Restructuring is a regular and ongoing process for schools and increasingly an area that SBMs lead in. How this is managed can be a significant positive, or indeed negative, to the team’s morale.
Merlyn Vlotman, HR consultant with Strictly Education, discusses change and how you can keep staff onboard during and post-restructure.
Restructures have become common in the education landscape, whether schools need to keep their budget in check or are converting to an academy. All types of restructure mean change and it’s often said that nobody likes change – even if the result means a strong and positive workplace and workforce.
During the shuffle
While transformation is underway in a school, it’s vital to monitor the motivation levels of your staff. Transitions can lead to decreased productivity where the bottom line is poor results in the classroom.
Good communication is important and a way of allowing all staff an opportunity to discuss what’s happening, provide feedback and – when encouraged in an open environment – share ideas for working better post-restructure. It’s essential to ensuring staff feel empowered and involved in changes – in itself, essential to a smooth transition and future success.
Once significant changes have taken place, the senior leadership team should take care to lead by example, coach their staff rather than control them, and people manage to develop trust and make staff feel that they’re all part of one team.
CPD must remain on the agenda – it will help school staff understand and believe that their future belongs in the school beyond any transformation.
Be honest with all communications regarding a restructure; having an open door helps foster sincere and open conversations. When your staff feel that they are being listened to and understood, their experience can lead to greater motivation benefiting the school in the future.