Mark Solomons, CEO of staff wellbeing specialists Welbee welcomes the DfE announcement to monitor staff happiness under a new Wellbeing Charter.
The Welbee team and I were delighted to read John Dickens’ article in Schools Week on the DfE’s commitment to staff wellbeing in schools.
It is right that school leaders are encouraged to put more focus on such an important area. It goes much further than happiness and is about creating an environment where all staff can thrive.
Enjoying themselves is a big part of this, though it is also about development, fulfilment, feeling valued and being able to maintain a good balance with home life.
Helping staff achieve this will have a big impact on student outcomes and at a time when it is most needed, given what we will need to do to catch up. It will also ensure we keep more staff and reduce costs, allowing more to be spent on educating young people.
The New Staff Wellbeing Charter will be Voluntary
Positioning it as voluntary and without a kite mark is also important. Improving staff wellbeing and creating the best working environment is all about school culture. It is about how things are done every day. Leaders need to do this because it is the right thing to do and not because they are told to or to achieve some form of certification.
However, some leaders need help to understand what has the biggest impact on the wellbeing of those they lead and which behaviours and actions will make the biggest difference. They also need to know where they are now, so regularly taking feedback from staff and measuring staff wellbeing is very much needed.
Involving the Health and Safety Executive
We are also pleased to see the involvement of the Health and Safety Executive. While often associated with accidents at work, I believe their workplace survey and management standards approach to stress and wellbeing remains the best way for leaders to measure their workplace and track progress.
That’s why we use it when we support schools and have added detailed analysis, benchmarks, filters, the ability to anonymously respond to staff comments and most importantly recommended actions.
This is what school leaders told us they wanted – support to know the steps that would give them the best return on their time and any money spent.
I am looking forward to seeing this being introduced and Welbee will do its part in supporting this important initiative and making it easier, accessible and affordable for schools to improve the wellbeing of their staff.
Free Welbee Voice account until at least 30th September
In the meantime, school leaders can take advantage of a FREE Voice account (http://welbee.co.uk/voice), a simple to use system to encourage anonymous and open conversations.
I am so proud of the Welbee team who have designed a solution that can make a huge difference both now and in the longer term and delighted that we can offer this for free to schools for a period as part of our launch.
You can find out more or have any questions answered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.