported and can lead to mistrust within a team.
The TES recently conducted a teaching staff survey Tes Wellbeing report 2023 - UK Primary.pdf and nearly a half of those who responded said that they did not receive any feedback on their performance or any vital information about how well they were doing at work, which is quite disappointing.
The report goes on to state that ‘ensuring school is a place where all staff, at all levels, feel seen, heard and supported has to be the priority for better wellbeing across the board’, and for this to happen, there needs to be good communication.
I agree that good communication is key and recognising and appreciating our team’s efforts (however big or small) is important and something that we all endeavour to do as leaders.
When in post as a Head Teacher and moving towards the end of a particularly busy term when staff were exhausted and feeling a little demoralised I tried to think of ways that I could get the staff to recognise just how much they had achieved in a relatively short space of time and show them how much value they were adding to the provision at the school. This led me to install a ‘What have we done?’ wall in the staff room.
This ‘What have we done wall?’ was initially just a piece of sugar paper on the staff room pin board on which I asked staff to add all of their achievements since the beginning of term. In a two form entry school the list of achievements became extremely long as all staff began to contribute to it.
It was only a small thing but this visual list was powerful in reminding staff of just how much they had achieved in a relatively short space of time and it also reminded me to appreciate my team’s efforts.
I sometimes use this strategy with my coaching clients at those times when they may be feeling overwhelmed.
Recognising the achievements of others as well as helping others to recognise their own achievements can help to motivate and empower staff and create a positive climate within the workplace.
And, something I tried to remember … a simple thank you may seem like a small thing but could mean a lot to an individual.