Improve School Culture for Better Teacher Retention

04/23/2015  | 

Over the past eight years, Eklund Consulting has surveyed thousands of in-service teachers. Only 25 percent of those surveyed reported that they would recommend teaching as a career to young people. According to Founder and President Nathan Eklund: “Most educators who leave the profession love ‘teaching’ but are dissatisfied with their ‘job.’ 

The growing challenge of recruiting and retaining high quality teachers compels schools to rigorously identify areas where they can better create engaging and effective workplaces in schools.”

Eklund Consulting is addressing that challenge as a leader in workplace satisfaction and organizational change focused exclusively on schools and what it takes to make them great places to work.

According to Eklund, supportive, collaborative interactions with other committed educators is central to the sustainability and enjoyment of a career as an educator. This requires a shift in thinking about the daily experience of teaching and working with colleagues. Schools are places where kids come to learn, but also where adults come to work, yet attention to what makes a great workplace is often missing. Eklund Consulting engages staff, administrators, and other stakeholders in conversations they want and know they should be having about their careers and work experiences.

“Nothing improves teacher job satisfaction more than a well-run workplace,” Eklund notes as one of his core beliefs about school improvement. Eklund Consulting gives leadership teams and individual administrators the guidance, coaching, and focus necessary to improve how they manage the challenges and opportunities unique to working in schools. While their programs are based on the individual needs of each client, they deploy the same proven data-driven research processes and rigorous analysis across all efforts. For every client, Eklund establishes a Workplace Satisfaction Baseline. This baseline is critical to the success of their programs, and allows them to conduct program improvement measurement over time.

At the core of the Workplace Satisfaction Baseline, Eklund seeks answers to the following types of critical questions:

  • How does the staff view their colleagues?
  • How does the staff view their workload, meeting schedules?
  • How does the staff view their leadership?
  • How does the staff view their overall experience of working in your school?
  • How does the staff view their ability to balance work and life?

The answers to these and other questions are critical to institutional change and improving the “job” of teaching. With more than 50 years of combined experience, Eklund Consulting’s team has partnered with schools, districts, foundations, associations, and charter organizations across the country to improve the workplace conditions in schools at every level. Within this diversity of clients, Eklund is also setting new courses for associations working on behalf of schools, significantly improving the performance of their clients in retention, recruitment, and overall job satisfaction of educators.

Transforming school culture takes time; Eklund Consulting typically works with schools or districts for several years. The more work and diligence invested, the greater the growth. Eklund Consulting’s mission is to work with schools to create conditions where all stakeholders—teachers, staff, administrators—can thrive and effectively work together to make great places to learn for students.

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