At the July 26, 2018 Symposium the audience collaborated on the three key questions.  The group of over 50 Human Resources professionals from Minnesota schools responded with enthusiasm and insight, providing core themes that align with the mission of Presenteeism.org.  The unedited responses to each question are listed below, grouped by theme.

What are we currently doing that inspires employees to come to work? What ideas do we have that would increase employee engagement? What supports or resources do we as Human Resources professionals need in order to build employee engagement?
Themes Themes Themes
Provide Compensation Provide Compensation Support (for HR)
Provide Access to Resources Provide Access to Resources Technology
Provide Foundations for Relationships and Community Provide Foundations for Relationships and Community Resources
Get Out of the Way (a.k.a., Empowerment) Get Out of the Way (a.k.a., Empowerment) Innovation
Connect with a Purpose Connect with a Purpose Expertise
Develop Effective Leadership Practices Develop Effective Leadership Practices Visibility/Recognition
Encourage Inclusion

Question 1: What are we currently doing that inspires employees to come to work?

Provide Compensation

  • Direct pay
  • Family-friendly work schedule
  • PTO
  • Stability
  • Good benefits (health insurance, etc.)

Provide Access to Resources

  • Current technology
  • Seeing growth of students
  • Give resources to continue to grow and learn

Provide Foundations for Relationships and Community

  • welcoming of all cultures
  • welcoming spaces (workplace aesthetic)
  • positive environment
  • Welcome back event for staff
  • Permission to enjoy our work
  • Promote learning

Get Out of the Way (a.k.a., Empowerment)

  • consider employees view and voice
  • Find ways to listen
  • Opportunities to contribute/create work environment with contract negotiations and committees
  • Responsiveness to staff needs
  • Permission to enjoy our work
  • Give resources to continue to grow and learn

Connect with a Purpose

  • Opportunity to do what they love
  • Working with students
  • Seeing growth of students
  • Instill mission, vision and values

Develop Effective Leadership Practices

  • Transparency
  • Strong leadership
  • Find ways to listen
  • Instill mission, vision and values
  • Positive Leadership
  • Positive Feedback
  • Offer a challenge
  • Support
  • Responsiveness to staff needs
  • Mentorship
  • Promote learning
  • Give resources to continue to grow and learn

Question 2: What ideas do we have that would increase employee engagement?

Provide Compensation

  • Money
  • Individualized benefits (pay towards students loans instead of 403b match)
  • Unique perks
  • Ensuring time for lunch and breaks
  • Paid student teaching
  • Performance pay
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Employ free classes (yoga, cooking)
  • Wellness programs
  • Recognition

Provide Access to Resources

  • Support of affinity/peer groups (not just teachers)
  • More opportunities for professional development
  • Understanding other jobs in district
  • Engagement survey
  • Targeted recruitment internally
  • Teacher of Color mentorship
  • PLCs
  • Include support staff on committees
  • Recruit paras to consider teaching positions
  • Paid student teaching

Provide Foundations for Relationships and Community

  • Say thank you
  • Radical accountability
  • Sense of belonging
  • Alignment of values
  • Support of affinity/peer groups (not just teachers)
  • Community involvement
  • Principal for the day
  • Understanding other jobs in district
  • Out of school time events
  • Highlight the positive
  • Engagement survey
  • Adopt a school
  • Making sure they are properly placed (fit)
  • Positive culture
  • Targeted recruitment internally
  • Teacher of Color mentorship
  • PLC
  • Include support staff on committees

Get Out of the Way (a.k.a., Empowerment)

  • Radical accountability
  • Freedom to do a project that inspires
  • Trust
  • More opportunities for collaboration
  • Ensuring time for lunch and breaks
  • Understanding other jobs in district
  • Permission to try and fail
  • Lead and facilitate (vs manage)
  • Include support staff on committees

Connect with a Purpose

  • Sense of belonging
  • Alignment of values
  • Community involvement
  • Adopt a school

Develop Effective Leadership Practices

  • Say thank you
  • Recognition
  • Radical accountability
  • Trust
  • Leadership more visible
  • Support of affinity/peer groups (not just teachers)
  • Community involvement
  • Meaningful conversation and interest in people/employees
  • Soup with the Superintendent
  • Principal for the day
  • Permission to try and fail
  • Building challenges
  • Transparency
  • Being intentional with evaluations
  • Highlight the positive
  • Engagement survey
  • Ask “what do you need”
  • Give permission to take a break
  • Making sure they are properly placed (fit)
  • Lead and facilitate (vs manage)
  • Use attendance as part of evaluation feedback
  • Targeted recruitment internally
  • Include support staff on committees

Encourage Inclusion

  • More for ALL employees
  • Include support staff on committees
  • Recruit paras to consider teaching positions
  • Paid student teaching

Question 3: What supports or resources do we as Human Resources professionals need in order to build employee engagement?

Support (for HR)

  • Administrator support and buy-in
  • Principal buy-in
  • Community buy-in
  • Freedom to try new ideas without risk of discipline if the idea doesn’t work
  • Some understanding of what expectations of each other in engagement process should be and that is what actually happens
  • Wellness mental and physical
  • Collaboration
  • Communicate that you matter
  • HR as a partner with a seat at the table
  • Accurate reporting
  • Assuring follow-through
  • Leadership commitment to recognition
  • Shared ownership-not blame
  • Consistency
  • Communication
  • Fewer hoops to jump through

Technology

  • Check-ins after 90 days
  • Grow your own programs
  • Accurate reporting
  • More automation
  • Fewer hoops to jump through

Resources

  • Time to be proactive instead of reactive
  • Time
  • Staff time to coordinate the work
  • Check-ins after 90 days
  • Meaningful employee assistance programs
  • Listening sessions
  • Grow your own programs
  • Communities in the buildings
  • Opportunity to build relationships
  • Better opportunities to network with HR professionals
  • A place to engage

Innovation

  • New ways to think
  • Get out of the box
  • Time to be proactive instead of reactive
  • Freedom to try new ideas without risk of discipline if the idea doesn’t work
  • Being a resources for everything – not just onboarding and discipline
  • Listening sessions
  • Create a positive experience in HR
  • Grow your own programs
  • Communicate that you matter
  • Communities in the buildings
  • Make deposits into people’s emotional bank accounts
  • Staff time to coordinate the work
  • Opportunity to build relationships
  • Consistency

Expertise

  • Being a resources for everything – not just onboarding and discipline
  • HR as a partner with a seat at the table
  • HR isn’t scary
  • Some understanding of what expectations of each other in engagement process should be and that is what actually happens
  • Consistency

Visibility/Recognition

  • Make deposits into people’s emotional bank accounts
  • Visibility
  • HR as a partner with a seat at the table
  • Leadership commitment to recognition