How to Use Residency Interviews to Retain and Motivate Teachers | Characteristic


As many schools face staff retention issues, some school leaders are turning to on-going interviews to improve staff engagement and well-being. A stay interview is a conversation with a staff member who has chosen to stay. Unlike exit interviews, where people say why they are leaving, in stay interviews people say why they are staying. They give school leaders the opportunity to show teachers they are valued and find out how they can help develop and retain them. “Recruitment issues continue to be a major concern in the education sector,” comments Mumin Humayun, Head of School at Stockwood Park Academy (TSPA) in Luton. “We are struggling to retain our best people in our profession, with many choosing to leave before five years.”

Appreciated teachers stay longer

Mumin believes that effective stay interviews are a valuable way to keep staff on board. “Finding out what makes teachers love their jobs enough to stay is important, as this can be used to ensure they stay involved with your organization and stay even longer. Often the reasons Why people are staying is not obvious No one knows because no one has ever asked them!

Stay interviews also allow Mumin to thank staff and show appreciation. “Teachers feel valued, especially if senior leaders acknowledge and respond to what interviewees say. Colleagues feel they contribute to the continued success of an organization.

At TSPA, interviews take place in the middle of the school year. “If you do them early, you can hopefully keep people from leaving, especially if you listen, acknowledge and respond to what’s being communicated,” Mumin says.

Identify the career goals of individuals

Arti Patel is Deputy Director (Community) at TSPA and has worked there for eight years. “I found the experience of having a residency interview really valuable. I was able to discuss my career path and the direction I would like to go. My role is extremely specialized in this trust, so I able to discuss next steps.

She agrees that residency interviews help teachers feel valued. “I feel it gives staff an opportunity to talk about where their careers are headed. I feel like the school principal is able to see more of the puzzle and guide the staff, or look for opportunities to keep the staff they want to stay.

Stay interviews do not cost money and only require time and some skill development

In her case, she had a measurable result following her interview. “I spoke to Mumin about my next steps and realized that I needed a variety of experiences to help me excel in the next stage of my career. I was added to the behavior team and now strategically leads elements of personal development If it hadn’t been for the stay interview, I might not have been able to express this.

Although initially dubious, Paul O’Sullivan, associate assistant manager at TSPA, also found his stay interview helpful. “It allowed me to be honest and transparent about why I was staying, but also why (at one point) I was looking for new opportunities.” The conversations raised are crucial for teacher retention, but also for succession planning and career development, he adds. The school was able to support him in developing specific areas of school leadership. “I know my place and my part in the organization. There is a lot to say because it keeps me from questioning my role and my school.

A forward-looking education sector

Another fan of live interviews is Mark Solomons, managing director of Welcome, an organization that supports well-being in the education sector. “Stayside interviews are used in the corporate world and in forward-thinking companies. In my previous career in retail banking, I used them to keep in touch with staff as a feedback mechanism, as well as surveys, chats and meetings, which all help people stay in jobs. difficult.

Stay interviews could be part of the solution to the retention crisis, he says. “Residency interviews don’t cost money and only require time and some skill development.” Mark says leaders can use this time to understand pressure points and see if they can solve problems. “If we can’t, we can explain why and offer alternatives. We want teachers to know that someone is listening and caring, and they can feel responsible for all outcomes. We need to create an environment where people want to work.

Collect vital information

Ask these key questions to get informed feedback from longtime teachers.

  • Why have you worked at this school for so long?
  • What motivates you in your current role?
  • If you could change any part of your job, what would it be and why?
  • Do you think your current role makes full use of your skills and talents?
  • What have you learned since working at this school?
  • Is there anything new that you would like to learn next year?
  • Do you feel supported in your career goals?
  • What is one thing that would make your job more satisfying?
  • What is the most difficult aspect of your role?
  • What did you like about your last job that you’re not doing now?
  • If you completely changed roles, what would you miss the most?
  • What would make you stay longer in this school?
  • Would you recommend this school as a workplace to a friend or former colleague?
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