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Easy ways to boost staff morale.

(76 Posts)
bitofwhatyoufancy Wed 29-Nov-17 19:35:02

Hi! I work for a head teacher who is kind hearted, well intentioned and passionate about the kids. Great hey?
Except his people skills are appalling and as a result many people in the school are unhappy and demoralised.
After taking advice he's just told staff that for the last few weeks of term as long as planning is done people can do ppa from anywhere and can swap around days/times as long as everybody is happy. This seems like a great move as people can go shopping or attend their kids school events.
It got me thinking though, setting aside all the big things that make teachers feel low, what small things can head teachers do that helps to boost staff morale?
I will pass on suggestions as he really does want to improve things I think!!

flowery Wed 29-Nov-17 19:35:40


noblegiraffe Wed 29-Nov-17 19:50:54

Doing something about the big things that make teachers feel low would be most important, otherwise everything just feels like a hollow gesture. Like you might buy cakes for the staffroom and everyone uses the opportunity of getting together to eat cake to moan about behaviour/marking/whatever with comments like 'does he really think cake is going to cut it?'. On the other hand, if SLT are liked, cake can be good!

The PPA idea is great. As would be something like 'I know you're all snowed under with marking at the moment so I'm going to cancel Wednesday's after school meeting and replace it with a leaflet.'
And things like stopping people in the corridor to say 'thanks for organising that trip, I heard it went really well' is always appreciated.

bitofwhatyoufancy Wed 29-Nov-17 20:02:49

I know what you mean giraffe, he is intent on getting his pound of flesh meeting wise and really can't understand why that pisses people off. Especially when people are tired and overworked. Honestly I could shake him sometimes because he's a genuinely good person but can be so blind!!

He does buy cakes on a fairly regular basis plus provides a buffet out of his own pocket for every inset.

Will try to gently talk to him about replacing the odd staff meeting with a hand out. Thanks!

Walktwomoons Wed 29-Nov-17 20:08:54

I think things like the head smiling, saying good morning and giving positive feedback are really important.

Quickchange1 Wed 29-Nov-17 20:12:13

My Head is fab on most things. Best one ever was an extra PLS each! if you have PPA period 5 you can sign out. I think workload and time is the main thing. Exam marking, normal marking, New Spec, revision for Mocks and orgaininsing Xmas events mean cancelling meetings would be very much appreciated by all. Ours does a regular thank you in Staff Newsletter which people like as you are pubically recognised. Unfortunately it can be a bit 'name &shame' too. Avoid that - tackle individuals directly.

BackforGood Wed 29-Nov-17 20:13:31

I was going to say the same as Noble

I think, especially, a personal thanks when you've done something over and above the norm of the week - maybe take them on a trip or run a club or run a sports team or 1001 other things people do, seemingly unnoticed a lot of the time.
Agree about the meetings too - nothing worse than a pointless meeting where they are just filling time because it said 'meeting' in the diary.

Cantchooseaname Wed 29-Nov-17 20:15:29

No idea how big school is, but slt covering assemblies/ registration/ break duties- anything to grab that extra 15 mins.

tissuesosoft Wed 29-Nov-17 20:17:41

A thank you board in the staff room- staff can write on a post note to stick on there thanking staff who have been really helpful, kind etc.

A previous school I worked at would draw two names out of a hat at the end of the first term and the last and the reward was £20 each vouchers. They also used the points from the school's nectar points to buy a TV for the staffroom (up on the wall)- it was very popular during Wimbledon, World Cup, General Election etc.

tissuesosoft Wed 29-Nov-17 20:19:15

Also at a previous school- training day in December finished at 12 so no lunch provided (saves money!) but everyone could then go home, Christmas shopping etc. That was a big hit

BlessYourCottonSocks Wed 29-Nov-17 20:19:51

We are always very grateful when 'directed time' is used sensibly - so for example instead of pointless exercises for 2 hours after school it can be far better to say, 'staff need to stay on Tue til 5.30 for 2 hours departmental time' and then let people have this time for whatever it is they need to do. I'll stay and do the 2 hours - but as we are right in the middle of Mocks, frankly I'd rather spend the time marking A level papers than listening to a colleague talk about how they use differentiation in their lessons or a great new way of providing feedback. Granny sucking eggs...

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Wed 29-Nov-17 20:21:25

I think smiling is key. Staff are far more likely to feel valued if somebody knows their name and smiles at them. I'd rather have a smile than a cake.

SunshineTheMonkey Wed 29-Nov-17 20:21:30

For the past few years we've had a staff raffle, once a term, with money can't buy prizes, like 1x 10am start (covered by SLT) 1x playground duty cover (by SLT) etc, etc, star prize is a day off token.

I love it.

Namethecat Wed 29-Nov-17 20:24:18

Decent coffee machine in the staff room.

bitofwhatyoufancy Wed 29-Nov-17 20:48:26

Love all these thanks, Monkey I love the raffle idea, will definitely suggest it smile

OurMiracle1106 Wed 29-Nov-17 20:50:17

An email at end of term thanking staff for their hard work and dedication throughout the term is always appreciated.

TheSnowFairy Thu 30-Nov-17 17:16:58

Agree re HT noticing and thanking. I was at a PTA meeting recently (as part of my job but outside work hours) and my HT commented and said thank you for staying. Really appreciated it on a cold dark evening!

BackforGood Thu 30-Nov-17 21:25:19

I want the thanks to be something specific - showing they noticed you have done X, Y, or Z, and not a general 'thank you to all staff for your hard work' or any speil that could be written before term even begins.

pinkhousesarebest Thu 30-Nov-17 21:33:25

Ha we have an all day Saturday training imposed on us the weekend before Christmas. How not to... (seethes).

bitofwhatyoufancy Thu 30-Nov-17 21:34:56

Pink.... No!!! How are they allowed to do that?

oldlaundbooth Thu 30-Nov-17 21:35:32

Free coffee every morning, or at least weekly.

If you stuck a plate of croissants out too once in a while I'm sure people would be mega chuffed.

NapQueen Thu 30-Nov-17 21:36:30

DHs school have "Just Because its Monday". The head fills a box with small treats and at the morning brief any staff can nominate anyone for a Just Because its Monday by saying what that person did which they enjoyed or which helped them

Dh often comes home with the goodies as he is always being sent into the bike shed or some kids threw up all over him or whatever.

oldlaundbooth Thu 30-Nov-17 21:37:09

An 'open door' hour once per week.

Just a time when people can drop past with quick questions, suggestions etc.

leccybill Fri 01-Dec-17 19:18:37

If our head could pay for an ironing person to set up in the staffroom, that'd be much appreciated by me at the moment!

But seeing as he walks past us in the corridor and blanks us, it's unlikely. I hate academies. It's so horrid.

Acopyofacopy Fri 01-Dec-17 20:05:20

A centralised behaviour system. It’s no wonder nobody uses it if it means that you lose all of your breaks and lunchtimes and you have to do your own after school detentions, too.

Management training for leaders. Just calling them “head of x” doesn’t magically give them any leadership skills! hmm

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