School administrators; you have hiring interviews and you have exit interviews, but do you have stay interviews? Retention of good teachers is of paramount importance, especially now. They are tired of COVID19, tired of masks, tired of state mandates, and tired of hybrid learning. “What happened to the good old days?”

Now is a great time to take 30 to 60 minutes with each teacher and see how they are doing. Ask a few questions of concern and then let them talk. Saying one’s frustrations out loud is cathartic. You are not expected to solve every problem. Just listen. Help out where you can and just be supportive. Students learn from teachers who care about them as people. Teachers teach for leaders who care about them as people.

Over the years, some of my most memorable moments are those where a teacher came to me and cried. Cried about a health issue, or a personal problem. They trusted me to be confidential and just listen. Oftentimes, teachers just need an ear, be that ear for them, be that friend and confidant.

So talk to your teachers before contracts are offered. This is not just about their job satisfaction, it’s also about their personal satisfaction at your school. Research indicates that companies that conduct stay interviews benefit from a higher percentage of engaged and motivated employees and their turnover is much lower. A full 41% of U.S. workers say they plan to look for a new job in 2022. More than half of workers who quit say no one talked to them in those final months about how they were feeling about their jobs. 

Ask them questions such as:

  • What has been your greatest achievement this school year?
  • What would you like to do better?
  • Is there a conference or professional development opportunity you would like to attend?
  • How can I support you and what do you need from me?
  • How can I help?

This is important. You will never know how you might help retain employees unless you ask!

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