Millions of children across the UK are back in school after spending around half a year away from the classroom.
No doubt your school will look a little different to last year, as you take extra steps to keep everyone safe. Learning might be delivered to pupils in a different way, too. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the importance of onboarding new teachers who have joined your school this year.
Why is onboarding so important?
Every employee – not just teachers – wants to feel part of their new company as quickly as possible when starting a new job. They want to feel integrated with its culture, understand key processes and know exactly what’s expected of them. This is what onboarding aims to achieve.
Consider it your chance to win the hearts of new teachers and prove they made the right decision to work for your school. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – onboarding helps you to provide new staff with a positive experience and environment from the outset, which can lead to reduced turnover (aka greater teacher retention) and higher job satisfaction and morale.
7 tips for onboarding success
Your school is bound to have some processes in place to settle in new staff, but could you be doing more? Here are seven top tips that could take your onboarding to the next level:
- Schedule one-on-one time with each new hire, ideally within the first couple of weeks. Ask how they are, see how they’ve found it so far, talk about modules they’re looking forward to, and check if they need anything else from your leadership team.
- It helps to pair new hires with a designated mentor who can continue to help settle them into their role. It’s best when mentors are fellow colleagues, as they’re able to empathise with new staff having been there themselves. A quick, bi-weekly catch-up over the following months can build trust and respect, and help new recruits feel supported.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of pre-boarding – that is, equipping new staff with all the necessary information, tools and support before their first day. This might be too late now, but is something to bear in mind next time.
- Consider sending an email to new hires that rounds up the week ahead, so they don’t miss out on anything. It might include information on upcoming events, general school updates and anything from the previous week that highlights best practice.
- Bear in mind that new hires could be contemplating their professional development the moment they join your school. Because of this, it won’t hurt to have that conversation in the initial meeting – talk about how your school commits to developing its staff and share examples.
- You may be a bit restricted right now, but try to organise a social event where new staff can get to know their peers a bit better. After all, key to feeling part of a culture is knowing your team on a personal level.
- It’s crucial that onboarding continues beyond the initial weeks and months. Some of the most effective onboarding strategies can last up to a year – by which point, teachers will be well and truly settled!
Improve teacher retention with Eteach
With Eteach Premium, your school has access to education’s only advanced recruitment software plus unlimited advertising. A dedicated Customer Success Manager is there to offer support on everything from posting job ads and marketing, to onboarding new recruits. To find out more about its wealth of features and benefits, request a call back today!